One moment...

Home / Learning / BIG Ideas

BIG Ideas



Transportation & tours



Past Big IDeas

2016 BIG Ideas: The Future of Local Government is taking place October 28-30 in Dublin, Ohio and you are invited! Mark your calendar now!

Just as water is the driving force of all life, access to technology is quickly becoming the driving force of our local, national and global landscape. Without access, our community services and economies will struggle to be sustainable into the future.

Attendees will join provocateurs in large and small group conversations to discuss, “Reframing Digital Disruption.” Provocateurs will speak on trends of the topics – such as fiber as the 4th utility, communities modifying policies, and what governance and philosophical issues does this bring up. Over the weekend attendees will consider their greatest opportunities and vulnerabilities in the rapidly changing digital age.

The questions we’ll discuss are: 

  • How do we plan, fund and deploy these services to meet the existing and future needs of our communities?
  • How do we educate our communities about this imperative to make technologies deployment and equitable access a priority?
  • How do we change the political landscape to address the industries and regulations standing in our way?

Hosted by the Alliance for Innovation, BIG Ideas is an invitation-only event that gathers progressive leaders to explore critical issues for the future of communities. The Alliance for Innovation is inspiring innovation to advance communities.  As the premier resource for emerging practices in local government, the Alliance is building cultures of innovation and connecting thought leaders in the profession.

The following White Papers will help frame the discussion:

Local Government 2035

Technology's Impact on the World and What it Means to How Your Community Will be Shaped

The Economic Essentials of Digital Strategy


Friday, October 28, 2016 at Crowne Plaza Hotel


Registration Opens


Program Begins

Panel Session: Emerging Digital Disruptions – A Look Ahead at Technology Trends and Their Impacts on Our Communities



Reception and Dinner at Muirfield Village Golf Club (Offsite, transportation provided)

Saturday, October 29 at Crowne Plaza Hotel




Program Opens

The Broadband Imperative – The 4th Utility Defining Intelligent Communities


Adapting Approaches and Venturing In – How Technologies Disruptions are Pushing Us to Think Differently about Structure, Policies and Regulations




Transportation and Technology Impacts – Smart, Autonomous, Connected



BREAK! Dream, think, play, rest.


Reception and Dinner at Columbus Zoo (Offsite, transportation will be provided)

Sunday, October 30 at Crowne Plaza Hotel




Program Begins

Attendee reflection and activity: how this plays out, or how you want it to play out in your own community. How do you take in all that is coming at you, and make the disruptors positive?





BIG Ideas 2016 will take place at the Crowne Plaza Columbus-Dublin, 600 Metro Place North, Dublin, OH, 43017. To make your reservation visit their website or call 1-866-372-5566 OR 1-614-764-2200 and identify yourself as a member of the “2016 BIG Ideas Conference.” You must reserve your room by Tuesday, October 11 to receive the discounted group room rate of $129 per night.




Attendees flying to attend the weekend event should arrive into Port Columbus International Airport (CMH). A range of services offering travelers transportation to and from the Columbus airport are available. Options include:

  • Uber and Lyft services are available for airport pick-up and drop-off. Cost is approximately $35.
  • Taxi – CMH to Dublin is 20 miles and will cost approximately $65 for a taxi ride.
  • SuperShuttle


Smart Mobility Partnership – Building a Connected Vehicle Corridor  - (October 29, 3:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.)

The City of Dublin in partnership with several local governments and institutions will soon begin implementing a new fiber optics network along a portion of Ohio State Route 33 (located along the northwest boundary of Dublin). This route is planned as a corridor for Connected Vehicles and Smart Mobility research as the partners work to connect the networks and infrastructure of the City of Dublin, City of Marysville, and Union County. This presentation touches on the use of a Council of Governments and the partnerships with the OSU Center for Automotive Research, Battelle, the Transportation Research Center, the State of Ohio and the business community, including Honda R&D of North and South America. This Connected Vehicles/Smart Mobility initiatives coordinate with the City of Columbus’ Smart Cities Challenge win, where $140M is being deployed for smart technologies.  Speakers from the City of Dublin, OSU’s Center for Automotive Research and Battelle will present on the development and next steps in implementing this “NW 33 Innovation Corridor” initiative.

