ST. CLOUD -- What started as a small teacher workshop has grown into a two-day economic conference.

The 56th Annual St. Cloud State University Winter Institute is on deck for next month. The conference focuses on economic education by hosting a teacher workshop,  speakers and other sessions based on current issues.

Lynn MacDonald is an Associate Professor of Economics at St. Cloud State as well as the Director of the Winter Insititute. She says every year they decide on a theme for the event, this year's theme is "Rediscovering Cities".

"This theme was built around our keynote speaker, Edward Glaeser. He is the foremost expert on cities, he loves cities so much, we knew when we got him we would have something to do with cities."

MacDonald says as for the actual title, "Rediscovering Cities" she had the help of Gail Ivers, the Vice President of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, with deciding on the final title.

While Glaeser is the keynote speaker for the Winter Institute, Rob Weber will be the featured speaker. Weber will be talking about how entrepreneurs are changing cities throughout the country.

The event begins at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, February 1, at Regency Plaza in St. Cloud. School of Public Affairs Dean King Banaian will lead an economic outlook discussion beginning at 5:00 p.m. followed by Weber's address.

The Winter Institute continues Friday, February 2 with registration at 8:30 a.m. at St. Cloud State University. Glaser's keynote speech will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the performing arts center.

If you'd like to register for the event and see a complete schedule follow the link below.

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