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In October 2018, 14,000+ attendees convened in Minneapolis-Saint Paul for WE18, the world’s largest conference for women engineers.

It was inspiring to see people from all over the country, and even the world, take over the Minneapolis Convention Center for three days with positive energy and excitement for embarking on their careers.

While they were here, we asked women to share their passions and ambitions with us. These are the change makers who will undoubtedly solve some of the world’s biggest problems. And we made sure to share with them that MSP is a place where problems aren’t just discussed, they’re worked on. And solved.

Here are a few highlights from the dozens of women who shared their stories with our team.

With so much talent and so many guests in town, we also wanted to take this opportunity to introduce attendees to the region. Each day of the conference, Make It. MSP. hosted a Destination Showcase to spotlight leaders in our community who are breaking boundaries and making MSP a more vibrant place to live, work and thrive.

We featured zucchini bites and carrot cake from local restaurateur Kim Bartmann’s Tiny Diner while farmer and holistic agriculture manager Koby Jeschkeit-Hagen led conversations about the restaurant’s whole system design and sustainable farming. The tasting was so well-received that several attendees asked Tiny Diner to visit their colleges to present their approach to whole-system design.

We also drew attention at the conference for our Water Bar. Curiosity led hundreds of engineers to find out why we were serving water flights. As a region that emerged from the mighty Mississippi, water is a distinct part of our history and our culture. And it is Water Bar’s goals to protect water resources and build relationships between people and their environment through the everyday act of drinking tap water together.

As we work toward attracting more people to the region, it’s also critical to highlight the accessibility to MSP’s amazing cultural institutions like the Science Museum of Minnesota, which led excited engineers in a lego doodle and designs activity. Empowering girls to pursue careers in STEM begins with fun, accessible learning and it was great to spotlight a leading institution in Minnesota that exists to turn on the science and inspire learning.

We’re thrilled so many people were engaged with us and left with a more informed and positive perception of the area. Whether you recruited at the career fair, volunteered in-person or encouraged engineers to share their stories for our microsite, we couldn’t have shown these guests such a warm welcome without your help.

Check out a few photos from our activation at WE18.