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Building Healthy Communities

This session will focus on how communities are coming together to think about the health and well-being of their residents. It will explore three models for how improvements and services ?happen? in communities; the top-down model, the bottom-up or grassroots model, and the more recent ?lateral? model, where local residents are part of the planning and delivery of services. From community policing, to aging-in-place services, to addressing school readiness issues, we will explore how communities are deciding on the breadth of their own community-wide services and an appropriate delivery model to improve the outcomes for their residents.

As a result of this session, you should:

  1. Gain a clear picture of what is meant by community health and how that can be measured.
  2. Acquire new perspectives on various funding and service delivery models that address community health.
  3. Understand the new mandate for greater systems integration and how communities are becoming key players in developing solutions for an otherwise fragmented system.

Steering and Rowing in Community Development: Who Decides What is To Be Done

This session will focus on inner-city community building and development from the perspective of self-determination and self-help. These communities have eluded most attempts of both government and the private sector to help and are seldom allowed to determine their own futures. We will explore the differences between authority and responsibility and examine why inner-city communities are typically given responsibility for solving community problems but seldom given the authority to decide what to work on or how to address problems. A number of examples of inner-city community self-determination with attention to both advantages and limitations of these approaches will be examined.

As a result of this session, you should:

  1. Have greater appreciation of ?the fourth sector?, and acquire a better understanding of community development in all of its dimensions?social, cultural, economic and political.
  2. Understand why most public policy favors individual development projects over community development initiatives.
  3.  Understand the important difference between authority and responsibility?between steering and rowing?and why most public policy favors projects where authority is vested outside inner-city communities.
  4. Become familiar with examples of successful community-driven development, as well as examples where things did not work out so well. 

Ethical Practices in Community Building

Because human beings are social creatures, some kind of community is always already being generated in neighborhoods, towns and cities. The quality of community varies, however, with the effectiveness, fairness, and inclusively of its practices. This session will identify essential practices and how they can be improved?and thus how leaders can build stronger, safer, and more just communities.

As a result of this session, you should:

  1. Better understand the meaning and importance of ethical community building practices.
  2. Be able to recognize the kinds of settings that can be used or created to foster authentic community building practices.
  3. Be better able to identify and implement key practices for successful community building. 

Culture, Power and Transformation in American Indian and Communities of Color

This session will focus on the unique and shared experiences of American Indian communities and communities of color as they have actively engaged in promoting a more open, culturally respectful political economy in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. The dynamics of racism and genocide have ?colored? and continue to ?color? public policy in Minnesota. The ?spin? promoted by the media and conventional social science are gross misrepresentations of
reality. A reorientation to the dynamics of public policy, community organizing and community development from the perspectives and experiences of Native American communities and communities of color will be provided.

As a result of this session, you should:

  1. Appreciate that our discourse on public policy and community development has been shaped by a narrow set of interests.
  2. Better understand the dynamics of marginalization of indigenous communities and communities of color from a historical perspective.
  3. Better understand the impacts of public policy on indigenous communities and communities of color from World War II to the present.
  4. Become familiar with specific examples of community building and social transformation efforts in indigenous communities and communities of color, both successes and failures. 

Faith, Spirituality and Community Building

Ask any member of Alcoholics Anonymous, ask many writers and artists, ask families of people with mental illness, ask members of religious/faith communities, and they will tell you that community is not just an add-on to their lives, but THE essential. Community is central to recovery, essential to the writing process, essential to spiritual life for many, many people. Much as our individualistic culture may pretend otherwise, in the deepest matters of life we cannot do it alone; nor do we have to. The powerful presence of faith-based communities is often overlooked, yet they are on the forefront of running foodshelves, homeless shelters, building affordable housing and helping inner city kids? programs. Appreciating, understanding and working respectfully with these communities is now much more critical for public and nonprofit administrators.

As a result of this session, you should:

  1. Better understand the communities on whose shoulders we stand; aware that each of us owes our hope and faith to others.
  2. Be able to better identify some of the characteristics unique to communities that center around healing, faith and artistic practice.
  3. Gain more appreciation for the role these communities play in the Twin Cities, especially in public life.
  4. Acquire new perspectives on your own community involvements both through and outside of paid professional work.

Building Community in the Increasingly Diverse ?Burbs

This session will focus on many facets of building community in the suburbs?where the word ?community? is often and sometimes inaccurately, preceded by the word ?bedroom?. A first ring Twin Cities suburb will be featured and you will hear about the efforts being made to strengthen their community on an intergovernmental, citywide, neighborhood, development and even block level. This is being done in the context of an ongoing strategic visioning process involving all segments of the community.

As a result of this session, you should:

  1. Better understand how a community-wide strategic planning process can be developed and successfully implemented through partnerships between city government, schools, business and engaged citizens.
  2. Learn how one of the nation?s first successful ?asset-building? efforts on behalf of children has been developed and sustained.
  3. Learn about some ways in which realization of vision outcomes can be measured and monitored over time and used for allocating and reallocating community resources.

Public Interests, Public Policies, and Communities

This session will have a dual focus. It will begin with a panel of practitioners who have helped to develop and sustain communities around important public issues and specialized constituencies concerned about those issues. Examples include mental health, family and childrens issues, affordable housing and environmental protection/sustainability.

It will also provide an opportunity for participants to bring together learning from all of the prior sessions and develop meaningful take-away learning themes.

As a result of this session, you should:

  1. Better understand how public interest-based communities are organized and sustained.
  2. Have a clearer idea of how public interest-based communities impact public policy in Minnesota.
  3. Assess your own learning from this certificate program and begin to identify additional learning about community building that you would like to pursue in the future. 

mCommerce: Extending the Enterprise

The use of wireless technology is the next logical step in expanding the enterprises delivery mechanisms to cut costs and increase revenues. Mobile Commerce (mCommerce) uses wireless network technologies, combined with a mobile network enabled device, and an application to increase the use and availability of content. The content provided by an enterprise or service provider will create opportunities that will have a dramatic impact on existing business models. Other countries remain well ahead of the United States in providing a unified standard wireless platform. As with most technologies the area is fraught with wireless specific terminology and little understanding of the business justification for incurring the implementation and ongoing support costs.

As organizations such as Verizon, Cingular, Bell South and AT&T spend billions of dollars to create wireless infrastructures that will support the ?wireless web? the opportunities for always on, always available networks will give content providers and enterprises business opportunities to be in front of the user continually. The presentation will explore some of the implementations of wireless technology in the evolution of technological business opportunities. McDonald?s Restaurants in Japan will provide access points for nearly 4000 locations in the near future. College campuses around the country are providing wireless access to their students and faculty. AT&T has started its mLife offering and Amtrack is offering wireless access on its most popular routes. The presentation will address some of the business opportunities where mobile technology is being used to achieve a business advantage. An emphasis will be placed on identifying initiatives and present reasons for committing the resources to implement wireless technology and applications.

The presentation will use case examples to help illustrate the salient points and discuss wireless technology in terms of existing and emerging business models.
Microsoft?s .NET Framework

Microsoft's .NET Framework was officially released a year ago. Nonetheless, many seasoned IS professionals are still asking, "What is it?" In this presentation, Tom Fischer offers a brief technical overview of Microsoft's latest "big" technology. Tom, an experienced .NET solution developer and author, will also provide some observations from the field.
Archeology of Legacy Systems

Legacy systems are a definite problem in most organizations. Unraveling the various problems within a legacy system can be difficult if not impossible. On inheriting such a system, I decided that the combination of the methods of hermeneutics and discourse analysis provided a process for unraveling the difficulties within the system.
To divide the code into periscopes and understand the difference between these is important to understanding the code itself. Understanding the discourse or discourses that are inherent in an application and its use is also important to the understanding of the dynamics of changing the code. This means recognizing the discourse between the code, the database, the user, and the various programmers who work or have worked on this system in the past.
The most important issue is that there are always layers of discourse. The analyst needs to use the methods of archeology in order to recognize and understand these layers. This perspective can help develop a tradition of system methodology that will aid in the difficult work of maintaining legacy systems.
Dealing with Trade Barriers

Trade barriers constrain a firm?s ability to operate efficiently in the global marketplace, increasing its costs and reducing profit margins; they also increase costs to consumers, thereby reducing demand. Barriers raise the costs both of exporting and importing, and in so doing may put a firm at a competitive disadvantage. Trade barriers take a variety of forms: Tariffs; Subsidies; Embargoes and Sanctions; Export Controls; Import Controls; Local Content Requirements; Non-tariff Barriers; Dumping, etc.

This seminar will identify the reasons why governments impose barriers; the different types of barriers used; the effects they have on international business operations, and strategies that firms can adopt to help mitigate their negative effects.

A representative from a local company will share experiences of dealing with the effects of trade barriers.

Who Should Attend?

