By Molly Coleman
At the 2014 NLC University Leadership Summit, city leaders and their guests from around their country will have the opportunity to learn from and work with nationally-renowned experts to explore the topic of innovation through the lenses of personal leadership, city government and the local economy.
At the summit, to be held from Wednesday, August 13 to Saturday, August 16, 2014, participants and their guests will experience a number of local attractions in Silicon Valley, providing a unique look at one of the foremost hubs of innovation in the United States.
Through three receptions, local tours and other special events, attendees will have the chance to mingle with the tech community, network with peers and delve into the cutting-edge work being done by companies whose technology has become ubiquitous, such as Google and LinkedIn.
On Thursday, as some of the first visitors to the just-built Levi's Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, attendees will enjoy an evening reception with members of the local tech community in this impressive facility.
Following the final seminar of the summit on Friday morning, participants and guests will have the opportunity to tour the Google headquarters and learn about thecutting-edge initiatives of Google X, Google Fiber and the Civic Innovation Team. The day will end with a reception, providing summit participants with a unique opportunity to discuss the work that is being done in an informal setting. Throughout the visit, attendees will gain a better sense of the technological developments that will be affecting their cities in the years to come, as well as ideas for immediate innovations that they can bring back to their communities.
Prior to joining Summit participants at Google, spouses and guests are invited to attend tours of some other Silicon Valley attractions. A self-guided tour has been planned on Friday morning at the NASA Exploration Center, with opportunities to explore exhibits ranging from an examination of the weather patterns on other planets, to a shuttle cockpit stimulator and a chance to see how microgravity research has impacted life in space.
Following lunch at a local restaurant, the tour bus will move to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Showcasing technology, marketing, societal changes and even Walt Disney (a purchaser of early computer technology for use in Fantasia), this museum will give participants fascinating insight into the 20th and early 21st centuries. In the mid-afternoon, spouses and guests will reconvene with summit participants on the Google campus, joining conversations with members of Google's team and enjoying the evening reception.
Throughout the three-day summit, attendees will be exposed to a variety of informative and inspirational luncheon speakers. Among these will be a representative of LinkedIn, who will share some free new tools for city leaders; Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and an expert in innovative approaches to housing and technology; and Seth Shostak, Director of the Center for SETI Research, whose work centers on exploration of the universe seeking signs of communication from advanced life forms beyond our planet.
Designed to take advantage of the Summit's location in Silicon Valley, these special receptions, speakers and tours will extend the learning beyond the general sessions and provide attendees with a holistic view of what it means to be an innovative city leader. By challenging entrenched ways of doing business, these activities will contribute substantially to the knowledge and networks participants will bring back to their communities, helping to ensure that the work that is done at the 2014 Leadership Summit does not end with the closing session.