Could Minneapolis Shed Its Midwest Branding?

Could Minneapolis Shed Its Midwest Branding?

Some in Minnesota are pushing for a regional name change.

Downtown Minneapolis (Photo by AlexiusHoratius)

Could a name change bring more young talent to Minnesota? That’s the hope of some business leaders and academics in Minneapolis who want to break ties with the Midwest and regionally rebrand as “the North.” (No word on whether they’d also designate a new capital called Winterfell.)

The new name would cover Minnesota, parts of Iowa, parts of Wisconsin and parts of the Dakotas.

“In the ‘North,’ where we often apologize for being cold, at least in the winter, part of what we’re talking is that there’s a huge advantage to that,” Tom Fisher, dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, told NPR’s “Marketplace.”

Fisher says that the North is a natural place for an innovative startup culture, since spending hours stuck in the cold breeds creativity rather than distraction. Others aren’t so sure. Local tech recruiter Paul DeBettignies told “Marketplace” that he thinks the cold is a top deterrent for new talent, and they should work on boasting something else, like Minneapolis’ already thriving culture of innovation. After all, the city’s already working on creating the most resilient neighborhood in the country.

Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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Tags: minneapolistech hubs

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