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The Great Lakes Cities: Urban Laboratories conference agenda is divided into five primary areas:

  1. Policy education. Speakers will educate participants about current best practices in Great Lakes urban revitalization.  By way of example, past conference speakers have included representatives of the Great Lakes Economic Initiative of the Brookings Institution, the Northeast-Midwest Institute, and the Global Midwest Institute.
  2. Peer-to-peer education. The conference will include several participant-driven sessions, including peer education activities around geographic location and sectors, and opportunities for participants to workshop their activities and ideas.
  3. Cleveland education. This area includes site visits to neighborhoods, organizations, and efforts around Cleveland that are helping to create a new vision for Cleveland’s future.  Neighborhood tours will help create a deep understanding of the similarities between Cleveland and other Rust Belt cities.
  4. Advocacy education and training. Participants will explore current advocacy efforts in community revitalization, transit, historic preservation, and other related federal policies that are good for cities, with the guidance of both local and national experts.  Expected partners in leading these sessions include Greater Ohio, using the Restoring Prosperity report as a teaching tool, and the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, which has been a leader in organizing around the Community Regeneration, Sustainability and Innovation Act.
  5. “Business plan charrette.” GLUE is currently pursuing partnerships with Cleveland-based organizations struggling to pursue a particular idea but encountering capacity or experiential hurdles that are, with some outside expertise and creative energy, surmountable.  The GLUE conference will bring national experts on the chosen issue to the conference and will provide significant education around these issues.  Then, the conference will leverage its uniquely talented and diverse participant body to prepare an implementation strategy (or number of implementation strategies through a contest format).  The community partners will be committed to implementation.
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