Friday, April 15, 2016

City Officials Share Thoughts on the 2016 Annual Conference

The 2016 Annual Conference—June 14-17 in St. Paul—is shaping up to be a one-of-a-kind event as the League partners with the Alliance for Innovation for our first-ever joint annual conference!

What can you expect when attending the 2016 Annual Conference? Two Minnesota city officials involved in the conference planning committee shared their thoughts on how this innovative joint event will impact conference attendees.

Matt Stemwedel, city manager of Coon Rapids, discussed what made past Alliance conferences memorable, and what he plans on taking away from the 2016 Annual Conference.

The Alliance conference is a unique, national event. What do you think this partnership will bring to the 2016 Annual Conference?
Energy! The Alliance conferences always help re-energize my passion for local government. The keynote speakers are thought provoking and challenge your assumptions about how to navigate the future. The breakout sessions are very engaging, while also providing practical information on how to implement new ideas into your community.

This year, the conference will feature educational sessions on local and national topics and trends. What are the benefits of an expanded program?
I think the biggest benefit to Minnesota cities is to hear different perspectives on how communities outside of Minnesota are approaching similar issues. We tend to not look beyond our neighboring communities to address new issues, which can limit our creativity to develop better solutions. At the joint 2016 Annual Conference, you’ll hear about innovative ideas and best practices from across the country, and it forces you to think differently about how those solutions could be implemented in Minnesota.

What do you hope your Minnesota city colleagues will take away from this joint conference?
I believe Minnesota city officials will leave the joint conference feeling excited by the speakers and sessions they have attended and will also have new ideas to bring home to their community.

The 2016 Annual Conference will highlight innovation in St.
Paul and the surrounding area.
Dianne Miller, assistant city administrator with the City of Eagan, shared her hopes for the 2016 Annual Conference, from the perspective of an official who has not attended an Alliance conference.

As a new member, I am really excited to set aside a few days to see firsthand the best examples of innovative local government from across the country. In addition to learning about efforts and strategies I can bring back to Eagan, I am also looking forward to the fantastic field demonstrations and tours highlighting progress and creativity in developments and projects across the Twin Cities. Even though many of the featured projects are right in our backyard, I, for one, have not taken the time to truly experience all of the innovation we have here. The opportunity to interact and learn from others who are passionate about transforming local government will be the proverbial icing on the cake!

Are you excited for the energy and innovation at the 2016 Annual Conference? Don’t forget to register by April 27 and save with early bird pricing!

The Alliance for Innovation is a national organization of cities, counties, and other local governments with a common vision of fostering innovation to advance communities. Find out more.

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