Common Grounds

About Us

Our Mission: To develop cross-sector leaders by exploring integrative leadership, advancing professional skills in collaboration, and producing community-based consulting projects.

Our Vision: Integrative leaders, collaboratively redefining the cross-sector solutions of tomorrow.

Guided by the principle that complex problems require cross-sector collaboration, Common Grounds brings together 30 graduate students from across the University of Minnesota to explore community issues, provide professional research and consultation services to community organizations, and practice and promote integrative leadership.

Recent project examples include creating an industry insights report identifying current diversity rates in the Twin Cities marketing and advertising industry for The BrandLab, an organizational and strategic review of the West Bank School of Music, a feasibility study for parklets in St. Paul for the Friendly Streets Initiative, content development for exercise and nutrition education and activities for the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, and an analysis of the opportunities with Minnesota's Public Benefit Corporation law for Fox Advancement. 

Common Grounds consists of graduate students from the following disciplines:

   -    Carlson School of Management

   -    Humphrey School of Public Affairs

   -    Law School

   -    School of Public Health

   -    Medical School

Our work is spread out over two phases that follow the academic calendar.  During the fall semester, we strive to provide each Common Grounds member the opportunity to learn about integrative leadership and to develop relationships outside of their program of study. Project leaders will also reach out to community organizations and frame a project to be completed in the spring. During the spring semester, students will then work in small interdisciplinary teams on an 8-week (January-March) project that serves to help that organization solve a particular problem.  

Common Grounds is an excellent opportunity for students interested in interdisciplinary work to gain a unique set of professional skills through interdisciplinary collaboration.  For our clients, it's an opportunity to tackle difficult organizational problems through a multidisciplinary approach.

We encourage you to Become a Member, Become a Client, or Contact Us with your questions or feedback!

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"Common Grounds alumni are now leaders in Minnesota and beyond."