Next City Celebrates 10 Years

On Friday, November 15, 2013, Next City celebrated 10 years at Joe’s Pub in New York with an evening of first-person storytelling about cities. The lineup included Team Detroit’s Toby Barlow; Strong Cities, Strong Communities Fellow Dekonti Mends-Cole; husband-and-wife starchitects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien; MacArthur-winning environmental justice advocate Majora Carter; The Awl editor and Very Recent History author Choire Sicha; and Next City co-founder Adam Gordon.

Videos and podcasts of the stories are now available on online! Watch and listen by following the links below:

Next City is grateful to attendees and sponsors for supporting our 10th Anniversary Celebration and wishes to extend a special thanks to the lead sponsor, The Rockefeller Foundation, and event sponsors including Bank of America, Robert and Eugenie Birch and Open Society Foundations.


  • Toby Barlow
    Toby is currently Chief Creative Officer at Team Detroit and global creative director on Ford. His recently released novel, Baba Yaga was named a book of the month by both and Indie Pick and was called one of the best books of the summer of 2013 by Flavorwire. He has also written for The New York Times, The Paris Review, Salon and The Huffington Post. Real Detroit named him one of the top 100 reasons to love Detroit. He lives in downtown Detroit and suggests you do the same.

  • Majora Carter
    Majora Carter is an internationally renowned urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer and Peabody Award-winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation and successful implementation of numerous green infrastructure projects, policies, and job training and placement systems. Carter has continually set new standards of excellence with projects in her South Bronx community, while expanding her reach nationally and internationally. Her philanthropic pursuits and business interests have all pointed toward greater self-esteem and economic potential for low-income people everywhere.

  • David Dinkins
    David is Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at the Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA), serves on its Advisory Board, and hosts its Annual Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum. In 2003, the David N. Dinkins Professorship in the Practice of Urban & Public Affairs was established at Columbia University.

  • Adam Gordon
    Adam M. Gordon co-founded Next City in 2003 and served as its initial editor-in-chief and board chair. He has been a staff attorney at Fair Share Housing Center since 2006, where he has litigated at the New Jersey Supreme Court and Appellate Division and worked on state and federal policy issues including very-low-income housing in high opportunity communities, Low Income Housing Tax Credit allocation and statewide fair share allocation. Gordon is also a non-resident fellow at the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy where he has worked on several initiatives on reshaping federal housing policy to focus on sustainable and inclusive communities.

  • Dekonti Mends-Cole
    Dekonti Mends-Cole is a 2013 Next City Vanguard and a Strong Cities Strong Communities Fellow working on innovative blight elimination strategies in Detroit and restructuring the City’s Law Department. Previously, she worked on regional economic development projects in Iraq and Zambia for the United Nations and led community development projects for several of the East London Olympic boroughs. She is currently a World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Shaper Curator and member of WEF’s Urban Futures Initiative Advisory Board.

  • Choire Sicha
    Choire Sicha is co-founder of the website The Awl (which GQ has called “the closest thing on the Internet to the much-imitated Spy magazine of the ‘80s and ‘90s”). He is a two-time former editor of Gawker, and the author of a history of New York City in the most recent recession, Very Recent History. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband and cats.

  • Tod Williams and Billie Tsien
    Tod Williams and Billie Tsien founded Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in 1986. Their studio, located in New York City, focuses on work for institutions — museums, schools and non-profits; organizations that value issues of aspiration and meaning, timelessness and beauty. Their compelling body of work includes the American Folk Art Museum, the David Rubenstein Atrium at New York’s Lincoln Center and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Parallel to their practice, Williams and Tsien maintain active teaching careers and lecture worldwide.

Honored Guests

  • Neill Coleman
    Neill is the Rockefeller Foundation's Vice President of Global Communications and leads the global communications team in New York, Bangkok and Nairobi. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Coleman served as Chief External Affairs Officer at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development where he helped communicate the Obama Administration's response to the housing crisis.

  • Darren Walker
    Darren Walker is the president of the Ford Foundation, the second largest philanthropy in the United States. For more than two decades Mr. Walker has been a leader in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors, starting with a local community and economic development initiative in Harlem, then shifting to global work on an array of social justice issues, including human rights, urban development, free expression and more. His career in the social sector followed a decade in international law and finance.

Masters of Ceremony

  • Mary Domowicz and Terence Mickey
    Mary and Terence coached our storytellers. With a focus on narrative structure and an excavating process of active listening, their methodology helps people shape and remember material from their experience into compelling stories. They've developed trainings, presented at conferences, produced and hosted live events for the Innocence Project, Google, Smithsonian Institute, Mass Mutual, Discovery, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Broadway Community Housing, and many other organizations.

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