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GLUE (the Great Lakes Urban Exchange) is a network of young urban leaders devoted to sustainable and equitable urban futures for the Great Lakes mega-region, stretching from New York in the East to Minnesota in the West. GLUE is premised on the belief that, in order to catalyze the kind of transformation and reinvestment necessary to alter the trajectory of “declining” cities, new methods of sharing ideas across localities, and the elevation and replication of the most effective public policies, are urgently required.

The success of these efforts demands that new people and ideas are brought into policy conversations long dominated by “the usual suspects.”  In order to diversify the constituency of people at the table, GLUE has spent the last two years building a multi-sector network of civically engaged younger people who are committed to making their post-industrial city work.

GLUE’s members believe that if these cities take advantage of the region’s unique opportunities and creatively transition from sole reliance on heavy industry, they can also lead to a shared future, one that is prosperous, sustainable, and equitable, and is emblematic of the very entrepreneurialism that catapulted this constellation of cities to become a global economic superpower at the peak of the industrial revolution.

Hence: the annual GLUE conference.  It’s the paramount tool we have for bringing together emerging leaders who are creative, forward-thinking, and devoted to the revitalization of their Rust Belt hometown.

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