The Annual

Read our annual magazine, featuring the best blog posts from the past year.

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What is Meeting of the Minds?

Meeting of the Minds is a global knowledge sharing platform based in San Francisco, CA. Find out more.

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Recent Talks

Innovations in Financing Infrastructure

George W. "Mac" McCarthy, president and CEO of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, explores the use of the mechanism of value capture to finance urban infrastructure -- widely used in Latin America, but just starting to get attention in the U.S.

Food System Mapping and Resiliency Planning: Where Is Your Food Coming From During the Next Superstorm?

This session highlights urban food mapping and resiliency strategies in three cities—Boston, New York and San Francisco.

Setting the Context: Richmond’s Innovations at Work

Hear from some of Richmond's local leaders regarding only a few of the many revitalization projects taking place in the City of Richmond.

Local Answers for Under-Resourced Cities – The Future of Partnerships, Pro Bono and Service-Based Innovation

Find out how new private sector partnership models and pro bono services enable city government to implement lasting solutions. Many cities from New York to Chicago to Minneapolis-St. Paul to San Jose have successfully adapted the Civic Consulting model and are now working with civic-minded businesses on large-scale civic innovations with meaningful impact.

2015 Meeting of the Minds Civic and Industrial Hackathon Winners

The top three Civic and Industrial Hackathon teams presented the apps and IoT solutions they developed as part of the 2015 Meeting of the Minds Hackathon. Their challenge was to develop an application for smart and sustainable cities that is directly relevant to the needs of Richmond.

Sharing the Road: BRT & Global South Urban Mobility

How are Global South cities in Latin America and Africa developing and implementing BRT and solving the interface between people and mobility systems? This session explores the factors required to make BRT work and compares the BRT trends in these countries to North American cities.

Health: A Critical Missing Element of Economic Vitality

Despite increasing expenditures in health, the US is falling in key indicators of health. Pioneers in the health field are now focused on how to improve health through integration with upstream determinants of health such as education, the built-environment, micro-finance, and community organizing. This session will feature leading national initiatives that are breaking new ground through innovative models of deep multi-sector collaboration.

Urban Innovator Spotlight

Issue Media Group and Meeting of the Minds are proud to announce a new initiative, made possible by support from the Kresge Foundation.

Remixing the 21st Century Transport Recipe

As the Toyota Mirai launched in California in October, we might have asked ourselves “why should we care about Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles?” The answer has less to do with the car as it does the dawn of a “Hydrogen Society.”

Are We There Yet? Getting Farther Down the Road to the Smart City

This unique session brings together leaders from different smart city sectors to discuss how a more comprehensive approach can truly be accomplished if we are to successfully upgrade more cities into smart and connected places to live, work and play.

Richmond Bayway: Planning for the Waterfront in 2100

The San Francisco Bay waterfront poses a climate and seismic challenge. In thinking about the future of urban communities on the water’s edge, particularly Richmond, Tom Leader and his studio have developed a series of thought pieces and design concepts that challenge our notions about the viability of where and how we prepare for a changing climate, rising sea levels, shifting seismic activity, environmental impacts, economic livelihoods, industry, energy, and social sustainability.

Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding 2.0: Reinventing Urban Systems

Hear about innovations from urban focused start-ups in social services, municipal financing, and the transportation sector.

The Water and Drought Crisis: Learning from Abroad

When Singapore gained independence in 1965, providing water for its population and economy was a seemingly impossible challenge for the new Government. Today, through sound water management policies and investments in R&D, the city-state boasts of a vibrant and thriving water sector that has become a model of sustainable urban water management for the world.

Brazil’s Cities: In Contention, In Transition

Hear about the latest developments from one of the most prominent sponsors of change-oriented organizations working to shift the debate about Brazil's urban futures.

Post-Bankruptcy Detroit: Where Do We Go Now?

