2018 Annual Conference Theme Tracks

An overview of the main themes to be addressed at the 2018 ICMA Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

The 2018 ICMA Annual Conference features a variety of tracks that allow local government management attendees to explore what's next for the profession. With 10 tracks of programming, the ICMA Annual Conference offers an abundance of educational, information-sharing, and networking tools to help you manage your community in today’s complex environment.

Creating Communities that Last

Today’s communities face a complicated world with the problems and opportunities that come with it. Local government managers have a responsibility to ensure that their communities stand the test of time and remain viable and strong for generations to come. Sessions in this track will discuss economic, social, and environmental resiliency issues faced by communities of all sizes and the innovative solutions that colleagues and partners have found to be successful.

Equity and Social Inclusion

Sessions in this track will focus on ways in which local governments can make investments in education, language acquisition, job training, and other services to combat unemployment, homelessness, and poverty, and work to facilitate integration and inclusion of diverse groups into society. It will be incumbent on local governments to assure that staff and service providers are well-trained in recognizing the value of differences. Strategies and tactics should be conveyed to ensure specific takeaways for conference attendees if ICMA members are to contribute to building successful, thriving communities.

Not Your Grandparents’ Workforce

Professional management grew out of the Progressive Era, with civil service ideas reaching back to the late 1800s. Workforce issues continue to evolve and the structures, policies, and approaches to workforce management need to be modernized to make our organizations ready for tomorrow’s challenges.

Redefining Community Engagement – From the Couch to Town Hall Meetings

Engaging residents and other stakeholders in the community-building process is essential to a jurisdiction’s success. Such engagement can increase understanding, result in better and more sustainable decisions, and build trust. It can also foster more cohesive communities and increase resident satisfaction. The biggest challenge for local government managers is to understand which strategies and tools to use to create a sense of belonging within their communities, regardless of size. Sessions in this track will focus on the manager’s role in the engagement process; which combination of strategies and tools produce meaningful engagement; and how often, when, and to what extent managers should engage their communities.

Smart Communities: What Are They?

There’s lots of talk in the field about smart communities and the need to be smart when it comes to technology. But what exactly does it mean to be a smart community? Sessions in this track will address various ways to answer that question and give you tools you need to put your community on the path to becoming a smart community.

The Challenges—and Responsibility—of Putting Your Well-Being First

Local government professionals are increasingly vulnerable to the pressures and stresses of the job. What can be hard to accept is that your first responsibility is to your own well-being. By taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, you are better prepared to serve your community. This track offers insights and tools for restoring your sense of authenticity, hopefulness, and purpose.

Assistant/Deputy Managers

This area focuses on leadership skills needed by managers to lead their organizations, their employees, and their communities. Unique leadership skills required for working with councils is also relevant.

County Managers

While counties deliver some services similar to those of cities, they also have their own set of challenges. Sessions in this track focus on the unique problems counties face in delivering services.

Senior and Credentialed Managers

Sessions in this track will appeal to managers who have been there, done that, and are looking to enhance their leadership, mentoring, and team-building skills.

Small Community Managers

Educational sessions in the Small Communities Track focus on issues and concerns facing managers of communities with a population of 10,000 or less.

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