2013 Un/Conference Sponsor Spotlight: Wilder Foundation

The Minnesota Rising 2013 Un/Conference: Cultivating Capacity for Collective Leadership was held on Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 10:00AM – 4:30PM at DLR Group offices in Minneapolis, MN. Hosted by and for emerging leaders, the Un/Conference engaged emerging leaders across Minnesota in an energizing day of innovative learning and dialogue, skill-building, and network-building with their peers!
Minnesota Rising is thankful for our amazing sponsors, without whose support we could not offer sliding-scale admission fees and stellar Un/Conference programming. Below, find a recent blog post from one of our fantastic supporters, the Wilder Foundation, about their amazing work to lift up new leadership
Groundswell…Upsurge…Rise
Damon Shoholm

Groundswell…upsurge…rise. These words all evoke very active images of what I see happening around our shared community – especially as it relates to collaborative leadership. These descriptors also outline a strategy continuum that should move us from thinking to action to lifting up all voices and people in our community!  
There are a number of challenges we face in our community…challenges that require collaboration among a diverse cross section of leaders across communities. Whether it is opportunity gaps, or homelessness, or affordable housing, or advancing social and economic opportunities for our most underserved and underrepresented communities, we achieve success when we’ve come together to share resources and leverage wisdom to develop solutions. Cultivating leadership from a variety of experiences – and diverse faces – is critical to effective collaboration, allowing for greater innovation. We see this groundswell turning to a wave as Millennials continue to enter the workforce with passion, energy and wisdom that will serve the community in the next 30+ years. I believe it is critical to recognize not only the collaborative space that we need to create in order to effectively engage with one another, but also the need to be expansive in our thinking and efforts related to who we bring into that space.
I see these things occurring in places like the Minnesota Rising 2013 Un/Conference which is embracing not only new ideas but new ways of imagining how we share them. I see it in the work of Nexus Community Partners in their efforts to prepare and place people from underrepresented communities at some of the decision making tables of the systems that serve our community through the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute. I see it in the innovation of the Bush Foundation’s Philanthropy Fellows program. I see it in the work the Wilder Foundation is doing on many fronts. Internally, there’s a focus on organizational leadership development. Externally, service to community through programs such as the Neighborhood Leadership Program strengthens and connects leaders across communities.
Are there more examples? No question!
Are they a part of the solutions to challenges we face as a community? No doubt!
Will we find ways to build effective coalitions, continue cultivating leaders in our community and collaborate for better outcomes for our shared community? We better! 
​​Damon Shoholm is Senior Program Manager of Wilder Center for Communities’ Neighborhood Leadership Programs. Follow him on Twitter @DamonShoholm
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