Learning in the Twin Cities: Key Takeaways from the 25th Annual Leadership Study Mission

On April 17, nearly 140 Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce members, including business owners, faith leaders, elected officials and nonprofit executives, began their three-day study mission in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. For the 25th consecutive year, the Nashville delegation explored issues of importance to our community in a peer city. The focal points of the 2016 Leadership/Transit Study Missions included regionalism, transportation as an economic driver, affordability and workforce development and retention.

The mission included a number of conversations with both city and regional officials about how they are tackling various challenges that Middle Tennessee is also facing. Of particular interest to the Nashville delegates was the Metropolitan Council, a unique governing body that allows for the seven counties in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA to make decisions with the entire region in mind. Experiencing the Twin Cities was key to the visit, as well. Each of the three days of the mission included multiple options for smaller breakout sessions that examined such topics as the creative economy, the economic impact of the upcoming Super Bowl LII, and workforce development training programs specific to the region’s construction and health care industry needs.

In addition to learning about innovative programs and solutions in the Twin Cities, delegates spent time getting to know each other. The opportunity to learn alongside fellow Chamber members and regional leaders is one of the primary reasons delegates say they choose to participate in the annual study mission event. From exploring Minneapolis by light rail to enjoying a unique view of the Mississippi River from the Mill City Museum, the event’s agenda allowed plenty of time for colleagues and acquaintances to become friends and collaborators.

At the conclusion of the 2016 Leadership/Transit Study Missions, delegates joined event chair Milton Johnson of HCA and Mayor Megan Barry in committing to specific actions upon their return to Middle Tennessee. Commitments included:
  • becoming a member of the Nashville Chamber’s Moving Forward Advisory Forum
  • increasing the frequency with which they ride public transportation
  • engaging their community to raise awareness about the value of public transportation to the region
  • learning more about the issues facing their region through engagement with Vital Signs 2016
  • supporting the youth of their community through employment opportunities
Leadership/Transit Study Missions by the numbers:
Panels and programs: 30
Venues: 25
Speakers: 74
Transit scavenger hunts: 1
Cups of coffee: 1,750

For more information about the Leadership Study Mission, contact me (wweeks@nashvillechamber.com) or Tara Moore (tmoore@nashvillechamber.com).


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