The team behind Minnesota’s largest economic development effort has launched a podcast that explores how creativity and innovation can transform communities.

Urban Evolution is produced by Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency, the public-private partnership driving a 20-year, $5.6 billion initiative to increase development around Mayo Clinic in ways that improve all aspects of life throughout Rochester.

The podcast’s goal is to showcase the investment and innovation in Rochester and become a source for national leadership when it comes to how to think about economic development.

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“We wanted to create a podcast for people who are interested in the experiences of others working in economic development and business,” said Urban Evolution host Bill Von Bank, who also serves as DMC EDA's director of marketing and communications . “This podcast will invite local, regional and national thought leaders and influencers, as well as those with ‘feet on the street’ expertise whose contributions are creating change in their industries, businesses and cities.”

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In the first episode, which was posted earlier this month, DMC Executive Director Lisa Clarke and Clark Otley, chief medical officer of the Mayo Clinic Platform and medical director of the Department of Business Development at Mayo Clinic, share how the Destination Medical Center initiative came to be and how its impact extends beyond the health care community.

More than 3 million people visit Rochester each year, including many Mayo Clinic patients and their families. Surveys found that patients and family spent 70% of their time away from the clinic. The DMC initiative includes building new public spaces, such as a four-block pedestrian-friendly parkway known as Discovery Walk, as well as adding and renovating entertainment and hospitality venues and supporting innovators and entrepreneurs.

The podcast seeks to show:

  • Why it was important to put private dollars ahead of public funding.
  • Updates on the mixed-use development Discovery Square.
  • How COVID-19 has impacted development plans.
  • What it’s like to partner with Google.

The second and third episodes were posted this week and feature Limb Lab founder Brandon Sampson, who discusses how he’s changing the business of limb restoration, and Kam Talebi, founder and CEO of Kaskaid Hospitality, which operates a dozen Crave Restaurants throughout the Midwest. He opened his newest restaurant in Rochester in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

DMC plans to release new episodes of Urban Evolution bi-weekly. Episodes can be downloaded from any podcast streaming platform. More information is available at