Strategic Innovation

4 million goalSince our founding in 1995, the Center has served as a hub for health and wellbeing innovation, and is widely recognized as an incubator of new ideas and practices. From collaborating with teachers in local school districts to bring mindfulness to their classrooms, to creating the first master’s degree in integrative health coaching in the country, the Center has been at the forefront of change. Other initiatives have positioned us as a leading university setting for topics such as integrative health and healing, Tibetan Medicine, living well/dying well, and nature-based therapeutics. One of our newest efforts – Nourishing Minnesota – seeks to enhance the wellbeing of individuals and organizations by integrating culinary and nutritional literacy into clinical practice for healthcare providers, and advancing food knowledge within the Twin Cities community and beyond.

To advance innovation, we listen deeply to expressed needs within the University and communities, and respond by building innovative programs and initiatives. We develop sustainable business models and collaborate with strategic partners to strengthen their capacities for disseminating knowledge and taking each initiative to a larger scale.

Together, with your philanthropic contributions, our Strategic Innovation Fund will support Center teams as we move world-changing ideas into action in the most timely, sustainable manner.


“The benefits that resulted from the Mindfulness in Education program were quickly revealed. As I built my personal mindfulness practice, I became much more aware of my emotional states, allowing me to understand where I was when I entered the classroom each day. This emotional ‘barometer’ helped me understand myself in a much more objective manner, allowing me to keep my reactions in check. Considering the emotionally charged nature of  teaching, having an ability to prevent the reactions that may be hurtful to students and classroom dynamics is an invaluable tool. Mindfulness has helped me to be a more whole and balanced person – the kind of person I want to show my students each day. 

Despite the extra time dedicated to meetings and coursework required for the program, I can safely say that, in hindsight, the sacrifice was entirely worth it. As educators, we hear over and over how important emotional health is, but are very seldom, or perhaps never, given the tools achieve it. I see a mindfulness practice as one extremely useful tool for the emotional health we want desperately to achieve, both for ourselves and our students.”

Craig Kleeberger
NABAD & ESL Services
Andersen United Community School

To become philanthropically involved in the Center's Wellbeing for All campaign, please contact Dianne Lev, Director of Development, at or 612-624-1121