Research and Initiatives

Professor Larry Jacobs teaching a class

In order to improve governance in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest, the Center holds trainings for current elected officials, conducts focused research in key policy areas, and leads initiatives that engage citizens and policy makers.


In addition to working directly with public leaders to improve governance in Minnesota, the Center produces research that advances important political and policy conversations of our time. Currently the Center is conducting research in health care policycentral banksgovernment transparency, and ranked choice voting.


Minnesota's population is aging rapidly and our workforce is declining in size, with potentially seismic impacts on business, industry, and the state's overall economic health. The Center took a close look at this issue through a two-year project, Courageous Conversations, conducting public forums in communities across the state to explore how Minnesota's aging workforce is affecting their local economies and vitality. 

The final report from the citizens commission overseeing the project recommended that businesses and communities work together to develop strategies attuned to each region’s economy and demographics.