An Open Letter to Minnesota’s International Humanitarian Community


We want to extend a special invitation to you to join us at the October 25th MINN IDEA Summit. You and your organization are part of Minnesota's amazing international outreach community. We believe that, by coming together to share ideas, we will strengthen our international humanitarian network and increase our overall effectiveness.  For the sake of your international beneficiaries we encourage you, your colleagues and supporters to attend.  

This Summit is the largest gathering of international humanitarian, relief and development practitioners and supporters in the state of Minnesota - ever. Over 25 people will be presenting from 20 international organizations. Leaders from academia, government and foundations have been consulted in our planning. Our keynote Nancy Lindborg, USAID Assistant Administrator and Former President of Mercy Corps, is flying from Washington, DC to provide the opening address. We believe that you will find our breakout sessionspanel discussions, IDEA Marketplace, networking hour--and indeed the entire day--stimulating and valuable for your work.

International humanitarian work is tough. It is complex. It is exhausting, and often it is lonely. International practitioners take many forms. It’s the Somali mother, with her children in bed, trying to figure out how to send supplies back home. It’s the Minnesotan church group preparing for its annual service project in Tanzania. It’s the entrepreneur trying to identify a better way to distribute and finance solar ovens in Latin America.

When solving the problems of the world on a day-to-day basis, it can be challenging to take time to reflect, reconsider, reconnect and recharge. Yet our ability to give back to our international beneficiaries and clients is directly proportional to our own ability to be inspired, impassioned and ingenious. 

The purpose of the IDEA Summit is to give our international community in Minnesota an opportunity to take one day out of our demanding schedules to revisit the work we do with the intention of applying more vigor and sensitivity to our international efforts than we gave the day before. 

When so much of our energy is focused internationally, we often forget that our community here--and the connections that we can forge within it--can help us perform our work more effectively. 

Give one day to this unique opportunity to invest in yourself and enhance your international efforts on behalf of those for whom you work so hard. Please register for the MINN IDEA Summit today.  


The following members of the MINN IDEA Summit Advisory Committee

Kjell Bergh, Borton Companies

Jean-Pierre Bongila, Univesity of St Thomas

Jon Halverson, Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Susan Cornell Wilkes, Global Horizons for Women

Jeff Dykstra, Partners in Food Solutions

Mohamed Idris, American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa

Jane Maland Cady, McKnight Foundation

Eric Schwartz, Humphrey School of Public Policy