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Day-long webcast focuses on the future of America’s cities

iving Cities hosting event as part of 20th anniversary observance

On Tuesday, September 27, Living Cities, an innovative collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions that has catalyzed $16 billion of urban investment, will host and webcast live a day-long series of discussions with leaders from the public, private and philanthropic sectors about the future of collaboration, innovation and urban social change. The conversations will mark the 20th anniversary of the Living Cities collaborative.

The public is invited to view the webcast at and may join the conversation via Twitter using the hashtag #LC20. Live blogging also will be hosted by live Next American City.

A schedule of the discussions follows. Panelists will include the heads of foundations, banks and financial services companies, on-the-ground leaders from the cities where Living Cities invests its resources, and others. Information regarding the participants on each panel can be found at

9:30–11 a.m.
Living Cities Today & Tomorrow: A Conversation with the Living Cities Board: Our economy, our government, our country are undergoing enormous and disruptive changes. Living Cities board members – the leadership from some of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions – will discuss how the organization’s priorities have evolved over its 2-year history to address the changing needs of low-income people and why a more collaborative approach, coupled with innovative investment models, has the potential to re-engineer America's cities for the future.

11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Interview with Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From: Steven Johnson has introduced concepts such as the “adjacent possible” and written extensively on cities as the perfect petri dish for innovation. Paula Ellis, Living Cities board member, VP of Strategic Initiatives at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and a former investigative journalist, will interview Johnson, as he challenges us to think about and new modes of investment in urban innovation.

12:45-2:15 p.m.
Integrating People, Place and Opportunity: An Inside Look at the Integration Initiative: In October 2010, Living Cities launched The Integration Initiative, an $85 million effort which supports cities that are harnessing existing momentum and leadership for change, overhauling long obsolete systems and fundamentally reshaping their communities and policies to meet the needs of low-income residents. One year into this initiative, hear from leaders driving the work on the ground and national funders about results to-date, early lessons-learned, and what’s next both locally and nationally.

7:35-9 p.m.
Dynamic Collaboration, Cities & the Future: A Moderated Conversation: A keynote speech by U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan will be followed by a roundtable discussion among an unexpected mix of leaders to identify and discuss the emerging trends and innovations that will be crucial for cities over the next 20 years, the new problem-solving mechanisms that are needed, and the respective (and evolving) roles various sectors must play.

“No one could have imagined when seven foundations and one bank came together in 1991 to help accelerate the community development industry that Living Cities would take on the role it has in helping the public, private and philanthropic sectors reconsider the ways we invest in cities and the people live in them,” said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities. “We are helping cities re-imagine what should be done with underinvested neighborhoods, and finding new ways to connect low-income people to economic opportunities wherever they exist in a region. Instead of trying to work around long-broken public systems, such as education, workforce development and transportation, we are helping to re-engineer them for the 21st century. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we are considering how investments in America’s cities should look during the next two decades.”

About Living Cities

Founded in 1991, Living Cities is a unique philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions. Over the past 19 years, Living Cities has invested more than $1 billion in American cities-leveraged into $16 billion and making a demonstrable difference in neighborhoods throughout the nation. Our members are not simply funders. They participate at the senior management level on the Living Cities Board of Directors and contribute the time of 80+ expert staff toward crafting and implementing an agenda that is squarely focused on improving the lives of low-income people and the urban areas in which they live.

Living Cities Members: AARP Foundation, AXA Equitable, Bank of America, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Citi Foundation, J.P. Morgan Chase & Company, Deutsche Bank, Ford Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, MetLife, Inc., Morgan Stanley, Prudential Financial, The Rockefeller Foundation, Surdna Foundation

Affiliate Members: The Cleveland Foundation, The Skillman Foundation