Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

NAPC Conference: Go to this one!

Let's begin with full disclosure: I'm currently serving as president of the National Association of Planning Councils (NAPC). And so my motives for encouraging people to attend their March 2009 conference are necessarily influenced by that role.

That being said, this promises to be a hum-dinger of a conference. Titled "Community Planning in Turbulent Times--Staying on Top when the Bottom Falls Out," the conference builds on the work of last year's Global Trends, Local Impacts conference to examine trends, see how they impact us, and figure out what to do about them. Plus there's going to be a heckuva fun discussion of technology and community work -- how to use 21st century tools to address 21st century problems.

Austin, Texas. March 2-4, 2009. Make plans to attend! (More conference description after the break.)

Here's a better (more official) description of the conference:

Today we face a world that is rapidly changing. Global and national trends are reshaping what problems we face, how we face them, and who faces them. Our country's leadership is in transition. Today we need to come together as an Association of people and organizations who care deeply about our communities and are engaged in planning for the future well-being of the people we serve. We need to understand the global economic, demographic, technological, social, and other trends that affect us. We need to know how best to address these trends in ways that make life better for all in our communities. And we need to develop the flexibility and skills to be able to think in new ways and use new tools to assure that our own organizations will survive and thrive, so we can continue to lead and support community progress in the challenging times to come.

Conference outcomes...participants will:

  • Gain vital information and will understand effective community change models they can apply to their own community issues

  • Be inspired and have the tools to implement practices they have learned and created when they return home

  • Have opportunities to interact with their peers, gain new insights into successful community change strategies, and expand their network of professional colleagues

  • Understand the criticality and essential nature of community change work

  • Know that their time is well spent/cost effective...and have fun

The conference will include:

  • Three nationally-known keynote speakers, plus leading community planning practitioners and technology experts from across the U.S.

  • Newcomers' welcome session

  • Opening reception, the evening of Monday, March 2

  • Three days of speakers and interactive sessions: March 2, 3, and 4
    (breakfasts and lunches are included on March 3 and 4)

  • Resource fair…bring your materials

  • Judith Rothbaum Award, honoring excellence in using data for community action

  • National Association of Planning Councils annual meeting

You really need to go to this one. If you have any questions about the conference, let me know.


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