This morning, in the heart of Texas’ creative capital, Ariel Schwartz from Fast Company and internet pioneer Steve Case discussed innovation during our second general session. Our surrounding city is a fantastic example of Steve Case’s advice: “Cities shouldn’t try to be Silicon Valley, but emphasize their own strengths to attract talent.” Austin’s great quality of life and cost-effective housing bring scores of energetic entrepreneurs to flourish in this welcoming city.
Schwartz moderated a lively panel discussion about trends in city innovation. She was joined by Mayor Bill Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh; Jenny Backus, Senior Policy Advisor/ Strategic Outreach & Partnership at Google; and Arun Sundararajan, Professor and NEC Faculty Fellow at NYU Stern and CUSP.
The Marketplace Fairness Phone Bank was in full-swing today, as NLC invited city leaders to call their members of Congress a call about passing MFA legislation as soon as possible. Reba Campbell, Deputy Executive Director of the Municipal Association of South Carolina, urged her fellow city leaders to do what they can to get this bill passed. She says that Main Street businesses suffer when people order products online that they found at local shops. “They’re not putting taxes back into the community like they should be,” Reba explains.
So far, 74 city leaders have made calls to their members of Congress in support of this act, which is so crucial to the small businesses that make communities great. Make it a point to stop by the MFA desk tomorrow on the 4th floor of the Convention Center!
WIMG toasted to 40 years with a special luncheon, honoring female municipal officials for unique and outstanding achievement in local government. The WIMG Luncheon speaker, Laura Huffman, Texas State Director of The Nature Conservancy addressed the crowd. “There are three key elements to help empower local leaders to succeed and to think bigger about their work and vision,” she said. “Culture, conversation and collaboration are essential in helping to implement ideas for programs in cities and towns. We must consider going beyond our average planning for cities and expand our ideas more broadly to help strengthen governments.”
Our Twitter feed was full of attendees documenting the workshops today. One of the highlights was The Sharing Economy: Challenges and Opportunities in the Regulatory Environment. Speakers representing companies such as Uber and AirBNB discussed how communities are approaching these new platforms. Look up the hashtag #NLCATX on Twitter to see what your fellow attendees picked up from their sessions today, including some great photos of the mobile workshops around Austin.
This evening, State Leagues from all over the country hosted receptions throughout downtown Austin. Friday night is the perfect time to venture out with new friends to explore this incredible city, where live music and unforgettable food can be found on every corner!
Tweets of the Day