bushCON is powered by the Bush Foundation

2016 Sessions

Answering the Most Important Question of All Time: The Art of Choosing

We tend to think of decisions as the outcome of knowing—our ability to discern right from wrong. But how are we supposed to know what is right and what is wrong when the work we are doing comes with no how-to manual, textbook or Wikipedia page ready to guide us? There is no more important decision we make each day than wisely deciding what we will do with the next 24 hours. When answers are not available, we must create them.

Exploring the practices of innovators, improvisers and great leaders, this session will help identify what it is that has got you stuck and is holding you back from the next great decision to move your most important work forward.

Answering the Most Important Question of All Time: The Art of Choosing

We tend to think of decisions as the outcome of knowing—our ability to discern right from wrong. But how are we supposed to know what is right and what is wrong when the work we are doing comes with no how-to manual, textbook or Wikipedia page ready to guide us? There is no more important decision we make each day than wisely deciding what we will do with the next 24 hours. When answers are not available, we must create them.

Exploring the practices of innovators, improvisers and great leaders, this session will help identify what it is that has got you stuck and is holding you back from the next great decision to move your most important work forward.

Answering the Most Important Question of All Time: The Art of Choosing

We tend to think of decisions as the outcome of knowing—our ability to discern right from wrong. But how are we supposed to know what is right and what is wrong when the work we are doing comes with no how-to manual, textbook or Wikipedia page ready to guide us? There is no more important decision we make each day than wisely deciding what we will do with the next 24 hours. When answers are not available, we must create them.

Exploring the practices of innovators, improvisers and great leaders, this session will help identify what it is that has got you stuck and is holding you back from the next great decision to move your most important work forward.

Backstage Tours

Backstage tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at how Guthrie shows are taken from script to stage.

In 60 minutes, you'll visit the Guthrie's signature thrust and proscenium stages; enter the expansive scene shop where sets are built and painted, and learn how they're transported to each stage; visit the shop where costumes are expertly stitched, fabrics dyed and wigs constructed; and explore the rehearsal rooms where company members prepare for performances.

Backstage Tours

Backstage tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at how Guthrie shows are taken from script to stage.

In 60 minutes, you'll visit the Guthrie's signature thrust and proscenium stages; enter the expansive scene shop where sets are built and painted, and learn how they're transported to each stage; visit the shop where costumes are expertly stitched, fabrics dyed and wigs constructed; and explore the rehearsal rooms where company members prepare for performances.

Backstage Tours

Backstage tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at how Guthrie shows are taken from script to stage.

In 60 minutes, you'll visit the Guthrie's signature thrust and proscenium stages; enter the expansive scene shop where sets are built and painted, and learn how they're transported to each stage; visit the shop where costumes are expertly stitched, fabrics dyed and wigs constructed; and explore the rehearsal rooms where company members prepare for performances.

Changing what Community Engagement Looks Like: It’s Our Responsibility

From Public Meetings and Community Forums to Creative Citymaking and Placemaking, improving community engagement requires more than just a change in words. We'll discuss the importance of setting a high standard for community engagement that centers the responsibility for equitable community engagement on us, the practitioners and works toward ensuring all voices are heard. This is an interactive workshop, so come ready to share your horror stories of poor community engagement and your best practices on doing it well. We’ll ask tough questions and ask for honest answers with the hope that you’ll go away with some action steps to creating a more equitable engagement process in your work.

Changing what Community Engagement Looks Like: It’s Our Responsibility

From Public Meetings and Community Forums to Creative Citymaking and Placemaking, improving community engagement requires more than just a change in words. We'll discuss the importance of setting a high standard for community engagement that centers the responsibility for equitable community engagement on us, the practitioners and works toward ensuring all voices are heard. This is an interactive workshop, so come ready to share your horror stories of poor community engagement and your best practices on doing it well. We’ll ask tough questions and ask for honest answers with the hope that you’ll go away with some action steps to creating a more equitable engagement process in your work.

