Connect. Collaborate. Create community change.

Organizational Partners

Acara

Acara

Acara, a joint program of the Institute on the Environment  and the College of Science and Engineering, at the University of Minnesota, gives emerging entrepreneurs a chance to envision and launch successful social businesses. Since 2009, more than 300 students from 20 universities have participated in Acara’s programs, guided by mentors in academia and industry to collaboratively explore business concepts and implement sustainable solutions while developing their leadership skills.

Share
DualCurrency Systems

DualCurrency Systems

New money for healthy communities:

An environmentally-sustainable and socially-just global economy calls for game-changing innovation. Dual currency commerce can benefit businesses, consumers, communities and the environment alike.

Today, businesses reward consumer spending with a myriad of loyalty rewards from frequent flyer miles and credit card points to rebates and discounts. Why not also reward socially responsible and sustainable living behaviors: community volunteerism; improved academic performance by youth; green energy usage; money-saving health and wellness efforts and so forth?

It can be done:

DualCurrency Systems (DCS) has devised an enhancement to credit cards and e-commerce that supports sustainable economic development on a more level economic playing field – more people getting what they need without resorting to taxes or charity. By capturing overlooked wealth, such as empty restaurant tables, empty airline seats, empty college desks and excess retail inventory, the DCS innovation addresses a significant inefficiency in the market. In turn, this real wealth creates a next generation of rewards for socially responsible and sustainable living activities.

Everyone wins with dual currency commerce:

  • Merchants accept rewards for dual currency deals on their unused capacity
  • Communities mobilize the untapped time and talents of people
  • Cross-sector coalitions arise from revenue sharing with community organizations
  • New payments industry products and revenues drive rapid global adoption

More information

Share
YouthThrive

YouthThrive

Our purpose is to inspire and engage youth and adults through education, leadership, and service to integrate peace-making activities into their lives, their communities, and the world.

More Information

Share
Springboard For The Arts

Springboard For The Arts

Springboard for the Arts’ mission is to cultivate a vibrant arts community by connecting artists with the skills, contacts, information and services they need to make a living and a life.

 

More information

Share
Human Systems Dynamics

Human Systems Dynamics

HSD: Change the world by changing how people think about the world.

In today’s global and economic climate, things are changing quickly. Each day brings new surprises and more uncertainty about what the future will hold. Now more than ever, you need to learn ways to understand and respond to our environment. It’s critical to your success in this changing world. HSD can help.

Human Systems Dynamics uses principles from the new sciences to help professionals understand and influence their systems to develop positive and coherent options for action, and help them achieve greater success across all levels. Take a moment to look through our website and read about the science, applications, people, and solutions of HSD.

More Information

Share
The Improve Group

The Improve Group

 

The Improve Group provides training, in partnership with the Lab, on evaluating innovative projects.

Working with organizations to make the most of information, navigate complexity and ensure investments of time and money are impactful.

More information

Share
Minnesota Technology of Participation

Minnesota Technology of Participation

For over 40 years, Technology of Participation (ToP®) methods have been developing in locations all over the world.  In every time zone and in private, public and community settings ToP methods have been bringing high levels of participation to the decision making process while embedding the ability to create specific customized applications.   ToP values creative thinking, consensus-based decision making, and high levels of participation. ToP trained facilitators are skilled, professional and dedicated to the wisdom of the group

During a “Technology of Participation®” process, participants acquire practical skills for facilitation and training that focus on group participation and collaborative decision-making. This work emphasizes focusing the collective wisdom of the group to address workplace challenges. ToP training and facilitation teams use ToP methods as the foundation for all work in facilitation, consulting and community development.

The Technology of Participation (ToP)® is…

* A structured approach that sparks individual creativity and recognizes and honors all contributions A way for teams to deal with large amounts of data in a short period of time
* A methodology that pools participant’s contributions into larger and information rich patterns,
tools and processes that enable teams to foster an emphasis on common ground and to deal effectively with diversity and avoid conflict and polarization
* A process that builds commitment by assuring effective action
* A world renowned approach that enables strong participation in large as well as small groups

ToP® is the registered trademark of the Institute of Cultural Affairs.

More Information

Share
U of M Center for Spirituality and Healing

U of M Center for Spirituality and Healing

 

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing enriches health and well-being by providing high-quality interdisciplinary education, conducting rigorous research, and delivering innovative programs that advance integrative health and healing.

For more information

Share
Heartland

Heartland

Our Core Beliefs

Philosophically, core beliefs inform our work and are foundational to the values we hold and the principles by which we operate.

We believe:
* A leader is anyone whose intention is to step forward to serve in these times;
* Leadership development is rooted in personal and human development;
* Organizational transformation is rooted in individual transformation;
* Reflection is a core leadership competency, and one which is often minimized or overlooked;
* Effective leaders combine their head and heart when making business decisions;
* Humans learn best in a social context, within a community of others, and through storytelling and conversation;
* Leaders are hungering for a time out for deep, genuine, transformative conversation;
* Leadership is a shared activity;
* Essential conversation will change us and the world.

For more information about Heartland

Share
Mentor Planet

Mentor Planet

MentorPlanet connects Lab participants with Social Innovation Mentors. Visit their website to either find a mentor or become a mentor.

Connecting People.
Changing the World.

Our Mission (What we do)

Our mission is to build strong, engaged mentoring relationships for social innovators, social entrepreneurs, change-agents, and leaders at all levels — so we can accelerate learning, spur innovation, and increase impact.

Our Vision (Why we do it)

We want high-impact social innovators to thrive. We want social enterprise to become the new norm:

  • where public good becomes the mainstream of business and
  • nonprofits scale and increase impact.

We want to solve the world’s complex problems faster, so we can all lead happier, more meaningful lives.

What We Do (How it works)

The Mentor Planet network connects social innovators — social entrepreneurs, change-agents, and leaders at all levels — with mentors who are experienced professionals. Our mentors provide real-world experience, expertise, and insight in long-term supportive relationships. Mentors expand our limits by being role models, bringing new experiences, and opening doors in ways that are only possible through human interaction. It’s this mix of real-world experience combined with personal chemistry and trust that can really foster meaningful change. Mentoring is leadership in action.

Our social innovators don’t fit into a narrow definition — neither do our mentors. They work for established businesses, start-ups, nonprofits and government organizations. They work in virtually every type of job — from accountant to activist.

Once you sign up, you complete a profile describing yourself and what you want to learn or the experience you have to share. You can browse or conduct a keyword search for a variety of choices. You can reach out to others who have joined Mentor Planet through our site — to search for a mentor-match as well as for networking and informational interviews.

Once you have found someone who seems like a potential match, you can exchange personal contact information to explore next-steps. We recommend you interview at least three people for potential matches. Nothing can replace the personal interaction.

Either the social innovators or mentors can suggest a match. Once you both agree to the match, you can access the tips, tools, and other resources that are available to you for free: sample profiles, sample goal plans, tips for choosing a mentor and starting your relationship, and much more.

Mentoring relationships are similar to other relationships. They require care and nurturing. They are organic and dynamic — they evolve as the people involved grow and adapt with one another. Building trust takes time. It is an essential ingredient, one which makes meaningful feedback and real progress possible. Being engaged in a mentoring relationship can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences.

For more information.

Share
Bush Foundation

Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation provides funding for the Lab and the InCommons initiative of the foundation has been a primary partner in developing the Lab and doing community engagement related to the Lab.

The mission of the Bush Foundation is to be a catalyst for the courageous leadership necessary to create sustainable solutions to tough public problems and ensure community vitality. The Foundation was established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, and today works in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area.

For more information

Share