The Saint Paul Foundation Announces 30 Semi-Finalist Ideas in $1 Million Forever Saint Paul Challenge

News Release5/10/13

The Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Idea Open announce the 30 semi-finalist ideas in the Forever Saint Paul Challenge that have a chance to receive $1 million for implementation.

Nearly 1,000 ideas were submitted to the $1 million Forever Saint Challenge, which asked: What would you do with $1 million to make Saint Paul great?

“We asked people to think big and they exceeded our expectations,” Carleen Rhodes, president and CEO of The Saint Paul Foundation said. “The ideas show the breadth and depth of our dreams for Saint Paul and how much Minnesotans care about their capital city.”

In April, nearly 40 community volunteers representing a wide range of expertise and experiences read all of the ideas and selected 30 to advance to the semi-final round.

The semifinalists will continue to refine and expand on their ideas through June, and their updated entries will be posted online at MNIdeaOpen.org/foreversaintpaul. Later this summer, a panel of experts will judge the top 30 ideas and select three finalists.

Then, Minnesotans will select the winning idea from the three finalists and decide how the $1 million is spent. Public voting will begin August 13, 2013 and end September 2, 2013. In addition to online and text message voting, the Idea Open will visit neighborhoods in Saint Paul and have a voting booth at the Minnesota State Fair.

“There will be one winning idea, but our entire community wins on many levels,” Rhodes said. “Forever Saint Paul got people talking and thinking and brainstorming like never before. We think this creative energy will continue and hope that many who entered the Challenge keep thinking and dreaming big for Saint Paul.”

Forever Saint Paul Challenge supporters include the Bush Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation, Otto Bremer Foundation, 3M, Travelers, the Katherine B. Andersen Fund, Securian, McNeely Foundation and the Multicultural Endowment.

This year marks the fourth annual statewide ideas competition through the Idea Open. Previous Challenges have addressed issues of obesity, water stewardship and working together across cultures and faiths. To date, the Idea Open has engaged thousands of Minnesotans in solving critical issues facing Minnesota.

Upcoming Forever Saint Paul Challenge Dates

August 13: Public voting for winning idea begins

August 22-September 2: Voting at the State Fair

September 2: All public voting ends

September 9: Winning idea announced