The Kresge Foundation’s President Rip Rapson talks about the extraordinary circumstances associated with the Detroit's bankruptcy, which propelled philanthropy in unexpected directions. These new approaches represent the next generation of philanthropy for Kresge and for the entire sector.

Detroit to Memphis: Post-Industrial Urban Economic Development and Revitalization Strategies

Leslie Lynn Smith discusses how we can redefine cities and neighborhoods by catalyzing innovative ideas, and the audacious founders that develop them into startup companies.

Anatomy of an Expansion: One Region-wide Car Sharing Network is Filling Big Gaps

The sharing economy is now much more than two buzzwords. But how exactly to scale up? We’ve asked an executive from one of the sharing economy’s best success stories to unravel the mystery. Today, the Bay Area stands as one of the most, if not the most, expansive integrated network of car sharing, and a case study for other cities and regions looking to do the same.

The New City Hall

Reinventing local government means enabling innovative ways for young citizens to interact with each other and with their government. After testing new approaches, Michael Vole of Tel Aviv's Young Adults Department has found some underlying principles that might also work in your city.

Next-Gen Commercial Buildings: From Lab to Marketplace

How can we make buildings more efficient as well as provide a healthier and more productive environment for the individuals who occupy them? The answer is through technology innovation. Learn how Wells Fargo has created a unique program and platform that creates an ecosystem around the problem and opportunity related to commercial building energy use.

Digital Finance, Alternative Currencies and Housing in Vancouver

Using the Vancouver housing market as a petri dish for discovery, THNK School of Creative Leadership has asked "how might alternative and digital currencies increase access to affordable low-carbon housing for those in need?" Find out what innovation partners like the City of Vancouver and the Digital Finance Institute have discovered about how fintech and alternative financial models are impacting urban landscapes and providing surprising hope for global communities.

Infrastructure Financing – Expanding the Options

Chris Hamel discusses the solution to financing the massive backlog of U.S. infrastructure–a new approach that the municipal industry should have an active voice in guiding.

The Unveiling of Mavericks, California’s Newest Beer

This unique beverage, brewed by Mavericks Brewing, a sister company of the Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., uses high purity recycled California water to create a remarkable taste. A panel of leaders from government, the food industry, and the water industry participated in this blind tasting.

Rethinking the Future Urban Workforce – New Education, Human Capital and Skill Building Models

Hear from leaders in multiple sectors who are creating better methods and building stronger bridges between formal learning organizations, governments, the private sector, and non-profits.

The Colleges We Need to Create the Cities We Want

Van Ton-Quinlivan discusses how community colleges are positioning themselves as vital contributors to the retooling underway in their cities and how they will change the ways that the next generation of leaders, makers and citizens get trained for their future roles.

A NASA Vision for Our Urban Future

Rose Grymes shares concepts NASA is exploring with intriguing applications for urbanscapes, such as water purification, robotics, 3-D transportation and more.

Recent Blog Posts

Rotterdam 11

In a city of immigrants, Rotterdam’s Muslim mayor leads by example

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands — After last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was as angry as any …

Bangladesh 1

After a painful eviction, Bangladesh slum dwellers start over with a 99-year lease

By AZM Anas GOPALGANJ, Bangladesh — The new white houses with blue tin roofs on the outskirts of Gopalganj are …


Meeting of the Minds 2015 Hackathon Recap

On October 17th and 18th, The Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) Hackathon brought together designers, developers, and entrepreneurs to hack …

Satriano 1

In Italy, a struggling town looks to refugees for revival

By Simone D’Antonio SATRIANO, Italy — The population of this town located in the toe of Italy’s “boot” is shrinking …


Observations from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s FLEXLAB

The Meeting of the Minds conference this year was a stimulating gathering of thought leaders, city leaders, and change makers, …

Antananarivo Madagascar

Madagascar’s growing cities: Why common problems sometimes require different solutions

On October 19 to 22 the Second National Urban Forum took place in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Among the guests were the …

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Meeting of the Minds is made possible by the generous support of these organizations: