Top Coast Festival: Big Ideas, New Solutions. May 31 – June 1.
Politics, pop culture, health care, technology, food and philanthropy: Leaders from these industries talk with your favorite public radio personalities about how to make what's wrong right.


About the festival

From May 31 to June 1, 2014, MPR News will host the Top Coast Festival, a celebration of real-world solutions forged in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. From politics to technology, from pop culture to philanthropy, from the food industry to health care, the world is broken in a variety of ways.

But it's not enough to just talk about what's wrong with it; we want to talk about how to fix it, and for two days in late spring, a stellar line-up of problem solvers from across the U.S. will put forth their solutions.

Right here in Minneapolis, at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Top Coast Festival will offer well-forged paths to what's next. Our speakers and presenters will detail what we can do to build a better world — together.

Ready to get your hands solution-y? Join with 1,000 other thinkers and doers for two days of headline presentations, symposia, and solution-finding in the heart of the Twin Cities. Hosted by your favorite public radio personalities and featuring top-class speakers from around the country, MPR News' inaugural Top Coast Festival will be a weekend like no other.

Top Coast Festival. Big Ideas. New Solutions.

View the Archive

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday's track on children's development and health is supported by American Public Media's Healthy States™.

  1. Opening of the Top Coast FestivalTicket Info »
    Resilience & Character: How Do They Develop? LISTEN
    Paul Tough with Stephen Smith

  2. Symposium Sessions #1

  3. Symposium Sessions #2

  4. Symposium Sessions #3

  5. Symposium Sessions #4

  6. HeadlinerTicket Info »
    Innovative State: Bringing Government Into the 21st Century LISTEN
    Aneesh Chopra with Chris Farrell

  7. Enjoy a Top Coast edition of Wits at MPR's Fitzgerald Theater. Featured guests include Peter Sagal and Paul F. Tompkins with Open Mike Eagle. Get more details at

Sunday, June 1, 2014

  1. Headliner
    Insuring Every American: The Story Behind the Affordable Care Act LISTEN
    Ezekiel Emanuel with Kerri Miller

  2. Headliner
    Slow Down: Why Success Is Found in Stillness
    Russell Simmons with Dessa

Schedule subject to change.



The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities has an urban campus, with limited public parking space. There is no reciprocal parking or in-and-out privileges for campus parking. Many campus surface parking lots do not allow overnight parking. Conference participants staying at hotels are encouraged to leave their vehicles in the hotel's parking lots and use alternative means of transportation. There will be campus shuttles, and the hotels should offer shuttle service.

Coffman Memorial Union:
East River Road Garage
391 East River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55455

McNamara Alumni Center:
University Avenue Ramp
1926 University Avenue S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Visitor Information

We've put together some information for visitors about the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities. We've also noted some must-see places. View our guide »