GMF and Bilbao City Council, Spain, to launch Urban Innovation and Leadership Dialogues (BUILD)
December 16, 2013
WASHINGTON (December 16, 2013) - Today the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) announces the launch of the Urban Innovation and Leadership Dialogues (BUILD) on June 11-14, 2014, at the Euskaldune Palace Conference Center and Concert Hall in Bilbao, Spain. BUILD will be GMF’s first convening focusing exclusively on urban policy and leadership issues - two programmatic areas where the institution has over a 30-year history of engaging local leaders.
GMF is pleased to partner with the Bilbao City Council and Bilbao City Council on this event, which will highlight the city’s successful urban transformation while setting the stage for a dialogue around the city’s future development. “We are very excited to bring GMF’s proven convening model to the City of Bilbao and launch this new collaborative initiative between our Urban Policy and Leadership programs,” says GMF President, Craig Kennedy.
BUILD will be a high-level gathering of 100 local leaders from the United States and Europe to discuss strategies and approaches for leading transformative change in cities. “Although cities today face many challenges, they are also hubs of opportunity for innovation, culture, entrepreneurship, and social change,” said Urban Policy Director, Geraldine Gardner. “How urban leaders meet the challenges and leverage opportunities for transformative change is a key leadership question with both local and global impact,” adds Kevin Cottrell, Director of GMF’s Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives.
At BUILD, participants will explore both the leadership and policy angles of two themes: sustainable and equitable urban transformation; and global engagement for cities. Participants will discuss the challenges and opportunities of leading their cities through these internal and external processes through expert panel discussions, group dialogue sessions, and breakout workshops.
In keeping with GMF’s tradition of innovative convenings, BUILD will focus on practical and measurable outcomes for both participants and the event as a whole. Specific goals for BUILD include establishing a transatlantic network of leaders, developing their leadership potential for advancing a change agenda in their cities, and sharing innovative practices on the two thematic pillars.
Bilbao’s own transformation story was a result of place-based redevelopment initiatives, innovative leadership models, and institutional structures. BUILD will feature these strategies through dialogue with local leaders and site visits.
To further build the outcome oriented approach to this convening, GMF President Craig Kennedy, with Geraldine Gardner and Kevin Cottrell, directors respectively of GMF’s Urban and Regional Policy program and Transatlantic Leadership Initiative, met with a local Advisory Group to discuss the strategic goals of BUILD and other GMF activities. Involvement of the Advisory Group - composed of political, civil society, and corporate leaders from the city, region, and the Basque Country - will position June’s dialogues locally to drive the city’s international engagement.
BUILD is a joint product of the Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives and Urban and Regional Policy Programs at GMF. Both programs offer rising leaders opportunities to engage in global knowledge networks that advance solutions for shared local challenges.