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Presentations, panels and discussions focused on common issues cities face—spanning from homeless and affordable housing to access to broadband and workforce development. City Summit workshops offer both theoretical and applied concepts that allow city leaders to learn more about the issues and share best practice examples among peers and issue area experts. The 2018 conference tracks include:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Film and Discussion: The Resilience Age

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The Resilience Age documentary illustrates the impact of resilience in cities around the world that face challenges including climate change, sea level rise, economic disparity and pollution. By examining the past, present and future of cities from El Paso, Texas to Medellin, Colombia, the film highlights how communities established resilience. Get real-world examples of communities across the nation building resilient communities, like New Orleans’ green infrastructure following Hurricane Katrina, Texas’ innovative water desalination plants and water management strategies that reduced daily per capita consumption and Detroit’s residents created community development initiatives that enhanced social cohesion and provided funding for local projects. While the location and challenges of the featured cities vary, they all have one thing in common, through innovative approaches to resilience these cities have addressed their challenges and are better prepared to absorb the shocks and stresses of the future.

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

How the Gig Economy Can Help Cities Thrive

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The gig economy in America is growing exponentially as more than a third of the workforce hold a contractor or part-time gig. From Uber to TaskRabbit, innovative mobile applications offer ways to find work and provide users with more control of their time and income. When the local economy takes a turn, a strong gig economy offers a great economic opportunity for municipalities. Local leaders will gain insights on programs operating in communities throughout the country, learn policies and strategies that can help support this economic lever and explore the meaningful pathway the gig economy can be for its residents.

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Improve Your City with Data Driven Leadership

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Data offers city leaders ways to improve services. Discover how you can use data to make the quality of life in your city better. Industry leaders and city leaders will discuss the practical applications of data in the work of city government and review key concepts for data use. Find out how to use data and strengthen your city's trust with constituents and increase capacity for service improvements.

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Navigating the Growing World of Legal Cannabis

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Cannabis is an industry projected to grow at nearly 30 percent per year over the next decade. It is often hard to remember that just five years ago no state had legal adult use recreational cannabis. Today, 46 states have legalized some use of cannabis (95 percent of the American public), 29 have broad access to medical cannabis and 9 states plus the District of Columbia (21 percent of the American public) have legal recreational cannabis. Local leaders are frequently finding themselves having to navigate and regulate this rapidly evolving world. Get objective answers to questions about how to handle the challenges arising from this market disruption during a round-robin style event where you get face time with experts in the industry. Topics include how the expansion of legal/decriminalized cannabis intersects with taxation, the federal banking industry, public health and safety, state-level preemption, racial equity, other drugs like opioids.

Friday, November 9, 2018

10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Building Foundations: Investing in Youth to Support Workforce Success

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Is the next generation ready for the future of work? City leaders can be proactive to prepare youth for the workforce by implementing effective strategies that promote professional development long before they enter the workforce. Come to learn how to cultivate a successful workforce that supports sustainable economic growth. During a panel discussion, you’ll hear insights from various experts about the need to prepare a STEM-ready workforce, the benefits of creating high-quality out-of-school programming and the lasting impact of apprenticeships programs to connect youth to well-paying jobs. Preparing youth for work is a huge missed opportunity, so take-home tips to increase the effectiveness of workforce development efforts.

10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Leadership, Ethics, and Liability in the Era of Big Data

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The benefits of big data are endless but collecting, utilizing and storing data present ethical risks for government and privacy risks for citizens. During this panel discussion, learn the role city leadership plays in ensuring more equitable service to citizens by successfully integrating big data into all department programs. Take advantage of the time to ask panel experts questions and learn from peers about mitigating risk and using data to promote equity, enhance community policing programs and more. You’ll also get exclusive insight from NLC RISC about the recent cyber attacks on municipalities and how they work to address the government's liability in these attacks.