Changing what Community Engagement Looks Like: It’s Our Responsibility

From Public Meetings and Community Forums to Creative Citymaking and Placemaking, improving community engagement requires more than just a change in words. We'll discuss the importance of setting a high standard for community engagement that centers the responsibility for equitable community engagement on us, the practitioners and works toward ensuring all voices are heard. This is an interactive workshop, so come ready to share your horror stories of poor community engagement and your best practices on doing it well. We’ll ask tough questions and ask for honest answers with the hope that you’ll go away with some action steps to creating a more equitable engagement process in your work.

Creating Inclusive, Equitable Spaces: Five Strategies That Work

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t bring your whole self into a collaborative space? Or watched a lack of understanding and complicated power dynamics around mainstream and marginalized identities derail a group? In this session, a multi-racial, multi- generational group of leaders in Minnesota Campus Compact’s Cultural Agility Collaboration will demonstrate six strategies for facilitating conversations that support inclusion, equity, mutual understanding and trust. Participants will quickly experience three activities of their choosing—and will get handouts about all six strategies, which can be used in a wide variety of contexts.

A closing discussion will invite participants to reflect on what they’re taking away and to share any other techniques they have found effective. Come ready to really connect with fellow attendees!

Creating Inclusive, Equitable Spaces: Five Strategies That Work

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t bring your whole self into a collaborative space? Or watched a lack of understanding and complicated power dynamics around mainstream and marginalized identities derail a group? In this session, a multi-racial, multi- generational group of leaders in Minnesota Campus Compact’s Cultural Agility Collaboration will demonstrate six strategies for facilitating conversations that support inclusion, equity, mutual understanding and trust. Participants will quickly experience three activities of their choosing—and will get handouts about all six strategies, which can be used in a wide variety of contexts.

A closing discussion will invite participants to reflect on what they’re taking away and to share any other techniques they have found effective. Come ready to really connect with fellow attendees!

Creating Inclusive, Equitable Spaces: Five Strategies That Work

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t bring your whole self into a collaborative space? Or watched a lack of understanding and complicated power dynamics around mainstream and marginalized identities derail a group? In this session, a multi-racial, multi- generational group of leaders in Minnesota Campus Compact’s Cultural Agility Collaboration will demonstrate six strategies for facilitating conversations that support inclusion, equity, mutual understanding and trust. Participants will quickly experience three activities of their choosing—and will get handouts about all six strategies, which can be used in a wide variety of contexts.

A closing discussion will invite participants to reflect on what they’re taking away and to share any other techniques they have found effective. Come ready to really connect with fellow attendees!

Featured Speaker: Miki Agrawal

Miki is the Co-Founder & CEO of renowned period-underwear brand THINX and pee-proof underwear brand Icon. She is also the founder of modern bidet brand Tushy, and of acclaimed farm-to-table, gluten-free pizza concept WILD, and is the author of bestselling entrepreneurial manifesto Do Cool Sh*t.

Featured Speaker: Miki Agrawal

Miki is the Co-Founder & CEO of renowned period-underwear brand THINX and pee-proof underwear brand Icon. She is also the founder of modern bidet brand Tushy, and of acclaimed farm-to-table, gluten-free pizza concept WILD, and is the author of bestselling entrepreneurial manifesto Do Cool Sh*t.

Featured Speaker: Miki Agrawal

Miki is the Co-Founder & CEO of renowned period-underwear brand THINX and pee-proof underwear brand Icon. She is also the founder of modern bidet brand Tushy, and of acclaimed farm-to-table, gluten-free pizza concept WILD, and is the author of bestselling entrepreneurial manifesto Do Cool Sh*t.

Hack the System with Community Solutions for Change: Arts, Creation, Reflection

Imagine a world where systems are built and shaped by the communities that undergird them. In this session, a theatrical installation creates space to excavate memories of learning, share stories and imagine seeds of change. Activities that engage multiple senses and learning styles will help us connect with one another and cultivate a pop-up community. In this community, we will practice finding balance between reflection and active creation in order to shape the systems that impact our daily lives and relationships.

Hack the System with Community Solutions for Change: Arts, Creation, Reflection

Imagine a world where systems are built and shaped by the communities that undergird them. In this session, a theatrical installation creates space to excavate memories of learning, share stories and imagine seeds of change. Activities that engage multiple senses and learning styles will help us connect with one another and cultivate a pop-up community. In this community, we will practice finding balance between reflection and active creation in order to shape the systems that impact our daily lives and relationships.

