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Wilder Research

PlanScape Impact(s): Best Practice ; Business Process ; Caring Relationship ; Civic Engagement ; Children & Youth ; Health ; Housing ; Technology Enablement



Wilder Research Minnesota Compass Announcement

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is a key regional advisor of Minnesota Compass, a research-based project that tracks progress and trends on topics such as education, economy and workforce, health, housing, and public safety throughout the state. The goal is to provide data and information for Minnesotans to identify, understand, and act on issues that affect our communities. 

Local Minnesota communities—school boards, city and county planners, community health boards, non-profits, social service agencies, health care organizations, and philanthropy—use Minnesota Compass to guide their work.

 "The information that Minnesota Compass puts together helps us to make data-informed decisions. There are many demographic changes happening in our region, and we're fortunate to have a partner like Minnesota Compass compiling these shifts in an easy-to-use way." -Tim Penny, SMIF President and CEO

 Minnesota Compass is working on providing greater Minnesota communities with more data in an interactive and user-friendly format. This will allow you to custom build and draw demographic, social, and economic data profiles for your community.    

We recently launched tools that allow web visitors to build and draw customized data profiles for areas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Twin Cities, and Duluth. We are working to expand the tools to all of Minnesota.


Southern MN Listenting Sessions

Give your input about the data and tools you need.

 To make these tools as useful as possible, we are seeking ideas and expertise across the state for how to best develop these data tools for Greater Minnesota. At the session, you can share key issues facing your region, what information you need to address those issues, and recommendations for designing custom data tools for your community.

In collaboration with the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Minnesota Compass invites you to participate in a listening session in the southern region.



You can choose to attend one of four sessions in the Southern Region:


  • Historic Hormel House, Austin, MN; Tuesday, August 1 from 9-11 am OR 4-6 pm
  • Rochester Area Foundation, Rochester, MN; Wednesday, August 2 from 9-11 am OR 4-6 pm


RSVP for Austin sessions August 1


RSVP for Rochester sessions August 2




PlanScape Impact(s): Best Practice ; Business Process ; Caring Relationship ; Civic Engagement ; Children & Youth ; Health ; Housing ; Technology Enablement

Site Information
  • For the commercial sector, we tend to register startup activities (new companies and new commercial projects) that bring diversification and high-impact opportunities to the area.
  • For the non-profit sector, we wish to shine light on all the organizations and services that otherwise labor under relative obscurity.
  • Our hope is that will encourage cross-sector collaborations and creative solutions.

While there are a number of registries in the community,'s  distinct value is to pilot a database with a data structure and categorizations that answer the questions such as: What organizations or projects/programs in our community that have purported relevance with some of the over-arching focuses put forward by initiatives such as DMC, J2G and Health Improvements?

This database could be used as one of the ways to explore the capacities of the community. If you are someone on an exploratory journey to learn about the greater Rochester community. could be an interesting first step.

The following defines the various project phases:
  1. Available - a product, program or service is in production
  2. Develop - program or application is being developed
  3. Plan - idea is solid, stakeholders are identified, and there is strong commitment to go forward from all parties.
  4. Concept Phase - idea scoped out with enough details to give an early sizing and/or to build a proof of concept
  5. Pre-concept Phase - an early idea or a requirement.
Links to Beam and beam sub-sites: