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Minnesota 2020 expands the public policy debate with Activated Voices

What’s the goal of Activated Voices? What is Minnesota 2020 hoping to accomplish with this project?

This generation of young adults is entering one the worst economies in recent memory. Frankly, we—policy wonks and the media—tend to frame the bad economy as if 18-35 years olds have little control over their own economic outcome. Yet we see young Minnesotans getting engaged with economic policy. Activated Voices provides our readers and viewers a chance to hear directly how this generation is meeting and overcoming economic barriers, slim job prospects, wage inequity, and social immobility.

Minnesota 2020 aims to expand the public policy debate, and we feel Activated Voices, with short video segments, meets young adults in a medium they’re familiar with and provides an entryway into the debate over issues that impact Minnesotans of all generations: job security, economic justice, health care, entrepreneurship, and sustainability.

Is there a type of person who Activated Voices would love to feature who you haven’t yet had the opportunity to?

We’re looking for a transplant, someone who came to Minnesota for college or a career and decided to stay, call Minnesota home, and make a difference in our community.

What have you learned from the Activated Voices series? Anything especially surprising?

Much of what saturates popular culture truly underestimates this generation’s intelligence, passion, and drive for economic and social justice. None of the people we’ve interviewed for this series fit the stereotypes we find in network sitcoms, MTV, or TMZ. Through this series, we’ve seen young adults who advocate on behalf of the less fortunate, who use their entrepreneurial skills to make real change in the business world, and who are determined to realistically rise above economic hardships. 

If you had pick one emotion that you’d want viewers of Activated Voices to walk away with, what would it be?


What all is Minnesota 2020 up to these days? How does Activated Voices fit into the overall work of Minnesota 2020?

In addition to our daily policy analysis, we’re gearing up for our annual Made in Minnesota holiday report. This year has a little different twist: we aim to highlight how new Minnesotans—mainly people in the Somali, Latino, Hmong communities—are contributing to local economies and enhancing main streets. We’re hoping people will see the significant contributions these business leaders make to our state economy. We want folks to expand their holiday shopping plans to include gifts or foods these new Minnesotans produce. Minnesota 2020 would love to feature one of these merchants in an upcoming Activated Voices video to run alongside our Made in Minnesota economic analysis.

More videos in the Activated Voices series:

Non-traditional Resume

Minnesota Nice?

Ending Moral Exclusions

Making History

Two-wheeled Social Change

Young Vet Battles Voter ID

Special thanks to Tom Niemisto for answering our questions and producing such great videos!

This story was originally published at BePollen.com.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/16/2012 - 11:21 am.

    I’ll hold my breath.

    Now that you’ve got the leftist side of the debate covered, how about expanding it to young people with a different perspective.

    Here’s a great place to start:


  2. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/16/2012 - 03:07 pm.

    You might want to learn how to insert a clickable

    link in a MinnPost comment, Mr. Swift.

    Here is an example – goes to what you presumably wished to link to above:


  3. Submitted by David Zeller on 10/17/2012 - 10:25 pm.

    Listen I like MN2020, but…

    and of course that is a big but. They are severely hamstrung by what they consider advances in healthcare and quite frankly the voices that they are seeking.

    This from a pinko commie liberal.

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