Hack the System with Community Solutions for Change: Arts, Creation, Reflection

Imagine a world where systems are built and shaped by the communities that undergird them. In this session, a theatrical installation creates space to excavate memories of learning, share stories and imagine seeds of change. Activities that engage multiple senses and learning styles will help us connect with one another and cultivate a pop-up community. In this community, we will practice finding balance between reflection and active creation in order to shape the systems that impact our daily lives and relationships.

Ignite Minneapolis – bushCON Edition (blue)

Inspiring ideas can come from anywhere – especially the seat right next to yours. Ignite is a speaker event series where the speakers are your colleagues, your neighbors and your friends. The challenge to the speakers is to enlighten the audience, but make it quick! All talks are composed of 20 slides which auto-advance every 15 seconds – so each talk is just 5 minutes. Ignite events pack a ton of information in to a short amount of time.

In this session you’ll see 8 unique and inspiring speakers, and you’ll also learn techniques and best practices for your own presentations.

Ignite Minneapolis – bushCON Edition (green)

Inspiring ideas can come from anywhere – especially the seat right next to yours. Ignite is a speaker event series where the speakers are your colleagues, your neighbors and your friends. The challenge to the speakers is to enlighten the audience, but make it quick! All talks are composed of 20 slides which auto-advance every 15 seconds – so each talk is just 5 minutes. Ignite events pack a ton of information in to a short amount of time.

In this session you’ll see 8 unique and inspiring speakers, and you’ll also learn techniques and best practices for your own presentations.

Ignite Minneapolis – bushCON Edition (orange)

Inspiring ideas can come from anywhere – especially the seat right next to yours. Ignite is a speaker event series where the speakers are your colleagues, your neighbors and your friends. The challenge to the speakers is to enlighten the audience, but make it quick! All talks are composed of 20 slides which auto-advance every 15 seconds – so each talk is just 5 minutes. Ignite events pack a ton of information in to a short amount of time.

In this session you’ll see 8 unique and inspiring speakers, and you’ll also learn techniques and best practices for your own presentations.

Improv Crash Course: Saving the World Without a Script

The Theater of Public Policy Improv, the art of making up entire theatrical performances without any script or pre-planned lines, can do a lot more than just make people laugh. The skills improvisers use to build complex and compelling stories are just as valuable off stage as in the theater.

In this session you'll learn - and practice - these skills for yourself and talk about how creativity, collaboration and imagination can make any change agent more effective in the world. It will be a fun and energizing session that will be painless. Well, almost.

Improv Crash Course: Saving the World Without a Script

The Theater of Public Policy Improv, the art of making up entire theatrical performances without any script or pre-planned lines, can do a lot more than just make people laugh. The skills improvisers use to build complex and compelling stories are just as valuable off stage as in the theater.

In this session you'll learn - and practice - these skills for yourself and talk about how creativity, collaboration and imagination can make any change agent more effective in the world. It will be a fun and energizing session that will be painless. Well, almost.

Improv Crash Course: Saving the World Without a Script

The Theater of Public Policy Improv, the art of making up entire theatrical performances without any script or pre-planned lines, can do a lot more than just make people laugh. The skills improvisers use to build complex and compelling stories are just as valuable off stage as in the theater.

In this session you'll learn - and practice - these skills for yourself and talk about how creativity, collaboration and imagination can make any change agent more effective in the world. It will be a fun and energizing session that will be painless. Well, almost.

Improvisation, Solidarity & Risk: Leadership Lessons from Jazz & Hip-Hop

"A leader will pick the tune, set the tempo, start the music, and define a ‘style’. After that, it’s up to the band to be disciplined and free, wild and restrained, leaders and followers, focused and wide ranging, playing the music for the audience and accountable to the requirements of the band.” – Max De Pree, Leadership Jazz

Hear performances from jazz and hip-hop artists and consider how music can inform your leadership style. What can we learn from jazz and hip-hop about leadership, risk and improvisation? How do our workplaces “practice” before we perform? How is improvisation supported in our workplaces? When do we work as an ensemble, and when do we go solo?