Professionals who need to know the details about trade barriers affecting their business dealings with other countries; compliance with U.S. restrictions; effects on pricing (import and export); impact on marketing strategies; traffic and logistics effects.
International Deal-Making: Creating a Competitive Edge
The training most of us have ever had in negotiation theory and practice has been U.S.-oriented, and when we try to apply these domestic methods in other countries, we often find ourselves at a disadvantage: they simply don?t view the negotiation process the way we do. While the definition of negotiating is generally agreed, the methods and expectations of a negotiation session differ from country to country.

The Bottom Line for anyone involved in trying to negotiate a deal internationally is that both parties have to see the outcome as mutually beneficial. Negotiating across cultural barriers is a critical skill that can occupy as much as 50% of an international manager?s time; this program is about helping you to become a better cross-cultural negotiator.

A guest speaker will share experiences about negotiating business deals overseas.

Who Should Attend?

Managers in every functional area of responsibility, in all industry types, especially executives in such areas as marketing, sales, mergers and acquisitions, purchasing, human resources, strategy, and finance.
Preferential Trade Programs: Impact on Minnesota Businesses

Every exporter and importer is affected to a greater or lesser extent by Preferential Trade Programs. These are programs like NAFTA, the EU, ASEAN, MERCOSUR, etc. The programs generally aim to cut the costs of doing business between member countries by reducing trade barriers, but at the same time they tend to increase the costs of doing business with these members for countries outside the agreement.
This seminar will begin with an overview of the different levels of economic integration (free trade areas, customs unions, common markets, etc.), identify which countries are signatories to each of the agreements around the world, and then focus on the major elements that impact Minnesota companies on a day-to-day basis.

A representative of a local company will discuss the details of how these agreements have affected their costs of engaging in international trade.

Who Should Attend?

Professionals responsible for knowledge about, and compliance with, preferential trade agreement rules; sales (impact on pricing); marketing (what is and is not allowed); purchasing; law (contract implications); freight forwarders (packaging, labeling, shipping).

International Political Risk Analysis

Most companies doing business overseas are familiar with the risks of their international financial exposure, but far too few take the time to assess the potential impact of their political risk exposure.

This seminar will discuss the extent to which politics in target countries can have a negative impact on your firm's assets, costs or revenues. The main topics to be covered include political risk assessment, political risk management, and how to put in place a management strategy that will reduce uncertainty in your international business dealings to acceptable levels. This will include risk insurance and financial risk management options. Resources available to help you determine country risk will also be presented.

Local company representatives will discuss their political risk management strategies.

Who Should Attend?

Executive management, sales and marketing executives and team members, legal counsel and international consultants

Why Waste Money on Decision Support Systems? The Case for Using Excel for Advanced Business Problems

Excel is the most widely used business tool today. This presentation will present some of the features that will allow organizations to conduct return on investment and other business functions. This presentation will use case examples to help illustrate the salient points and discuss technology in terms of existing and emerging business models.

Process Modeling: An Overview
Visual Process Modeling (VPM) is rapidly evolving as a critical way for organizations to document existing processes, develop reengineering strategies, and develop new processes. These methods lead logically to designs for new or revised information systems, operational and tactical management and communication of work design. Workflow analysis is now closely linked to this approach in process-oriented projects.

This seminar will introduce basic concepts in this area, and explain the disciplines required to develop a visual process modeling capability in your organization. We will show how use of these approaches leads to major organizational benefits and return on investment.

Business Valuation Seminar 

A unique and revolutionary approach which covers the appraisal process from obtaining the assignment to completing the appraisal report. Presented by nationally recognized professional appraiser and accompanied by a course book which will be a valuable addition to one?s resource library.

Path to AIBA Designation

The AIBA Designation will be awarded to Workshop attendees who attend each session, pass the written exam, and submit a written business appraisal which passes peer review. The workshop will give you the tools to write a full appraisal report, which will be critiqued in depth.

"Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Portfolio Management without the Bureaucracy"-  
The prevailing conception of enterprise portfolio management includes the following: information about business and manufacturing/ service technology plans, business investment priorities, current information on projects/programs, and a sense of platform infrastructure. This largely implies a methodology and/or some tools to assist in the process, as well as a desired outcome of an orchestrated organizational approach to business investment decisions that share common benefits, costs, and risk factors. Unfortunately, this message is also LADEN with bureaucratic implications.
This session addresses how intended best practices for projects and programs, along with the selection, control, evaluation, and life cycle management of project investments can be realized in a pragmatic manner. Moreover, this session will demonstrate how the visibility of the results of this tested, distinctive, and flexible approach can be highlighted in the context of an enterprise business model.

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