2018 ICMA Annual Conference Call for Ideas is Closed

ICMA Members: ICMA is accepting learning lab and roundtable discussion session ideas for the 104th ICMA Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland!

ARTICLE | Dec 11, 2017


Think you have an idea that could become the next big learning lab or roundtable discussion at the 104th ICMA Annual Conference? Then ICMA wants to hear from you! We're always looking for new ideas from our members. If you are interested in contributing to the 104th ICMA Annual Conference, see details below about the Call for Ideas process. 

What you need to know:

  • The 104th ICMA Annual Conference will be held September 23-26, 2018, in Baltimore, Maryland. The call for ideas is now open to ICMA members and closes January 11. Note that late entries will not be accepted. 
  • Ideas for the 2018 ICMA Annual Conference must relate to one of the 10 tracks (listed below) developed by the 2018 Conference Planning Committee. A track is an overarching theme. The committee met in Baltimore November 17-19 to decide which tracks are most important to local government managers at this time.

2018 Annual Conference Tracks

Creating Communities that Last

Today’s communities face a complicated world with the problems and opportunities that come with it. Local government managers have a responsibility to ensure that their communities stand the test of time and remain viable and strong for generations to come. Sessions in this track will discuss economic, social, and environmental resiliency issues faced by communities of all sizes and the innovative solutions that colleagues and partners have found to be successful.

Equity and Social Inclusion

Sessions in this track will focus on ways in which local governments can make investments in education, language acquisition, job training, and other services to combat unemployment, homelessness, and poverty, and work to facilitate integration and inclusion of diverse groups into society. It will be incumbent on local governments to assure that staff and service providers are well-trained in recognizing the value of differences. Strategies and tactics should be conveyed to ensure specific takeaways for conference attendees if ICMA members are to contribute to building successful, thriving communities.

Not Your Grandparents’ Workforce

Professional management grew out of the Progressive Era, with civil service ideas reaching back to the late 1800s. Workforce issues continue to evolve and the structures, policies, and approaches to workforce management need to be modernized to make our organizations ready for tomorrow’s challenges.

Redefining Community Engagement – From the Couch to Town Hall Meetings

Engaging residents and other stakeholders in the community-building process is essential to a jurisdiction’s success. Such engagement can increase understanding, result in better and more sustainable decisions, and build trust. It can also foster more cohesive communities and increase resident satisfaction. The biggest challenge for local government managers is to understand which strategies and tools to use to create a sense of belonging within their communities, regardless of size. Sessions in this track will focus on the manager’s role in the engagement process; which combination of strategies and tools produce meaningful engagement; and how often, when, and to what extent managers should engage their communities.

Smart Communities: What Are They?

There’s lots of talk in the field about smart communities and the need to be smart when it comes to technology. But what exactly does it mean to be a smart community? Sessions in this track will address various ways to answer that question and give you tools you need to put your community on the path to becoming a smart community.

The Challenges—and Responsibility—of Putting Your Well-Being First

Local government professionals are increasingly vulnerable to the pressures and stresses of the job. What can be hard to accept is that your first responsibility is to your own well-being. By taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, you are better prepared to serve your community. This track offers insights and tools for restoring your sense of authenticity, hopefulness, and purpose.

Assistant/Deputy Managers

This area focuses on leadership skills needed by managers to lead their organizations, their employees, and their communities. Unique leadership skills required for working with councils is also relevant.

County Managers

While counties deliver some services similar to those of cities, they also have their own set of challenges. Sessions in this track focus on the unique problems counties face in delivering services.

Senior and Credentialed Managers

Sessions in this track will appeal to managers who have been there, done that, and are looking to enhance their leadership, mentoring, and team-building skills.

Small Community Managers

Educational sessions in the Small Communities Track focus on issues and concerns facing managers of communities with a population of 10,000 or less.

What we are looking for:

Interested in submitting an idea for one of the tracks above? Here's what you need to know:

  • Your submission must include a short (no more than 1,200 words) description that includes what tool(s) attendees can take back to their communities. Ideas should be educational, noncommercial, and provide value to a wide-ranging group of ICMA conference attendees. All submissions will be reviewed and submitters will be notified by e-mail whether or not a proposal is selected for inclusion in the conference program. Note that an idea submittal does not guarantee selection. Email questions to callforideas@icma.org.
  • ICMA is looking for ideas for two different session formats: (1) learning lounge: 30-minute interactive presentations on focused topics; and (2) roundtables: 60-minute discussions (no presentations). A facilitator knowledgeable about the predetermined topic is present at each roundtable.
  • Use the official submission form! This is the only way submissions will be reviewed.

Who can submit:

Ideas for ICMA's 2018 Annual Conference must be submitted by an ICMA member. (Nonmembers are encouraged to join ICMA and enjoy the benefits of belonging to this international organization.) Members and nonmembers alike are welcome as conference speakers. There will be a separate Call for Speakers in March; however, speaker suggestions are welcome with your session proposal.

What happens if your idea is selected:

A final selection of sessions will be made in February. Those sessions and the submitters will be contacted by early March.

If you have any questions about the Call for Ideas process, email callforideas@icma.org.

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