Come prepared to discuss a musician, song or album that you love: What inspires you about it?

Improvisation, Solidarity & Risk: Leadership Lessons from Jazz & Hip-Hop

"A leader will pick the tune, set the tempo, start the music, and define a ‘style’. After that, it’s up to the band to be disciplined and free, wild and restrained, leaders and followers, focused and wide ranging, playing the music for the audience and accountable to the requirements of the band.” – Max De Pree, Leadership Jazz

Hear performances from jazz and hip-hop artists and consider how music can inform your leadership style. What can we learn from jazz and hip-hop about leadership, risk and improvisation? How do our workplaces “practice” before we perform? How is improvisation supported in our workplaces? When do we work as an ensemble, and when do we go solo?

Come prepared to discuss a musician, song or album that you love: What inspires you about it?

Improvisation, Solidarity & Risk: Leadership Lessons from Jazz & Hip-Hop

"A leader will pick the tune, set the tempo, start the music, and define a ‘style’. After that, it’s up to the band to be disciplined and free, wild and restrained, leaders and followers, focused and wide ranging, playing the music for the audience and accountable to the requirements of the band.” – Max De Pree, Leadership Jazz

Hear performances from jazz and hip-hop artists and consider how music can inform your leadership style. What can we learn from jazz and hip-hop about leadership, risk and improvisation? How do our workplaces “practice” before we perform? How is improvisation supported in our workplaces? When do we work as an ensemble, and when do we go solo?

Come prepared to discuss a musician, song or album that you love: What inspires you about it?

Preparing for Action: A Practical Use of Theater for Social Change

The Guthrie Theater presents a workshop beginning to explore Theater of the Oppressed, a revolutionary form of theater built around the ideas of community building and conflict resolution by Brazilian theater artist Augusto Boal.

Participants will learn about the history of Boal’s work while experiencing some of his techniques first-hand, including creative ways to build consensus and problem-solve. Speakers will give examples of practical ways to incorporate these techniques in both personal and work environments, while tailoring the workshop to those in attendance. Participants are encouraged to bring ideas about areas of their lives, work or community where they would like to see change.

Preparing for Action: A Practical Use of Theater for Social Change

The Guthrie Theater presents a workshop beginning to explore Theater of the Oppressed, a revolutionary form of theater built around the ideas of community building and conflict resolution by Brazilian theater artist Augusto Boal.

Participants will learn about the history of Boal’s work while experiencing some of his techniques first-hand, including creative ways to build consensus and problem-solve. Speakers will give examples of practical ways to incorporate these techniques in both personal and work environments, while tailoring the workshop to those in attendance. Participants are encouraged to bring ideas about areas of their lives, work or community where they would like to see change.

Preparing for Action: A Practical Use of Theater for Social Change

The Guthrie Theater presents a workshop beginning to explore Theater of the Oppressed, a revolutionary form of theater built around the ideas of community building and conflict resolution by Brazilian theater artist Augusto Boal.

Participants will learn about the history of Boal’s work while experiencing some of his techniques first-hand, including creative ways to build consensus and problem-solve. Speakers will give examples of practical ways to incorporate these techniques in both personal and work environments, while tailoring the workshop to those in attendance. Participants are encouraged to bring ideas about areas of their lives, work or community where they would like to see change.

Salon with Abdifatah Farah Ali (Abdi Phenomenal)

Sit down for an intimate conversation with Abdifatah Farah Ali (Abdi Phenomenal), an award-winning spoken word artist, and artist director at Ka Joog. Hear firsthand the story of how he got to where he is today.

Salon with Irv Weiser

Sit down for an intimate conversation with Irv Weiser, Bush Foundation Board member. Hear firsthand the story of how he got to where he is today.

Salon with Jacob Gayle

Sit down for an intimate conversation with Dr. Jacob A. Gayle, the Vice President of Medtronic Philanthropy and President of the Medtronic Foundation. Hear firsthand the story of how he got to where he is today.

Salon with Julie Garreau

Sit down for an intimate conversation with Julie Garreau, the driving force behind the Cheyenne River Youth Project and a 2016 Bush Fellow. Hear firsthand the story of how she got to where she is today.

