The conference I recently attended was held in Minneapolis.  At first, I’ll admit it seemed crazy to hold a convention in a Northern city in February, but by the end of my stay I was welcoming a dose of crisp winter air.

This was because downtown Minneapolis is connected by a series of skyways that allow you to stay inside virtually your entire trip if you wished.  You can walk from hotel to convention center to restaurants to Target to the mall — really anywhere — without ever facing the elements.  I felt like a gerbil in a Habitrail making my way from place to place.

But when you step back and look at it, the skyway system is amazing.  Think of the coordination that it took to first build, and now maintain, this elaborate system.  The skyways are all carpeted and refreshed.  They are only about a story off of ground level, so the truck paths around them needed to be coordinated so traffic could flow underneath.  

Truly, the skyway system is a testament to a shared vision and mission as businesses and the city worked together to be interconnected — literally.  It not only accommodates locals who work and shop downtown, but it has made Minneapolis a viable year-round convention destination.

Keep the skyway system in mind the next time you are challenged in collaborating on a project with others.  If the people of Minneapolis can pull this off, surely you can work out the details of your plans.

— beth triplett

Thanks to Michael for the observation

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