Janne Flisrand is a small-business owner with 15 years of experience in bringing people together to make progressive change in Minneapolis. Janne sees her role, both professionally and as an activist, as solving problems in cities by listening to the expertise of the people who live there.
Janne’s company was hired to lead the Minnesota Green Communities initiative. It brought state and city policymakers together with nonprofits to ensure all the affordable housing funded in Minnesota is green and healthy. In 2009, she helped found the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, a volunteer-driven coalition that brought Open Streets to Minneapolis and helped pass the city’s recent protected bikeway plan.
She’s written a development handbook for neighborhoods, a healthy home checklist, and best practices for implementing green maintenance and financing for multifamily properties. Janne has blogged for American Public Media’s national radio show, Marketplace, and currently writes for the Minnesota-based transportation and land use policy site streets.mn.
Janne grew up in Austin, MN. After college, she taught in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for 18 months. She moved to Minneapolis in 1996, when she cooperatively purchased her four-unit building in Lowry Hill.
Janne earned her MA in Urban Anthropology from the University of Memphis after leading a drop-in youth program in Saint Paul. She has an undergraduate degree in anthropology and Scandinavian studies, which she put to use as a language camp director for 14 years.