2017 Annual Conference

Conference Highlights

Closing Keynote Speaker

Colonel Mark "Puck" Mykleby, USMC (Ret): A retired U.S. Marine, Mark Mykleby is the former co-director of the Strategic Innovation Lab at Case Western Reserve University and co-founder of the Long Haul Capital Group, a company dedicated to creating sustainable, walkable and healthy communities.

He is also one of the authors of The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America’s Prosperity, Security and Sustainability in the 21st Century, which details a business plan for America, born at the Pentagon, that embeds sustainability as a national strategic imperative.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former fighter pilot, he developed strategy at the U.S. Special Operations Command and served as a special strategic assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired from the Marine Corps in August 2011.

Read his full bio here

Saint Paul Spotlight: A TFN Q&A with Col. Mark Mykleby


Post-election Panel

Moving Forward: Philanthropy and the New Political Landscape

In the aftermath of an election that revealed deep divisions across the U.S., how can philanthropy effectively navigate the road ahead?

Join us for a panel discussion that will provide post-election insight on issues such as equity, economic opportunity and environmental stewardship.
Our speakers will offer analyses on these issues of importance to our funder community, as well as forward-looking strategies to address challenges and opportunities at the federal, state and local levels.

Pillsbury House Theatre

Opening Plenary: Breaking Ice

Don't miss out on our Opening Plenary session featuring Breaking Ice, one of Pillsbury House Theatre’s signature, award-winning programs. This entertaining and thought-provoking theater experience — customized for TFN's annual conference — seeks to foster better understanding and communication around difficult issues.

Breaking Ice performances use drama, humor, poetry and monologue to explore how systemic inequity and unconscious bias impacts relationships, creates friction and impedes progress. An organized discussion facilitated by a trained Breaking Ice performer follows each performance and uses deep reflection and dialogue as a springboard to positive action.

PLACES Fellows

Stay Connected!

Current and former PLACES fellows will have a chance to learn and network at the Third Annual PLACES Alumni Gathering, March 19-21, during the Funders' Network Annual Conference in Saint Paul. Don't miss out on a chance to connect with PLACES fellows past and present!

- Sunday, March 19: PLACES Alumni informal class-specific dinner/meet ups. (Details to come)

- Monday, March 20: PLACES Alumni Gathering, 8:00-11:30 a.m. Facilitated learning and discussions on how to approach issues of race, equity and inclusion in your grantmaking, practicing self-care and building networks. Hosted by the Neighborhood House.

- Tuesday, March 21: PLACES Alumni Book Club Breakfast. Please join fellow alumni for a discussion about A Good Time For The Truth: Race in Minnesota, edited by . Please read the book ahead of time and join us for a book club-style conversation. Open to all fellows and conference attendees. Please purchase the book ($18.95) and read in advance.

Youth and adult artists at Juxtapostion Arts' Public Art Studio designed this Northside mural, titled Pre-Conference Tour & Institute

Join us for a Sunday Pre-Conference Tour that explores how artists and arts organizations are leading equitable growth in the Twin Cities. We’ll also offer a Monday morning Pre-Conference Institute that examines how communities across the country are tackling climate change issues.


Pre-Conference Tour: Art & Equitable Development

11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 19

Join Saint Paul native Erik Takeshita, portfolio director for community creativity at the Bush Foundation, and Regina R. Smith, managing director of The Kresge Foundation’s Arts & Culture Program, as they lead a bus tour showcasing how artists and culture-bearers are leading equitable community development in three Minneapolis-Saint Paul neighborhoods.

“The power of art and culture has been leveraged to transform the social, physical and economic landscape of neighborhoods across the region," says Erik, who previously served as a senior policy aide to the mayor of Minneapolis, and the national director for creative placemaking at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). “Join us as we trace how artists and change-makers have led equitable development, and learn how you too can initiate and support these kinds of efforts in your community!”

On this tour we will meet artist-leaders from three inspirational neighborhoods:

▪ Lyn-Lake: Learn how Intermedia Arts turned an old car repair shop into a thriving center that cultivates artists as community leaders and collaborates with the City of Minneapolis.

▪ North Minneapolis: Meet with the leaders at Juxtaposition Arts, whose art center has helped anchor neighborhood revitalization, while also fostering opportunities for young people to lead arts-based enterprises.

▪ Little Mekong/Historic Rondo: See how Springboard for the Arts works with artists to maintain neighborhood identity amid development pressures, as well as how CDCs and other business associations are integrating arts and culture into their work to advance social and economic growth.

If you’d like to join us on the Pre-Conference Tour: Arts and Equitable Development, please let us know when you register for the conference. Deadline to register for the tour is March 8.

Pre-Conference Institute: The Next Frontier — Climate Leadership and City Sustainability

9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 20

InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront

Join Jessica Boehland, senior program officer at The Kresge Foundation and Darryl Young, director of sustainable cities for The Summit Foundation, for a deep-dive session that explores how cities and regions across the country are tackling climate mitigation and adaptation. While climate change poses many dangers, addressing these dangers also provides an opportunity to build a more sustainable world, one that is more equitable and fair.
Our Pre-Conference Institute will give funders a sense of the real world successes being achieved — and the challenges that remain. Learn from environmental thought-leaders, municipal sustainability officers and other experts during our Pre-Conference Institute:
Adaptation and Resilience: Preparing Cities for Climate Change; How Funders Can Help
Our first session will provide funders with a sense of the state of climate preparedness planning and implementation, highlighting nine critical capacities needed in communities, and feature city-led work underway in Boston and Salt Lake City.
Buildings and Renewables: The Next Generation of Highly Efficient Buildings is Here
We’ve come far in creating highly efficient buildings that create renewable energy onsite. During our second session, we’ll look at how cities are leading on buildings and renewables, as well as efforts to ensure that climate mitigation strategies incorporate an emphasis on equity.