Leadership & Influence

Boot Camps

The major policy issues that affect communities today are far too complex to be tackled by any one sector or level of government. In order to foster multi-faceted and collaborative approaches to addressing these issues, Living Cities has developed the boot camp model to drive progress and foster new relationships among people who may not currently work together but should.

Living Cities boot camps are intensive, two-day gatherings that bring all the major stakeholders from a given area together to address a critical issue or opportunity facing their community. Each boot camp brings 10 to 15 teams of these leaders together at the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Our goal is to disrupt the status quo, bring unusual bedfellows together as needed to create solutions to today’s problems and offer ways for teams to work together differently going forward.

To date, Living Cities, has hosted three boot camps. For each, we have had the cooperation of the Obama administration, which has ensured that teams have the opportunity to communicate directly with the federal agencies that have influence over their work. The most recent boot camp, which was held in January 2011, focused on issues surrounding the creation of sustainable communities and the federal Sustainable Communities Planning Grants program. Previous camps addressed efforts to stabilize neighborhoods affected by the foreclosure crisis, and to “green” cities with energy efficient building retrofits.

Image Gallery

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  • Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, addresses participants at the Living Cities Green Boot Camp
    Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, addresses participants at the Living Cities Green Boot Camp
  • Amanda Roberts, Housing Director, Enterprise Community Partners
    Amanda Roberts, Housing Director, Enterprise Community Partners
  • Tom Ciano, Executive Director, Restore Neighborhoods LA and Doug Swoger, Director, Homeownership and Preservation LA Housing Department
    Tom Ciano, Executive Director, Restore Neighborhoods LA and Doug Swoger, Director, Homeownership and Preservation LA Housing Department
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  • Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, addresses participants at the Living Cities Green Boot Camp
    Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, addresses participants at the Living Cities Green Boot Camp
  • Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, addresses participants at the Living Cities Green Boot Camp
    Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, addresses participants at the Living Cities Green Boot Camp
  • Participants listening during a keynote address
    Participants listening during a keynote address
  • Steve Nicholas Director of Climate and Environmental Programs for the Institute for Sustainable Communities serving as a master of ceremonies at the Green Boot Camp
    Steve Nicholas Director of Climate and Environmental Programs for the Institute for Sustainable Communities serving as a master of ceremonies at the Green Boot Camp
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  • Members of the Twin Cities team
    Members of the Twin Cities team
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  • Ben Hecht, President & CEO, Living Cities with India Lee, Program Director, Cleveland Foundation
    Ben Hecht, President & CEO, Living Cities with India Lee, Program Director, Cleveland Foundation
  • Sue Taoka, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Cascadia and Trenton Allen of Citi during a plenary session on financing
    Sue Taoka, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Cascadia and Trenton Allen of Citi during a plenary session on financing
  • Cisco DeVries, President, Renewable Funding LLC
    Cisco DeVries, President, Renewable Funding LLC
  • Michael Lappin, President and CEO, Community Preservation Corporation
    Michael Lappin, President and CEO, Community Preservation Corporation
  • George McCarthy, Director of Metropolitan Opportunity at the Ford Foundation, makes a point during a question and answer session
    George McCarthy, Director of Metropolitan Opportunity at the Ford Foundation, makes a point during a question and answer session
  • Panelists on the plenary session to discuss, "Developing Effective and Sustainable Financing Approaches for Building Energy Retrofitting"
    Panelists on the plenary session to discuss, "Developing Effective and Sustainable Financing Approaches for Building Energy Retrofitting"
  • Steve Nicholas Director of Climate and Environmental Programs for the Institute for Sustainable Communities holds up a recent news article relating to green retrofit grants
    Steve Nicholas Director of Climate and Environmental Programs for the Institute for Sustainable Communities holds up a recent news article relating to green retrofit grants
  • Gil Sperling of the Department of Energy and Jim Lopez of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during a panel to discuss federal support for energy retrofits and green workforce development
    Gil Sperling of the Department of Energy and Jim Lopez of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during a panel to discuss federal support for energy retrofits and green workforce development
  • Darchelle Strickland-Love, a member of the Detroit team, asks a question after one of the panels
    Darchelle Strickland-Love, a member of the Detroit team, asks a question after one of the panels
  • Panelists on the 'Building Robust Workforce Development Systems and Career Pathways' session
    Panelists on the 'Building Robust Workforce Development Systems and Career Pathways' session
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  • Auden Schendler, Vice President of Sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company and author of "Getting Green Done" delivers the keynote over dinner
    Auden Schendler, Vice President of Sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company and author of "Getting Green Done" delivers the keynote over dinner
  • The Twin Cities team during a break-out strategy session
    The Twin Cities team during a break-out strategy session
  • Participants from the Babylon, NY team discuss their work
    Participants from the Babylon, NY team discuss their work