10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Preparing to Rebuild and Reimagine Local Infrastructure

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The National League of Cities has called on Congress to “Rebuild and Reimagine” American Infrastructure, but is your city ready for what may come next? Come to learn how your city can manage the comprehensive infrastructure projects of today, meeting multiple needs across transportation, water, and energy sectors. Hear leaders share stories about local governments working with states and the private sector to rebuild and reimagine their own local infrastructure priorities. Get insights from innovators in the public and private sector driving American infrastructure forward including Tesla a trailblazer in transportation, L.A. Water & Power—the largest municipal utility supplying equitable water and energy to millions of residents, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, known for the Clean Water Atlanta initiative to fix the sewer system and Eric Letsinger a pioneer in the “pay for success” financial model to help cities raise funds for innovative or experimental ideas.

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Equity at the Forefront of Your Economic Development Toolbox

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Cities thrive when the people thrive. Come to learn how city leaders achieve economic development by increasing strategies of social equity. Over the course of one year, cities followed an equitable economic development approach through small businesses, co-ops, inclusive entrepreneurship and social enterprises to increase access to opportunities for all. Discover lessons learned, best practices and case studies from cities and organizations participating in NLC’s Equitable Economic Development Fellowship.

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Public Forum: Strategies to Strengthen Local Democracy

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Stronger local democracy is critical, especially during times of national political turmoil, like we’re experiencing today. Join city leaders as they go deeper on a range of topics focused on strengthening the capacity of local government and the vibrancy of civic participation. Local leaders will learn how to overcome the structural hurdles to building local democracy during two panels covering the strategies to overcome preemption, the importance of structural representation and the upcoming 2020 Census. You’ll take-home tangible ways to increase civic engagement during a training lead by the World Cafe — offering effective communication tools to have meaningful conversations that drive action.

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

The Future is Automated: How City Leaders Can Prepare for a New Economic Landscape

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Automation is one of the formidable forces molding the changing economy. It has the potential to impact people across sectors and at various levels of employment and education. From manufacturing and supply chain to retail and food service, many jobs are vulnerable to automation. City leaders will learn to prepare communities for the future of work by exploring national level trends, including automation, deindustrialization and the growing 1099 economy. Local government leaders and experts will discuss how to be proactive in the face of these changes, and how cities can adapt to this changing economic landscape.

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Film Discussion: The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of our Nation

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Why are so many children in the richest country managing life so poorly? A child’s earliest surroundings and interactions shape the developing brain, building the foundations for life-long cognitive and emotional development, even mental and physical health. Although neuroscience highlights the importance of the early stages in childhood, too often families and communities are challenged by lack of time, money and resources to nurture good habits. Poor childcare, racial stigma and trauma of racial exclusion can all impact the brain architecture of young children, resulting in more emotional, behavior, learning and substance abuse issues later in life. The impact of these challenges affects not only the children but also our society. If we want our children to do better in school and in life, we can’t wait until they enter kindergarten. Tune in to the Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation documentary and participate in an open discussion about the film with peers and subject-matter experts.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

What your city’s budget says about local priorities

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How cities decide to raise revenue and spend money should reflect its community values and priorities. What is your city's budget saying? Learn how to transform the budget and streamline the process to obtain revenue in ways that do not unfairly burden particular members of the community, and that directs dollars to outcomes that matter for your city.

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Ensuring Equity in Workforce Development Programming for Special Populations

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A skilled workforce is a major contributor to a growing economy.  As technology advances, cities must prepare for a new economic landscape that offers training and job opportunities to all constituents. City leaders will discuss strategies that promote equity in workforce development and discover new programs to ensure year-long programming for youth and adults. Local leaders will hear from experts and peers about building strong community partnerships that support program models to serve all community populations, specifically the hardest to serve.

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

World Cafe: Strategies for Sustainable, Livable Communities

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What’s your city’s livability score? Sustainability is a component of maintaining a good quality of life. City leaders will learn how creating sustainable cities aids in the development of long-term and comprehensive strategies that support the triple bottom line – people, profit and planet. During this round-robin style session, local leaders will engage in facilitated small group discussions with subject matter experts in social, financial and environmental areas during a series of three to five 25-minute rotations. You’ll take home new financing tools to implement sustainable initiatives and share stories with peers that can inspire ideas to boost your community’s livability rating.