"Trust is the highest form of human motivation. It brings out the very best in people." ~ Steven Covey
This year marks MIC's 60th anniversary. Our world has seen unprecedented change and MIC's work to promote international understanding and engagement is as important now as it was at our founding. Our 2013-15 board chair, Leni Moore, notes, "...issues around the world that we hear about every day have global and local ramifications. Only by being educated about these issues and by reaching out to our international neighbors and visitors can we make Minnesota become part of the global community and the world economy."
Josef Mestenhauser, Bill Rogers, and Forrest Moore founded the Minnesota International Center in 1953 to create a University-community partnership that engaged 'Citizen Diplomats' to connect Minnesotans with visiting students and scholars. They believed that diplomacy was no longer the exclusive business of the State Department, we needed to create connections to the outside world, and it could be best done by citizens who saw this as part of their civic duty.
As MIC enters its seventh decade our core principle remains the same: we build trust and understanding between people. We have grown to an organization with a national and international stature, where our influence allows us to bring pressing issues to the national discourse. Our programs reach from the young student to the retiree; we engage international scholars, corporate professionals, seasoned diplomats and volunteers. MIC is unparalleled in its ability to deliver programs that allow Minnesotans to connect and participate in the international sphere, and for Minnesota to extend its influence around the globe through MIC's activities.
Minnesota, isolated by distance from so many of the world's countries, is required to actively seek out global connections. We need them for business, education, the arts and public policy and, given the choices that lie ahead, the need for international engagement has never been greater. MIC is not a luxury; awareness of our global role is a necessity. We bring Minnesota to the world and the world to Minnesota, things we have been doing for 60 years.
In 2012-13 we spent significant time setting MIC's future direction and vision, so that we could honor our 60 year legacy and plan for the next 60 years. We moved from our house on the University of Minnesota's campus for the first time in over 50 year to a wonderful new location on the University's East Bank campus. We retooled our K-12 program, aligning it with the state's education standards and focusing on the grades where global studies are a key part of the curriculum. We worked in partnership with national organizations, such as the Foreign Policy Association, Global Ties U.S., and the World Affairs Council of America.
Our founders' vision of an organization that brought people together and called for open dialogue is the legacy that we carry on today. MIC contributes to democracy by creating citizen diplomats who can educate others, do business and travel around the world while representing the best of Minnesota. We build trust around the world, one person at a time. Join us.
Carol Engebretson Byrne
MIC Board Chair
Past annual reports: