The new MNovation Seminar Series is a unique opportunity for professionals at all levels to spark innovative thinking and behaviors by participating in interactive sessions with some of Minnesota’s top innovators in a full-day session at the Brave New Workshop’s Experimental Thinking Centre (ETC).
Attendees will learn and practice five behaviors proven to spark innovation, and increase the amount of time we spend in a mindset of discovery. This series is the first of its kind, combining the resources of innovation behavioralist, author and trainer John Sweeney and the Brave New Workshop’s Creative Outreach, some of Minnesota’s most innovative people and organizations, and media partner Twin Cities Business magazine.
Ryan Armbruster, Co-founder and Chief Experience Officer at Harken Health, a new type of healthcare company that is set to reinvent the healthcare experience. Previously Ryan focused on building and managing enterprise-wide structures and processes that enhanced organizational innovation at UnitedHealth Group. As Vice President, Innovation, his efforts ranged from cultural initiatives to innovation strategy to the creation and direction of the UnitedHealth Group Human Centered Design Studio.
Dale Nitschke, former President of Target.com, which he built from the start-up stage to more than $1 billion in business. Dale also built the Target Guest Database, an initiative that delivered direct marketing and guest insight capabilities to the Target enterprise and readied the organization for the digital age. Dale is currently a managing partner at Ovative/Group, an innovative, Minneapolis-based digital strategy firm.
Jesse Roesler, an Emmy-awarded filmmaker whose motion pictures have been broadcast and screened in more than a dozen countries in festivals such as South by Southwest and Hot Docs. Jesse’s debut feature film, THE STARFISH THROWERS was named the most heartwarming film of 2014 by The Huffington Post. Jesse is also co-founder of Bolster - a creative agency specializing in content marketing.
Kristy Lynn Allen, founder and head beekeeper of The Beez Kneez, an award-winning social enterprise, named one of the 50 coolest new businesses in the U.S. by Business Insider. The Beez Kneez,LLC is working to revive the hive for healthy bees by bicycle-powered honey production and delivery, beekeeper services at the Beez Kneez Honey House which is the first ever pedal-powered community honey house and beekeeper education classes via Camp Beez Kneez.
Kim Brown, president of JNBA Financial Advisors, a 36-year-old, independent, fee-only wealth management firm. With a background in marketing, Kim has been instrumental in shifting JNBA to a team-based customer-service approach and elevating the firm’s profile in Minnesota and across the country. She has also taken a national leadership role as a proponent of independence in the wealth-management industry, and has focused her—and her firm’s—efforts on how to best prepare the next generation of financial advisors to address the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow’s investors.
Kieran Folliard, a visionary entrepreneur and founder of 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey, multiple successful restaurants and bars, and a brand new social venture, The Food Building, which is focused on creating an innovation space for local, artisanal food makers.
Kevin Wilde, former Chief Learning Officer for General Mills, author and Executive Leadership Fellow at the Carlson School of Business. As a result of Kevin's efforts General Mills has been consistently recognized for its innovative development work. Currently Kevin contributes his enormous talent and insights to the overall advancement of leadership development at the business school.
Rick Kupchella, who has turned a decades-long career as an Emmy award-winning TV news anchor and investigative reporter into entrepreneurial new media spaces. Specializing in content strategy and production, including the use of news-as-content-marketing, his companies – PresentNation, the i.e. network and GoKart Labs – help brands develop an everyday relevance with their consumer base.
Vineeta Sawkar, a 5-time Emmy award-winning journalist now using her two decades of television experience to boost online video coverage for StarTribune.com. Drawing on her deep understanding of the nature and power of video storytelling, she works with Star Tribune reporters and editors across the newsroom and help StarTribune.com continue to refine and expand its video-centric newsgathering and delivery resources.
Pete Saari, who co-founded Eden Prairie-based 3D-printed custom urn company Foreverence to bring creativity and innovation to the funeral services market. With a background in management, sales leadership and business ownership, he’s worked in large corporate environments as well as startups, early stage ventures and turnarounds across multiple industries.
Emily Torgrimson, is the Executive Director and co-founder of Eat for Equity, an innovative organization which builds a culture of generosity through sustainable community feasts. Combining her passions for food, community, and justice, Emily co-founded Eat for Equity in Boston in 2006, brought it to Minneapolis and has transformed it from an idea to a movement with chapters in 10 cities. An energetic and resourceful community builder, she has organized over hundreds of benefit dinners, collaborating with farmers, artists, and community organizations.
Pete Swenson, is Director, Sustainable Enterprise at Tennant Company where he has been saying “yes and” (most of the time) for over 14 years. Before beginning his current position in February 2013, Pete was Director of Global Advanced Products & Technology. The Tennant Company vision is: “We will lead our global industry in sustainable cleaning innovation that empowers our customers to create a cleaner, safer and healthier world.” Tennant invests in and emphasizes innovative, sustainable solutions for customers and sustainability across its value chain.
Joseph Kuefler, Creative Director and Product Director at The Big Know. By day, Joseph works in Minneapolis as an invention & design strategist at GoKart Labs where he helps businesses create their future. Most recently he became a part of the leadership team of the Big Know, an innovative platform which delivers free courses created by world-class organizations and taught by trusted experts. By night, he is a co-founder of Hum and an author and illustrator of children’s books, including Beyond the Pond.
Bryant Pfeiffer, is Vice President of Club Services for Major League Soccer, where he runs a team that counsels Major League Soccer clubs on building business and sales acumen. In particular, he impacts areas such as ticket sales, premium seating sales, advertising and marketing campaigns. He also founded the MLS National Sales Center in Blaine, which hosts a ground-breaking program for creating young sales superstars.