The day began with a welcome by representatives from all three cities, then onto John Austin's keynote address about "Leveraging the Assets and Confronting the Challenges of the Great Lakes Region".
To read Valley24's review of the day, click here.
One of the benefits of the meeting was the ability for individuals to interact with their counterparts from each region - bloggers met other bloggers, economic development professionals met other economic development professionals, and neighborhood leaders met other neighborhood leaders.
Right before lunch, a World Cafe took place to discuss the factors which make the mega-region unique.
Mayor Williams stopped by to chat for a while:
And after lunch, participants moved throughout the Youngstown Club to attend presentations on the following topics:
- Data-Driven Decision Making
- CDCs as Agents of Change
- Addressing Vacancy
- Economic Development Strategies
- Designing Sustainable Communities
- Networking and Blogging for Change
Here's an example of multiple design configurations possible when a vacant property exists between other properties.
To encourage collaboration between cities, mini-grants of up to $500 will be given out to encourage "learning exchanges" where people from one location will go and visit others to learn best practices and witness active programs.
To all who attended, thanks for making the trip to Youngstown. And a special thanks to our new friends who took the youngstown bloggers up on the offer to do a walking tour of the downtown.