Hometown

Summit

APRIL 11-14, 2018

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA

HOMETOWN
SUMMIT

APRIL 11-14, 2018

Charlottesville, VA

America’s Biggest Conference for Small Cities

The Hometown Summit is a forum to advance resilience and thriving in America’s small cities. Launched in 2017 with over 450 changemakers from 76 US cities, the Summit returns this April for three days of insights and fellowship across geographies and sectors. Addressing national challenges with local solutions, the theme of 2018’s Summit is “Own It.”

 

Tickets on Sale Now!

 

WORKSHOP YOUR CITY

 

Interact with hundreds of peers from across the United States, from community members to civic leaders, around ideas proven effective for small and mid-sized cities.

 

 

OVER 110 SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED

 

Stay tuned as we announce hundreds of incredible inventors, artists, advocates, and innovators.

“I met amazing people from all over the country doing great work, who have great ideas about improving their communities. Their intelligence and caring gave me hope.”

 

“The Hometown Summit is THE event that was needed to electrify collaborative efforts in support of small cities (and all cities). I’ve never felt energy like this, or had better conversations with inspiring leaders that led to actionable next steps, than at HTS.”

 

“The Hometown Summit was one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to, I loved the variety of topics and the range of backgrounds and experiences of the attendees.”

 

Hip music, beautiful scenery, and great conversation about cities… a great summit that showcased a variety of good ideas in government…and was really fun.”

 

The Program

 

The Hometown Summit explores community-driven economic development across eight vectors:

 

HEALTH | DESIGN | ENERGY
FOOD | INVESTMENT | DATA
MEDIA | SOCIAL IMPACT

 

These topics align with the Founders Summit in order to establish robust programming for practitioners and facilitate knowledge exchange across the public and private sectors. Both Summits offer mirroring and complementary formats intersecting at the Keynotes.

In total, the Hometown Summit will offer: 8 keynotes, 8 plenaries, 16 city spotlight panels, 8 workshops, and 24 roundtables, plus a variety of parties, tours, and performances.

The Program

The Hometown Summit explores community-driven economic development across eight vectors:

These topics align with the Founders Summit in order to establish robust programming for practitioners and facilitate knowledge exchange across the public and private sectors. Both Summits offer mirroring and complementary formats intersecting at the Keynotes. In total, the Hometown Summit will offer: 8 keynotes, 8 plenaries, 16 city spotlight panels, 8 workshops, and 24 roundtables, plus a variety of parties, tours, and performances.

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Wednesday

5:00 – Registration
6:00 – Reception
7:00 – Keynote
8:00 – Performance

Thursday

9:00 – Keynote
10:30 – Session I
12:00 – Keynote
2:00 – Session II
3:30 – Session III

Friday

9:00 – Keynote
10:30 – Session IV
12:00 – Keynote
2:00 – Session V
3:30 – Session VI

Saturday

9:00 – Session VII
10:30 – Session VIII
12:00 – Closing Lunch

Data: Smart Cities

New tools offer unprecedented opportunities for local government to make better decisions, even as citizens have vastly expanded resources to engage their leadership. What are the most impactful ways in which big data, machine learning, and sensor technology are fostering justice and opportunity in small cities today, and what are the perils associated with this new age of connectivity and information?

 

Design: Industry and Makers

In the past 20 years, America has shed 28 percent of its manufacturing jobs, but the decline of employment isn’t the whole story. In terms of output, U.S. manufacturing has grown over the past three decades, and with technologies such as 3D printing, it has become easier than ever for small and mid-sized firms to participate in global markets. What do these trends mean for small cities, and how can cities support makers and manufacturers in their midst?
Energy: Climate and Adaptation

It has been a terrifying year for natural disasters, from wildfires to hurricanes, and we have not yet reached “the new normal” defined by global warming. Can cities make a dent in this international challenge? What can they do to mitigate the impact?
Food: Opportunity and Impact

The 21.5 million workers in the food system make up the largest employment sector in the United States. As interest in artisan and local food continues to grow, can this small business approach to food production promote middle-class job creation and intergenerational wealth? Do existing guidelines for how work in food production and service is rewarded help or hurt local entrepreneurs?
Health: The Community Hospital

As employers, innovators, and healers, health systems anchor communities. What is the role of the modern hospital today, and what role should cities have in setting priorities for these institutions?
Investment: The Startup Ecosystem

New firm creation is at a fifty year low in the United States, due in part to the concentration of lending into established businesses and of venture capital into a few square miles of real estate in California and New York. Can small cities combine new tools and traditional institutions to buck the trend?
Media: History and Identity

How do cities foster a distinctiveness of place? From Shaker furniture to Delta blues, American regions and localities have long been a rich with cultural capital, but the “feel” of a small city has more recently been defined by national franchises on the one hand, and aspirations for coastal lifestyles on the other. By embracing preservation, native materials, folkways, and architectural idiosyncrasies, how can cities cultivate unique and inclusive identities in the 21st century?
Social: The Future of Federalism

In recent years, cities have stepped forward to lead national and international innovation in areas such as gun control, paid family leave, and climate change. At the same time, state legislatures have more aggressively deployed their powers of pre-emption to nullify city ordinances. These conflicts call into question dynamics of American federalism. What are the different sides of this issue, and how can cities lead within the law?

BRING YOUR CITY.

 

Every city has emerging leaders who attack local opportunities with special creativity, focus, and impact. The Hometown Summit’s core audience consists of cohorts from 16 US cities. The goal of this approach is to create a stronger foundation for action through fellowship. Participation in each cohort is by invitation or nomination, and each cohort is designed to reflect a cross-section of public, private, and nonprofit sectors, as well as racial and ideological diversity.

Get in touch to learn more

“Honestly one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended. I felt engaged, empowered, and like I belonged to a greater community than just my own.”

 

“The Hometown Summit provided me just the energy I needed as I enter my second term as a local elected official. The influx of energy, enthusiasm, and new ideas for the work hit the spot!”

 

“I travel to many conferences about entrepreneurship and cities but this was one of the few where my curiosity was provoked and encouraged to dream about how to make a better city for everyone. It spanned beyond technology and entrepreneurship which helped me see a more proper role for those things within a city and how we might better engage peers in the public sector.”

Over 400 PARTICIPANTS from 75+ American communities.

Tom Tom
Founders Festival

 

The Hometown Summit takes place in the midst of the seventh annual Tom Tom Founders Festival, an action-packed week celebrating urbanism, creativity, and entrepreneurship in small cities. Join us in historic downtown Charlottesville for seven days of terrific bands, entrepreneurs, artists, and local chefs and farmers.

Festival Overview

 

FOUNDING PARTNERS