Wes Moore Joins Congress of Cities Speakers Lineup

October 1, 2012

by Amy Elsbree

Wes Moore, youth advocate, Army combat veteran, social entrepreneur, and host of "Beyond Belief" on the Oprah Winfrey Network, has joined the lineup of opening session speakers at NLC's Congress of Cities and Exposition in Boston, November 28-December 1.

Moore will join Jennifer Pahlka, founding and executive director of Code for America, and William C. Taylor, co-founder and founding editor of Fast Company Magazine, in presenting TED-style remarks during the Opening General Session on Thursday, November 29. Each of the speakers will address innovation in cities, especially around three overarching strategies for cities being highlighted at the conference: promoting strong local economies, building sustainable communities and strengthening neighborhoods and families.

Moore is committed to helping the parents, teachers, mentors, and advocates who serve the nation's youth. His first book The Other Wes Moore became an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, and a portion of all book proceeds are being donated to City Year and the US Dream Academy.

After his studies and his time as a Rhodes Scholar, Moore, a paratrooper and Captain in the United States Army, served a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. Moore then served as a White House fellow to Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice. He serves on the board of the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), The Johns Hopkins University, and founded an organization called STAND! that works with Baltimore youth involved in the criminal justice system.

Pahlka's organization, Code for America, works with talented web professionals and cities around the country to promote public service and reboot government. Government Technology named her one of 2011's Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in Public Sector Innovation and the Huffington Post named her the top Game Changer in Business and Technology the same year. She is known for her TED talk, "Coding a Better Government."

In addition to launching Fast Company, Bill Taylor is an agenda-setting writer, speaker and entrepreneur who has shaped the global conversation about the best ways to compete, innovate and succeed. His latest project, Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself, is based on in-depth access to 25 organizations that are making deep-seated changes under the most trying circumstances imaginable. These organizations (from hard-charging technology companies to long-established nonprofits) are mastering a set of strategies and practices that define the work of leadership in turbulent times-ideas from which every leader can learn.

Each of the overarching strategies for cities that are the focus of the conference -- promoting strong local economies, building sustainable communities and strengthening neighborhoods and families -- will be explored through workshops, peer networking sessions, mobile workshops, leadership training seminars, the City Showcase, and the Exhibit Hall. Before and after the main conference programming NLC will offer the traditional governance activities, state municipal league activities and meetings of NLC committees, councils and constituency groups.

In addition, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino will lead a panel of mayors discussing the most pressing challenges for cities during the Closing General Session on Saturday, December 1.

Workshop titles and descriptions, along with mobile workshops and leadership training seminars are now online at www.nlccongressofcities.org. Conference attendees are invited to "go deep" in one of the overarching strategies for cities or to sample sessions across all three strategies.

Attendees are also encouraged to attend as an individual or as part of a city team. Because an entire community shares responsibility for the strength of the communities, NLC encourages attendees to consider inviting others from the city such as senior staff or community leaders to attend as a group.

Details: For more information and to register visit www.nlccongressofcities.org.