The forum partners with a wide range of businesses, organizations, and individuals to bring a regular series of monthly programs into the public arena. From time to time the forum holds longer conferences and cooperates with others to provide programs around the state. The quarterly programs draw a wide-ranging audience including those who represent varied institutional public sectors at the local, country, and state level, the full range of telecommunications service providers and related businesses, the legal and professional community, the nonprofit sector, and a growing number of independent small business stakeholders, among others. The forum is unique in reaching so many different kinds of stakeholders with an interest in the critical issues of telecommunications and information change.
Topics cover a wide range of issues. Key leaders and speakers ensure that the discussions are timely and provocative, and the open, neutral atmosphere of the forum encourages highly useful exchange on important and controversial issues. The forum provides the record showing the over-time development of Minnesota public policy in telecommunications and information issues and its intersection with the play of private sector interests.
Program participants regularly propose TISP Forum topics and reflect prospective public policy and industry developments in technology, as well as the legislative and regulatory arenas. The Forum invites representatives of diverse interests and viewpoints to participate in programs, which are moderated wither by the director or a guest.
Milda K. Hedblom is a professor of politics and communications at Augsburg College and a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, as well as the director of the TISP Forum. Previously, she was an international communications fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
In 2002, Hedblom served as executive coordinator of the World Summit on the Information Society, a United Nations Summit, located in Geneva, Switzerland. She has worked extensively in the United States, Europe, and Asia as an expert and consultant on a wide range of telecommunications and information policy issues.
Prof. Hedblom's consulting practice includes a varied list of local, state, national, and international clients in both private and public sectors, covering telecommunications, broadband and Internet issues in community broadband development, entry of new services, private–public network collaboration agreements, consumer and user needs, digital issues in public safety, health care, and education, among others.