Content from the Ethnic Cultural Tourism Destinations Conference July 13, 2011

Scouting the Future for Saint Paul as an Intercultural City - Implications ® Wheel Workshop

Joel Barker, with Master Trainer Jim Schreier

Using his Implications Wheel ® software-enhanced, interactive group process for discovering and mapping the implications of change, Joel will be our guide as we all identify opportunities and risks that are likely to occur in Saint Paul as a result of our efforts to create an Intercultural City. The "Implications Map" that results from this workshop will be used to design actions to maximize the positive and minimize the negative consequences of ethnic cultural tourism development efforts. The entire process, as well as the results, can be useful to other cities and neighborhoods in Minnesota, who are interested in pursung their own intercultural programs.

During this workshop, small groups will generate, explore and score the implications of Saint Paul being a model Intercultural City that draws national interest.

So, what do we mean by Saint Paul becoming an Intercultural City?

First, we adopt the description of an 'intercultural city' is taken from the one promoted by the Intercultural Cities Programme, a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, as follows:

"The Intercultural City does not simply "cope" with diversity but uses it as a source of dynamism, innovation, creativity and growth. It accepts diversity as a norm and helps people from all groups -- minorities as well as the majority -- benefit from it. The intercultural city shapes its educational, social, housing, employment, cultural and related policies, and its public spaces, in ways which enable people from different cultural backgrounds to mix, exchange and interact for mutual benefit. Structures and mechanisms for public consultation, debate and decision-making represent the community's cultural mix and are able to deal with issues of cultural difference. The intercultural city does not avoid cultural conflict but accepts it and develops ways of dealing with it. Political leaders and media promote an understanding of diversity as an asset and encourage citizens to perceive it in the same way. Because of close interaction and trust between cultural groups and strong participation in civic life, the intercultural city is able to respond positively to the global social and economic challenges."

Then, we presume that Saint Paul has indeed begun its Intercultural City Initiative and it has been running for three years ( Launched Fall, 2011; Completed Summer, 2014). So, by September 1, 2014, we assume that some very specific changes have occurred as a result, including:

  • The Saint Paul Foundation has made a ten-year commitment as lead funder for the Intercultural City Initiative, directing its funding via the oversight of the Multicultural Endowment . They have already contributed $1 million annually for the first three years to the realization of the dream, with another $1 million allocated annually through 2020. The Multicultural Endowment has a multicultural board educated in ethnic cultural tourism and intimately close to their own communities. They grant the $1 million to program-related investments that make meaningful contributions to ethnic destinations throughout Saint Paul.
  • Following the lead of 21 other countries , the Ethnic Cultural Tourism Destinations Collaborative (ECTD) and its allies have written the U.S.’ first Intercultural City Resolution that provides the city of Saint Paul with the rationale and a meaningful foundation for developing specific economic, social, cultural, and planning policies that draw on the potential of increased intercultural exchange, activity and dialogue.
  • Saint Paul City Council , Mayor’s Office , all departments, and all public/private groups of which the city is a part, have each officially adopted ECTD’s Intercultural City Resolution and implemented internal policies and actions that support the intention and goals of the resolution in both their organizations and in the wider city.
  • All distinct neighborhoods (as identified according to their district councils ) have launched intercultural initiatives within their jurisdictions that connect and contribute to the city. Major and minor commercial corridors (Payne, West Seventh, Selby, Grand, Robert, Ford Parkway, etc.) have distinct identities that highlight ethnic culture prevalent in the area today, or for which the area has been known in the past.
  • Each district council has competitively-paid, full-time staff specifically tasked with heading its intercultural initiative within its jurisdiction. That person is paid in part through matching grant funding from the Saint Paul Foundation.
  • Neighborhoods are receiving 40% of cultural and neighborhood Saint Paul Sales Tax Revitalization (STAR) funds annually supporting the development of their neighborhoods as visitor destinations.
  • is a major intercultural transit hub, where millions of visitors of varied ethnic backgrounds are welcomed into the city, and then connected on to neighborhood destinations via taxi, guided tour buses, light rail, rental car, etc.
  • Neighborhoods are part of a network that radiates across the city, connecting to each other (for residents) and to the Union Depot (for visitors). Several places serve as key visitor hubs – Union Depot (ground travel), RiverCentre Complex (meetings/conventions), Capitol Complex (politics).
  • There are major international events as big as 100,000 attendees and as small as 100 attendees occurring across the city – not just in downtown. Events are occurring in educational facilities, parks and green spaces, community centers, hotels, restaurants, social clubs, libraries, conference centers, galleries, commercial spaces, places of worship and in the streets. These events enhance the state and regional event scene and do not conflict with each other. The events feature cultural sharing, abundant opportunities for minority business and neighborhood marketing.
  • There are major ethnic conferences occurring in Saint Paul generating $5 million in additional revenue to the city (and ultimately increasing the STAR fund pot).
  • have been created as a direct result of the ethnic cultural tourism efforts. 50% of these new jobs are a result of minority business growth. Minority workforce participation in the tourism and hospitality industry has increased 25% at all levels –entry & management. Annual job growth is projected at 5% thereafter.
  • Everyone - business owners, workers, elected officials, philanthropists, etc. – understands, encourages and makes room for the authentic expression of different cultural viewpoints.

As a result of that one central decision (becoming an Intercultural City) and the specific changes envisioned above, opportunities and risks will be created. Our job at the workshop will be to identify as many of these implications as possible within the time frame allowed, then score them for desirability and likelihood. Once scored, the implication statements form a rich, visual map that can be searched and filtered based on various criteria.

Since the desirability or undesirability of a particular implication depends on one's point of view, an implication map can be simultaneously scored by different stakeholders. When compared, the results would reveal areas of potential conflict between stakeholders that might result from the change. It would also reveal areas where stakeholders would both be hurt, or would both benefit, and therefore might be inclined to cooperate.

The resulting implication maps will give us all a clear picture of what we are facing in our efforts to build an Intercultural City that attracts, welcomes and exceeds the expectations of visitors. We can then share these maps with our leaders and ask them to use this information to make well informed decisions.

See all Implications Wheel Reports

Intercultural City Initiative - All Implications.pdf

Intercultural City Initiative - Likely and Significant Implications.pdf

Intercultural City Initiative - Likely and Strong Negative Implications.pdf

Intercultural City Initiative_Likely and Strong Positive Implications.pdf

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