Business vitality’s secret weapon: stronger ties to higher ed

Guest Blogger: Steve Cramer, President and CEO at Minneapolis Downtown Council

It’s just about a mile and half between downtown Minneapolis and the campus of the University of Minnesota. But, for too long, it’s felt as though a million miles have separated these centers of business and learning. One of the goals of 2025 Downtown Council strategic plan has been to strengthen the ties between the downtown business community and the University.

It’s a big aspirational goal, but we’ve been steadily operationalizing it since our latest plan was realized in 2011. From the conversations we had with our own board, of which YA President and CEO Chris Behrens is a member, the idea of a conference to bring these resources together began to emerge.

Sparking action in marketing
That’s why I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to be a part of the planning and development for the inaugural Ignite ’17 conference, to be held at the University of Minnesota on October 19. We hope it becomes a lasting tradition for our business and academic communities, and further establishes the reputation of Minneapolis as a place for big ideas and bold action.

The conference is sponsored by The Institute for Research in Marketing at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and YA, an industry leader in delivering high-impact marketing promotions. At each session, business scholars and corporate leaders will be co-presenting academic findings and real-world results. It’s a unique conference approach that fuses two distinct marketing perspectives, and I’m convinced that attendees will gain practical, data-driven insights through a combination of theoretical knowledge and real-world lessons.

See you October 19
By sharing our best thinking and connecting with one another, I hope that we’ll be taking yet another step to increase the ties between our downtown businesses and the University community, and to increase the vitality of our downtown in a significant way. If you’d like to learn more, I’d love to have the opportunity to connect with you on October 19. You can register for Ignite ’17 here.

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