MINN Summit


The MINN Summit is an annual conference offering local organizations and globally-minded individuals a forum to connect, share, and learn. MINN’s annual Summit provides exciting professional development opportunities, offers insights, and sparks conversations that will propel international development success in a changing world.


Register for the eighth annual virtual MINN Summit on October 9, 2020! Register today.


Keynote Speakers:

We're thrilled to announce our MINN Summit keynote speakers, Amira Adawe and Degan Ali.

Amira has 15+ years experience working in public health including local, state and community-based public health programs, research and policy. She is the Founder & Executive Director of The Beautywell Project.

Degan Ali has more than 20 years of hands-on experience in the humanitarian and development field. Degan is a strong believer in transforming the current aid system to give more power and voice to local communities and civil society organizations. Following this belief, Degan continues to innovate and develop new solutions to build the infrastructure that will truly shift power and resources, including co-founding the Network for Empowered Aid Response (NEAR) and serving as Executive Director of Adeso.

Keynote Panel:

We're are excited to welcome a group of highly talented panelists. They will lead a discussion on how the international development community in Minnesota can lead the way forward, at this moment in time, as we fight two deadly viruses, Covid19 and racial injustice. They will also discuss funding strategy changes in these times of uncertainty. Do you have questions for our panelists? Submit them here.

Breakout Speakers:

We're delighted to host these amazing breakout speakers who are experts in their field! Read more about them here.


9:00 AM – 10:10 AM Morning Keynote Address

  • Degan Ali - Executive Director of Adeso

10:10 AM – 10:15 AM Remarks + Demo

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM Break

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM Morning Keynote Panel

11:45 PM – 12:30 PM Lunch Break. Feel free to watch the special featured demos from our sponsors and partners while you enjoy your lunch On Zoom Webinar!

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Afternoon Breakout Session 

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Afternoon Keynote Address

3:00 PM – 3:15 PM Closing Remarks – Demos

Breakout Session Descriptions:

Session Title: The Empowered Advocate: Reclaiming Identity and Direction

Presenter: Vic Massaglia

Social justice work can leave one feeling off-balanced, pulled in multiple directions, and at times, lose a sense of direction. Gallup found that nearly 1 in 4 employees reported they often or always feel burnout and 44% feel it sometimes. As leaders and activists, we are not immune to this and often fail to make space to reflect and recharge so that we can be better and do better for the people we serve and the causes we advocate for. This program provides time for reflection and exploration as we develop a leadership/activist philosophy statement to reclaim our identity, guide our work, and build our confidence.

Session Title: Solutions Salon

Presenters: Jill LaLonde, Imee Cambronero, and Nicki Hangsleben

Join hosts Sara & Jill to meet up with colleagues and open-source the challenges you experience -- big or small -- in your international development and humanitarian work. The Solutions Salon is an open space that is based on a simple model: share a challenge or question you are facing and would like advice or new perspectives on. The Salon features up to 6 breakout rooms, organized by theme. Choose the topic you are most interested in discussing and spend your time working through issues in a rapid-fire manner. Initial breakout room topics will be: finance and budgeting, evaluation and learning, communications, fundraising, project implementation, board management. At the start of the session, we will invite new topics of interest to participants and will adapt breakout rooms to group desires. Attendees will walk away having heard a variety of perspectives and experiences from colleagues and increased their network!

Session Title: Cultural Connections: A Strategy for Deepening Participation in Transformational Development

Presenter: Tolulope Ola

Delivering transformational development programs and services with improved outcomes should involve a power balance between people receiving services and professionals delivering services. There is an assumption at play in the work of international development that all projects are wanted and are useful in the targeted communities. Contrary to this assumption, not all programs are effective or helpful when the targeted communities are not meaningfully engaged. In order to meaningfully engage communities, there is a need to understand the role that cultural connection plays. To be more effective in working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, this session will inspire and equip attendees on how to develop and practice capacities that build their cultural intelligence as effective emerging and established leaders in global service.

Session Title: This is How We've Always Done It: The Case for Disrupting Your Storytelling

Presenter: Katie Koranda

By now, many people working in nonprofits know the importance of ethical storytelling, but convincing our leaders can be a challenge. This session would cover the basics of ethical, asset-based storytelling and how to build a case for it.

Session Title: Speedy Logic Modeling

Presenter: Kayla Meyers and Sara McGarraguh

Do you have a grant application coming up or a logic model that could use a good review? Join evaluation consulting experts and peers to jumpstart your process of revamping or sketching out a program logic model. This will be a speed session intended for people who already know what a logic model is (and its main components) and need a workshopping space. During this session, you will get some quick tips on ways to characterize activities, outputs, and outcomes. Then you will have a chance to share what you have (or are building) with the facilitators and colleagues to feel confident in your descriptions and logic. You will also learn more about common implementation assumptions that may help you decide when outcomes are likely to come to fruition.

To learn more about our 2019 MINN Summit, check out our Past Summit Highlights. Questions? Read the Summit FAQ or contact our team: [email protected].


2020 Summit Sponsors

These organizations help us make the MINN Summit possible each year. Join us in thanking them!




























Thanks to St. Catherine's University!

MINN Fellows




Community Partner



























  • Alyce Eaton
  • Emily Beltmann-Swenson
  • Natasha Brownlee
  • Laurel Stoneking
  • Krister Karlsson
  • Patrick Plonski
  • Shari Mohabir
  • Kayla Meyers
  • Sara Stalland McGarraugh