Connecting City Leaders

Local leaders tackling similar challenges have a lot to learn from each other. Creating opportunities for cities to make and sustain these connections is a key component of the National Resource Network’s approach to city partnership.

From 2014 to 2016, the Network held three annual convenings of leaders from the cities with Network partner cities to share successes, challenges, and lessons learned. Cities typically sent two high-ranking city government officials and a third participant from a local foundation, anchor institution, chamber of commerce, or other key partner to each convening; this model has proven very successful in moving cities toward action on ideas generated at the convening.

The Network‘s three national peer convenings: a smaller, inaugural event in Chattanooga (2014) that also helped establish the trajectory of the Network’s peer activity, and two larger convenings – in Miami (2015) and New Orleans (2016) – that each brought together more than 100 representatives from 30-50 cities. The last two convenings have focused on a mix of participant-led educational sessions, formal and informal networking, and city tours. Review the agendas for the 2015 and 2016 convenings online.

For Cities, By Cities

The Network has facilitated the development of two peer-generated resources for city leaders. These guides represent an innovative model for intercity collaboration and peer learning. While federal agencies, nonprofits, foundations, and private interests have produced much information on digital inclusion, a resource guide produced by a consortium of city leaders for the benefit of cities nationwide is unprecedented. The perspectives of the authors and the target audience are completely in alignment, which allows for greater sensitivity to the financial, social, and political realities that will impact communities seeking to launch new initiatives.

  • Access and Inclusion in the Digital Age is designed to support communities of all sizes and geographies in advancing their goals for expanding high-speed Internet access and digital inclusion.
  • Growing Wages & Jobs: How City Government Can Help Lead in Workforce Development and Public Education highlights examples of how cities can take a leading role in promoting workforce development and public education to attain a resilient and competitive economy.

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