This opportunity is limited to 30 attendees.  Shuttles will leave the hotel at 3:00 p.m. and take attendees past the area of the corridor and then to the Ohio University Dublin Campus for the presentation and refreshments.

Explore Dublin on a Bike! – (October 29, 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.)

Join City of Dublin Bicycle Ambassadors and a Police Officer as they lead you on a leisurely ride though several City parks along a portion of Dublin’s  100+ miles of bike path.    This opportunity is limited to 20 participants.  Bikes and helmets will be provided. 


Registration is $435 for the two and one half day meeting. All event transportation and meals are provided for the duration of the event. Your guests are welcome to attend dinners each night with the purchase of a ticket. Attendees can purchase a guest dinner ticket during the registration process.

Register at or by clicking the button below.



BIG Ideas: The Future of Local Government is generously sponsored by HR Green, SAFEbuilt and Siemens.


2015 BIG Ideas - Milwuakee, WI

Community Trust: The BIG Conversation

Last year's discussions lead attendees through the timely topic of Community Trust: The BIG Conversation, taking our gaze forward to the future of our communities. As current headlines continue highlighting the polarization among the governing and the governed, BIG Ideas attendees will dive into the future of collaborative, transformative leadership. Thought leaders from across the US will facilitate provocative conversation on polarization, civility, and trust in the future of our communities.

2014 BIG IDEAS - Fort Lauderdale, Fl


This is perhaps the most important takeaway from the provocative discussion on building resilient communities at 2014 BIG Ideas. Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from adversity. It is more than recovering; adapting better for future challenges. Acknowledging the bleak reality often facing communities across the globe, leaders convened in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, FL for three days and focused their discussion on how to prepare and bounce forward stronger no matter the circumstances.

Several key themes emerged through the various discussions from the weekend:

Prepare and Plan Today: Conduct a risk and impact assessment, acknowledge your vulnerabilities and prioritize and integrate strategies.

Institutionalize Resiliency: It is a continuous process and it should be integrated into the day to day.

Collaborative Process: Connect with others. Empower, engage and build relationships with staff, citizens, nonprofits, business leaders and the region.

Communication is Critical: Establish trust and transparency.

This document is filled with information that can help jump-start your discussion. Seize the opportunity today to become a resilient community that isn’t defined by adversity, but by your response when faced with challenges and your ability to rebuild better and stronger.

2013 BIG IDEAS - Santa Monica & West Hollywood, CA

BIG Ideas 2013 looked at the future of local government, assessing the impact our decisions now will have on the landscape of local government tomorrow. 

2012 BIG IDEAS - Williamsburg, VA

BIG Ideas 2013 offers a timely contrast to the 2012 BIG Ideas: Revolutionary Ideas, held in Williamsburg.  This year’s discussions will take the lead from our historical setting. Attendees had conversations around the theme -- “BIG Ideas, Revolutionary Ideas”: A New Founding for Local Government within the American Commonwealth. BIG Ideas 2012 discussed the future of local government as seen through the lens of the ideas which gave birth to the American experiment in republican and democratic self-government; the ideas which continue to inspire and to challenge as “we the people” struggle to achieve a free, just and inclusive society.View the BIG Ideas 2012 Conference Materials

2011 BIG Ideas - Fort Collins, CO

The 2011 BIG Ideas Conference was held in Fort Collins, CO. The format was highly interactive, with attendees bridging the roles of provocateurs and being a participant.  Participants left Colorado feeling energized and inspired by the conversation that took place.

Over the course of two and a half days, attendees discussed

  1. What will the future of local government look like?
  2. Who should work there? 
  3. What work will they be doing?
  4. How will they do their work? and
  5. How will we create a place for community?

You will find below the links to the white papers that were generated to help participants prepare for the conversation:

During these events, sessions are live scribed.  Below is the link to the 2011 BIG Ideas Notes that were taken during the event:

Explore Dublin on a Bike!