Salon with Krista Tippet

Sit down for an intimate conversation with Krista Tippett, a Peabody award-winning broadcaster and host of public radio’s On Being. Hear firsthand the story of how she got to where she is today.

Salon with Lori Saroya

Sit down for an intimate conversation with Lori Saroya, the National Chapter Development Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. Hear firsthand the story of how she got to where she is today.

Salon with Ravi Norman

Sit down for an intimate conversation with Ravi Norman, the CEO of THOR Construction. Hear firsthand the story of how he got to where he is today.

Salon with Sun Yung Shin

Sit down for an intimate conversation with Sun Yung Shin 신 선 영, editor, author, poet. Hear firsthand the story of how she got to where she is today. 

Salon with Wayne Ducheneaux II

Sit down for an intimate conversation with Wayne Ducheneaux II (Cheyenne River Sioux) the executive director of the Native Governance Center. Hear firsthand the story of how he got to where he is today.

See What Is: Modeling 21st Century Communities

Join Juxtaposition Arts in a hands-on model building workshop that allows participants the opportunity to explore ideas around place, space, dreams and community. Led by youth and adult designers from our Community Design Studio and based on exercises originally created by urban planner James Rojas, explore what is and what is coming for our communities and how communication and collaboration is key for leaders.

See What Is: Modeling 21st Century Communities (blue)

Join Juxtaposition Arts in a hands-on model building workshop that allows participants the opportunity to explore ideas around place, space, dreams and community. Led by youth and adult designers from our Community Design Studio and based on exercises originally created by urban planner James Rojas, explore what is and what is coming for our communities and how communication and collaboration is key for leaders.

See What Is: Modeling 21st Century Communities (orange)

Join Juxtaposition Arts in a hands-on model building workshop that allows participants the opportunity to explore ideas around place, space, dreams and community. Led by youth and adult designers from our Community Design Studio and based on exercises originally created by urban planner James Rojas, explore what is and what is coming for our communities and how communication and collaboration is key for leaders.

Story Circle Engagement: Sweet Potato Comfort Pie™ - A Catalyst for Caring & Building Community

Sweet Potato Comfort Pie™ is a newly organized and interactive movement that convenes in circle. Its pro-active ingredients – caring, conversation, connecting and celebration - are intentionally blended to promote relationships that build and also heal community. Through sharing and listening, participants then determine who to "gift" pies, the sacred dessert of black culture, to.

Rose McGee, Creator of the Sweet Potato Comfort Pie Initiative and Co-Author of Story Circle Stories will co-facilitate this workshop.

Story Circle Engagement: Sweet Potato Comfort Pie™ - A Catalyst for Caring & Building Community

Sweet Potato Comfort Pie™ is a newly organized and interactive movement that convenes in circle. Its pro-active ingredients – caring, conversation, connecting and celebration - are intentionally blended to promote relationships that build and also heal community. Through sharing and listening, participants then determine who to "gift" pies, the sacred dessert of black culture, to.

Rose McGee, Creator of the Sweet Potato Comfort Pie Initiative and Co-Author of Story Circle Stories will co-facilitate this workshop.

The Art of Stage Combat

Enter a "contest of generosity" as you experience the unique art of stage combat. Under the supervision of a professional stage combatant, you will learn fun and basic stage techniques of choreography for a convincing slap, punch and choke.

This is an on-your-feet experience with safeguards and watchful instruction designed to ensure that no one gets hurt. Come play! It looks real, but it's just theater!

The Art of Stage Combat

Enter a "contest of generosity" as you experience the unique art of stage combat. Under the supervision of a professional stage combatant, you will learn fun and basic stage techniques of choreography for a convincing slap, punch and choke.

This is an on-your-feet experience with safeguards and watchful instruction designed to ensure that no one gets hurt. Come play! It looks real, but it's just theater!

The Art of Stage Combat

Enter a "contest of generosity" as you experience the unique art of stage combat. Under the supervision of a professional stage combatant, you will learn fun and basic stage techniques of choreography for a convincing slap, punch and choke.

This is an on-your-feet experience with safeguards and watchful instruction designed to ensure that no one gets hurt. Come play! It looks real, but it's just theater!

