Local government leaders are gearing up to learn about sustainability, technology and more at the 104th ICMA 2018 Annual Conference, Sept. 23 to 26 in Baltimore. This year's conference focuses on innovation and diversity, with sessions on social equity, smart technology and building resilient communities. In advance of the conference, SmartBrief caught up with Lexington Mass., Town Manager Jim Malloy, who is the chairman of the Conference Planning Committee, to learn more about what to expect in Baltimore.
What sessions on the agenda this year are you looking forward to the most?
I’m excited about the overall format that focuses on international speakers and innovation; sessions on diversity, inclusion and social equity in both programs and speakers; sustainability and building communities that last and smart communities. I specifically am looking forward to the session on “Smart Communities – What are They?” which will be helpful in developing smart solutions for my community.
Are there any sessions that are generating a lot of general interest already?
All four keynote speakers this year are generating a lot of interest as they’re all some of the best from past conferences speaking on topical issues. Doris Kearns Goodwin will be speaking on leadership; Dan Pink is speaking on developing perfect timing; Greg Bell will be speaking on unleashing the potential of our teams and individuals and Wes Moore will be discussing the importance of working for all our residents, especially those most in need and being aware of the impact of community on children.
Are there any significant changes this year's ICMA Annual Conference?
This year there will be self-service kiosks at the conference check-in to improve service and ICMA has put together a great “road map” to assist conference attendees on developing complimentary conference programs to attend that will facilitate sharpening skills.
What is typically your favorite aspect of the conference?
The keynote speakers, the trade show and catching up with colleagues and having time to network are some of my favorite parts of the conference but my favorite part is attending the great programs put together by local Host Committees to highlight cities as these have been a great highlight of the cities the conference is located in and have been memorable events.