Education Tracks

Explore what's next in the world of local government.

Learn next-level local government tactics, connect with an amazing community of local government leaders, and get plugged in to the emerging and enduring challenges facing local government management professionals.

Civic Health/Community Cohesion

From those who cocoon themselves in their neighborhood enclaves to those who only communicate via social media, local governments struggle not only to listen to the range of voices, but also to engage them in healthy civic dialogue. This is doubly important as political issues, both national and local, have led to further entrenchment and division. In response to Bill Richard’s statement “we cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together,” managers are working to bring everyone to the table, foster healthy interaction, creatively engage with citizens, build on common values, acknowledge areas of disagreement or distrust, help articulate strategic visions, and unite residents, policy makers and civic groups in a joint-effort to create healthier, happier communities.

Equity and Inclusion

Sessions in this track will identify key issues local governments are facing surrounding equity, inclusivity, and social justice in the workplace and community. You will hear innovative solutions and celebrate successes. Learn the benefits of making not only your workplace, but also your communities more inclusive, strategies for engaging diverse residents in your outreach efforts and service delivery, and approaches to combating implicit and institutional bias. Attendees will leave with concrete examples for identifying and addressing these issues to build more just, equitable, and inclusive communities.


From driverless cars, rentable scooters, to cashless transactions, etc. the speed of change is lightening quick in our society making it difficult to keep up with the newest and greatest innovations needed to support excellence in local government management. Sessions selected for this track will highlight how local governments are fostering innovation in their organizations and throughout their respective communities. Sessions in this track will allow participants to learn about new developments and trends experts are forecasting in the next 5 years and beyond.


Leadership requires courage, integrity and the willingness to do the right thing even when it’s not the quick or easy answer. This track will explore personal leadership challenges as well as community, organizational and historical leadership lessons:

  • Personal Leadership-what does it take to continue to grow and exhibit personal leadership in difficult and personally challenging situations?;
  • Community Leadership-How has your community been required to show courage and leadership and what is the local governments role in community leadership;
  • Organizational Leadership-What significant changes has your organization experienced that has required leadership at all levels?;
  • Innovative Leadership: who is rocking the boat but coming up on top in the end? Change isn’t easy-where are the leaders innovating their way in to the future with less resources and more demand?
  • Nashville or Tennessee historical or current leader-continuing our leadership series, what historical or current leader from Nashville or Tennessee has a story that we can learn from as local government managers?


We all aspire to be superheroes; wearing plain clothes during the day and then a cape at night. Being on-call 24-hours a day, working with elected officials, residents, and employees all create stresses that are unique to the local government management profession. Sessions in the Personal track revolve around improving on the skills needed to be a better professional while recognizing the line between the office and our front door. They are intended to help managers deal with the stresses of the job and create boundaries between the office and home.


From balanced budgets to affordable housing, building sustainable communities goes far beyond just “going green.” Local government managers are essential stakeholders in the drive to create more sustainable and resilient communities. Sessions in the Sustainability track will help new and seasoned managers alike explore actionable, comprehensive solutions to sustainability in the communities they call home. Whether these ideas involve environmental protection, economic and community development, infrastructure, partnerships, or technology, they can all aid in creating more livable, sustainable, and resilient communities.