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Transforming Local Government Conference Calls for Proposals

The Alliance for Innovation is accepting applications from local governments that are interested in presenting during the 14th Annual Transforming Local Government (TLG) conference, June 4-6, 2008 in Greenville, SC. The theme for the 2008 conference is Creating Sustainable Futures: Global Issues/Local Solutions. Given that sustainability is the issue of the 21st century, the conference asks, how do we shape our organizations and communities and businesses so that we do not borrow from the future and our children but create a future that is fully better than our world today? NCDD member Carolyn Caywood assures us that the Alliance for Innovation takes deliberation on public policy seriously as one of the key elements of local governance.

Presenters are invited to submit a successful program, project, or initiative for one of the categories listed below. Contact Toni Shope, East Regional Director, 800.777.2509, tshope@transformgov.org with questions. The application deadline is August 31, 2007.

When we think of sustainability, concern about the environment often comes to mind first — from global warming to resource depletion, going green in products and building, switching to renewable energy sources, safe and sufficient water supply, and so on (in short, living in balance on the planet and within our communities).

How do we build and maintain viable economies, globally and within our communities? How do we strike the right balance between other sustainable values and provide economic security and opportunities for people? In an increasingly competitive global environment, what strategies and practices are having most success in creating good jobs? How do we maintain and improve quality of life for people?

Social Equity and Community
In the U.S., we have the greatest gap between rich and poor in our history. Much has been written about the disappearance of the middle class. Many cities are becoming home to only the rich and poor. Immigration and increasing diversity raises huge challenges about assimilation, equity, and opportunity. What kinds of communities are we creating and for whom?

Planning, Urban Design, Infrastructure
One could argue that this track could be subsumed under one or more of the above “traditional 3—E’s”. In fact, the nature of sustainability itself is integrative and holistic and systems based, so most issues run across tracks. We thought though that the local government role is special and strong in the areas of planning and urban design and provision of public infrastructure and warranted a separate track.

Organization and Finance
We are faced with huge demands and pressures to ensure that our local governments and organizations attract and retain great people (so that we can create sustainable futures in the other areas). The emerging labor crisis and need to remake our organizations to appeal to the “next generation” demands innovation and change to compete and thrive in a global, networked world. Financial sustainability, increasingly affected by the other sustainability areas and compounded by growing fiscal constraints and governance challenges likewise requires innovation and adaptation.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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