CEOs for Cities has announced its merger with Forward Cities to create the largest network of cities focused on inclusive innovation and economic development. The name of the merged organization is Forward Cities.
CEOs for Cities was founded in 2001 by Paul Grogan (President & CEO of the Boston Foundation and Co-Author of Comeback Cities), Richard M. Daley (former Mayor of Chicago), George Rupp (former President of Columbia University), and Charles Ratner (President and CEO of ForestCity Enterprises).
CEOs for Cities became the first national urban think tank to bring leaders together from across sectors and cities to combat the outdated narrative of urban decline and promote the upside of cities and value of sharing best practices in cross-sector collaboration. Products included City Vitals and City Dividends research products that helped cities track progress against competitiveness indicators and hosted a national talent dividend grant competition that attracted wide participation nationally and over 30 national meetings that attracted tens of thousands of cross-sector city leaders.
Forward Cities was established in 2014 and has quickly emerged as a leading support organization and convening platform for cities striving to create more inclusive economies. Through this merger, Forward Cities now represents an alliance of 33 cities across the United States dedicated to creating a more inclusive, equitable, and resilient economy. It envisions a national network of metro and micro communities creating such an economy through the creation of new industries, enterprises, livable wage jobs, and revitalized commercial corridors.
“By joining forces with Forward Cities we have a tremendous opportunity to expand and deepen our impact nationally and help our collective network of cities advance their work on inclusive economic development through a collaborative learning environment,” says CEOs for Cities Board Chairman Bob Milbourne.
“Forward Cities commitment to fostering inclusive innovation in cities was a deciding factor in the merger,” adds CEOs for Cities co-founder Paul Grogan. “In our recent national meetings, it became clear this was a leading priority for our member cities. This merger helps us bring a new set of tools and resources to advance this high priority agenda item for our nation’s cities.”
“A critical challenge facing our cities and their surrounding micropolitans is how to foster a growth economy that produces shared prosperity at a time when the future of work is so uncertain,” says Christopher Gergen, CEO of Forward Cities. “Without new economic growth engines and strategies for broad-based neighborhood revitalization, our cities are at significant economic risk in terms of growth, dynamism, and social mobility. Through this exciting merger we now have an opportunity to create a unique national learning platform and city network dedicated to forging a future of economic resilience and inclusion.”
The merger is effective immediately with operations relocating from Cleveland, Ohio to Durham, North Carolina. The first national meeting of merged network is in Durham, NC June 4-6, 2018.