Next City’s annual gathering of the best and brightest young city leaders will meet in Montréal, Quebec in the spring of 2017 to explore citizen-driven urbanism. “Next City is thrilled to hold its 2017 Vanguard program in Montréal. This vibrant, historic, international city will serve as the perfect backdrop for a multi-day experiential leadership program for young urban professionals,” said Tom Dallessio, President, CEO and Publisher of Next City. “We look forward to bringing 40 of the best and brightest urban leaders from around the world to address urban challenges as well as experience the great city of Montréal.”
The 2017 Vanguard program will be run by Next City in collaboration with a citizen-led committee of local hosts spearheaded by Celine Cooper, columnist with The Montreal Gazette, and Kyle Matthews, fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and member of the Contact Mtl Montréal Ambassadors Network. The host committee includes representatives from the City of Montréal, Montréal International, Pop Montréal, Concordia University, the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, The Commons Inc., jevois mtl/je fais mtl, Hip Hop No Pop, as well as entrepreneurs from startups including Trendr and Ajah.
“Montréal is a creative, vibrant and dynamic city where citizen participation, intellectual contribution and youthful energy is strong. In welcoming the Next City Vanguard conference in 2017, our city seeks to provide an opportunity for knowledge and imagination to unite and inspire the citizen urbanism we need for the 21st century,” said Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal.
Montréal — Canada’s second largest city and home to a diverse population of around 4 million people — is at once North American, European and plugged into the international Francophonie. With its unparalleled network of universities and other post-secondary institutions, thriving arts, cultural and technology sectors, and commitment to environmental sustainability and social equality, Montréal is a city where bold ideas about the future of urbanism incubate.
The competition for serving as the host city for Vanguard 2017 was particularly rigorous this year, as 13 cities from across North America applied to hold this event, including Buffalo, NY, Newark, NJ, Youngstown, OH, Lexington, KY, Port Huron, MI, Gary, IN, Sacramento, CA, Lacrosse, WI, Montgomery, AL, Des Moines, IA, Erie, PA, and Providence, RI. Montréal’s unparalleled network and commitment to environmental and social change make it the perfect place for our diverse group of leaders to learn in this historic city going through an urban renaissance.
The Next City Vanguard program brings together 40 urban professionals under the age of 40 working to improve cities. Solving urban problems means working across divides and breaking silos, so Vanguard convenes professionals across sectors, including architecture, art, civic technology, community development, entrepreneurship, government, transportation and urban planning. Each year, Next City selects applicants whose smart ideas for cities, experience in the field and ambition for the future all show great promise. The conference is free and there are a limited number of stipends to cover travel costs for qualified applicants.
Past Vanguards have worked for the Obama administration, founded successful city-focused startups such as Ioby and Fundrise, held municipal office and climbed the ranks of influential organizations such as the Brookings Institution, the Urban Institute, Citi Group, Code for America, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Transportation Alternatives, Smart Growth America and the University of Chicago. Many come back to participate in subsequent conferences. With over 250 Vanguards participating over the last seven years, Next City has created a program that will advance the nonprofit’s mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities through journalism and events around the world.
This year’s three-day conference in Houston will include workshops, tours and conversations about the newest innovations and most pressing questions in urban development, infrastructure and public policy. Vanguards will have the opportunity to work with a small group of Houston-based organizations to devise solutions to local challenges. The program will culminate in Next City’s annual Big Idea Challenge. The winning idea will be funded by Next City and implemented in Houston in the year following the conference.
Applications for the 2017 Vanguard conference will open fall of 2016. The only requirement is that applicants must be 40 or younger and have demonstrated a commitment to improving their city.
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