Think Global, Speak Local

In this workshop we will build understanding across differences by engaging participants in playful Ojibwe language learning. Through interaction with Ojibwe Elders and language activists, we invite participants to learn a little of the language of this place. Learning with movement, games and songs, we promise that even the shyest language learners will be laughing and engaged. The session will culminate in a debriefing and short Q&A about Ojibwe language revitalization, raising participants' awareness of one of the two indigenous languages of Minnesota and engaging participants in thinking about the historical and continuing impacts of colonization. Participants will take back frequently used Ojibwe phrases to their own communities along with an understanding of how their work might intersect with the work of indigenous language revitalization.

Think Global, Speak Local

In this workshop we will build understanding across differences by engaging participants in playful Ojibwe language learning. Through interaction with Ojibwe Elders and language activists, we invite participants to learn a little of the language of this place. Learning with movement, games and songs, we promise that even the shyest language learners will be laughing and engaged. The session will culminate in a debriefing and short Q&A about Ojibwe language revitalization, raising participants' awareness of one of the two indigenous languages of Minnesota and engaging participants in thinking about the historical and continuing impacts of colonization. Participants will take back frequently used Ojibwe phrases to their own communities along with an understanding of how their work might intersect with the work of indigenous language revitalization.

Think Global, Speak Local

In this workshop we will build understanding across differences by engaging participants in playful Ojibwe language learning. Through interaction with Ojibwe Elders and language activists, we invite participants to learn a little of the language of this place. Learning with movement, games and songs, we promise that even the shyest language learners will be laughing and engaged. The session will culminate in a debriefing and short Q&A about Ojibwe language revitalization, raising participants' awareness of one of the two indigenous languages of Minnesota and engaging participants in thinking about the historical and continuing impacts of colonization. Participants will take back frequently used Ojibwe phrases to their own communities along with an understanding of how their work might intersect with the work of indigenous language revitalization.

Transformative Placemaking

What are the most special places in your day-to-day life? The ones that always seem to draw you in; that are alive with connection, community and contemplation? How have these places come into being? The answer is that they were made and are being continually transformed by ordinary people like you and me.

At this session, participants will get a practical introduction to Transformative Placemaking, a feeling-based, incremental process to creating places that mirror how organic life grows and continually adapts. We’ll then learn how to apply this approach to any environment – from the mundane to the monumental. Finally, participants will be unleashed into the confines of bushCON to put theory into practice and create placemaking installations based on what they’ve learned.

Transformative Placemaking

What are the most special places in your day-to-day life? The ones that always seem to draw you in; that are alive with connection, community and contemplation? How have these places come into being? The answer is that they were made and are being continually transformed by ordinary people like you and me.

At this session, participants will get a practical introduction to Transformative Placemaking, a feeling-based, incremental process to creating places that mirror how organic life grows and continually adapts. We’ll then learn how to apply this approach to any environment – from the mundane to the monumental. Finally, participants will be unleashed into the confines of bushCON to put theory into practice and create placemaking installations based on what they’ve learned.

Transformative Placemaking

What are the most special places in your day-to-day life? The ones that always seem to draw you in; that are alive with connection, community and contemplation? How have these places come into being? The answer is that they were made and are being continually transformed by ordinary people like you and me.

At this session, participants will get a practical introduction to Transformative Placemaking, a feeling-based, incremental process to creating places that mirror how organic life grows and continually adapts. We’ll then learn how to apply this approach to any environment – from the mundane to the monumental. Finally, participants will be unleashed into the confines of bushCON to put theory into practice and create placemaking installations based on what they’ve learned.

Programming Partners

Ancestry Books logo
Minnesota Campus Compact Logo
Cleveland Neighborhood Association
Eyeo Festival logo
Flip Phone LLC Logo
Grassroots Indigenous Multimedia Logo
Greater than the Sum logo
Guthrie Theater logo
Ignite Minneapolis logo
James P. Shannon Leadership Institute Logo
Mid-Contnent Oceanographic Institute  logo
Minnesota Rising logo
The Musicant Group logo
Numad Group Logo
Pollen logo
The Theater of Public Policy logo
Youth Frontiers logo