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The Alliance held its Transforming Local Government Conference (TLG) from April 18-21 and it was a great success.  Thank you to Tulsa for hosting us.

Here are some highlights:

Keynotes:  The Conference kicked off with Josh Linkner, best selling author of Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity.  Josh explained how to develop a sustainable process to encourage innovation all the time.  “Innovation is not an event!”  During our awards luncheon, Rebecca Ryan, our resident futurist, spoke about "winter in America" and how the next generation wants to redesign our world for the coming spring. Finally, we closed with Derreck Kayongo who spoke about how innovation can happen anywhere at anytime. His organization has transported discarded hotel soaps to disadvantaged populations all around the world to improve health and wellness. 

Innovation Tours:  

A Gathering Place for Tulsa and Guthrie Green: the George Kaiser Foundation has funded two public spaces to encourage community in Tulsa. Guthrie Green, a former brownfield site, has revitalized an entire downtown neighborhood and A Gathering Place is the largest private gifted public park in US history.

Route 66: this tour focused on how renewed interest in Route 66 fueled community revitalization.  By redeveloping of historic structures along Route 66, Tulsa was able to create a cultural destination to become an economic engine.

Collaborative Business: Tulsa’s Entrepreneurship Incubators:  Tulsa has two incubators the 36° North and Kitchen 66. 36° North provides a collective workspace and is housed in an auto dealership.  Kitchen 66 provides culinary entrepreneurs kitchen space and public workshops.

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Route 66 branding

Case Studies:  there were so many great case studies around the emerging practices in local government. Here are a few of my favorites:

Creative City Making: the arts can be a powerful driver of innovation.  How can you redesign government services to address racial disparities? In Minneapolis they brought in local artists to stimulate innovative thinking and engage underrepresented populations

Collaborative Homelessness: Recognizing the growing problem of homelessness, San Antonio worked with the Police Dept., Human Services, and local homelessness providers. Using a collaborative strategy, they implemented proactive outreach using multi-disciplinary teams, streamlined services, and a modern org. structure.

Must See Spots in Tulsa:

1. The Vault:  If you ever visit Tulsa this is a must see.  Staff held its welcome dinner here and it was a real treat. It resides in a mid-century modern building that was originally a bank in the 50's.  The best part is a rooftop bar called the Tom Tom room.  In the 50's the local high school was built across the street and the room is named after the school's year book.

2. Hardesty Arts Center: As the location for our Conference Festival, the Arts Center was fantastic!  Highlights for me were the homemade ice cream and the tomato soup (by far the best tomato soup I've ever had).  Located in the new downtown district, its a must see if you get a chance to visit.   

Festival - 4

The best tomato soup ever!

 

See you next year Tacoma for TLG2018!

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