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Minneapolis Idea Exchange (MiX) 2016 Applies Improv, Impact and Inspiration to Shape Visionary Ideas for Minneapolis through Design Thinking

09/27/2016, 2:00pm CDT
By Mark Remme

Event is set for October 12 at Brave New Workshop.

The Minneapolis Idea Exchange(MiX), an initiative of the Minneapolis Downtown Council’s Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan, will host its third annual gathering on Wednesday, October 12 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at Brave New Workshop in downtown Minneapolis. Networking begins at 4:30 p.m., with the program beginning at 5:00 p.m.

MiX, a free event that is open to the public, aims to bring all different groups from within our community together to discuss major topics affecting our city in an interactive, engaging and entertaining way.

This year’s event includes insight into the improvisational mindset and exercises by John Sweeney, owner of the Brave New Workshop, as well as interactive questions, networking, food and beverages and a panel focused on discussing the thesis of University of Minnesota’s Metropolitan Design Center director Tom Fisher’s new book, “Designing Our way To A Better World.” Sign up for free online through October 10 at

“Minneapolis has always been an innovative city, and through the 2025 Plan this MiX event will provide an opportunity to bring our community together to engage in thought-provoking dialogue while taking part in an entertaining program,” Minneapolis Downtown Council President & CEO Steve Cramer said. “The end goal is to walk away having discussed opportunities to help create a thriving and more vibrant community for all of us who live, work, play and explore here.”

Those who attend MiX will enjoy a thought-provoking conversation about design thinking—during the event, Fisher will outline the design thinking process leading into audience breakout sessions focused on answering a pointed question while creating one key action. The topics will be centered around transportation, education, economy, the environment and healthcare.

A panel comprised of Dan Collison (East Town Business Partnership), Peter Frosch (Greater MSP) and Sondra Samuels (Northside Achievement Zone) will share stories and foster the discussion. Brave New Workshop will support the conversation through improvisational performances that provide humor and entertainment while moving the conversation forward.

This year, with the broader vision of an ideas festival in the making, we’re focusing on the process of design thinking,” MiX co-chairs Eric Caugh and Jennifer Gilhoi said. “Design thinking is a way for people to share challenges and their experiences in a conversation that focuses on an open-minded process, not a predetermined outcome. That’s where you get the really collaborative, inclusive and innovative ideas.”

The key to MiX is initiating a compelling dialogue between people of all different backgrounds within our community in an effort to create positive change for the future. To ensure diversity and inclusivity in our conversations, MiX will again tap into our Luminaries. The MiX Luminaries are Minneapolis leaders in areas from government and culinary to manufacturing and the arts.

This will be the third MiX event since officially launching in 2014. It has continued to evolve to provide a forum for the community to come together. Building off the momentum of previous years, MiX is primed as the vehicle to bring Minneapolis’ vision of ideas to a national and global audience—especially as the Twin Cities prepares itself for 10-day festival surrounding the February 2018 Super Bowl, currently titled Bold North.

MiX is supported by The Minneapolis Downtown Council, The Brave New Workshop, Ryan Companies and media partner The Line Media. The evening’s entertainment and beverage sponsors include MacPhail Center for Music and FINNEGANS. FINNEGANS will be providing beer sampling throughout the event, and food will be on-site for participants to enjoy. Attendees may purchase books prior to and during the event including Tom Fisher’s Designing Our Way to a Better World and John Sweeney of Brave New Workshop and Elena Imaretska, co-authors of The Innovative Mindset. All three authors will be available for book signing after the program’s main portion.

Tag(s): eXchange