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The New American City | Rochester, NY ~ June 6 & 7, 2016

City Age- a convening in Rochester, along the Latitude Line. Manchester VT’s latitude line goes right through Rochester, a city compelling enough to warrant a City Age convening, joining cities such as Vancouver, San Francisco, Beijing and London.

I happened upon a Public Radio discussion passing through Rochester. Today a conference takes place, run by City Age, focused on building cities of the future.

I see something synergistic here with the kinds of convenings that City Age organizes, and my interest in convenings along latitude line.

My vision for the Latitude Movement is convenings bringing together communities sharing the same latitude line. What would transpire is a conversation that branches out of interest areas, a diverse gathering of traditional leaders but also citizens interested in participating in a global-local conversation about cities, towns, rural areas, all around the world.

I am excited that Rochester, a city of the future, is on my latitude line. And reflecting on how to advance the Latitude Movement, I come back to the importance of focusing on one line, East and West around the world. Driving through Rochester back to Manchester, my ears open up to what’s going on around my latitude. And here is something I discover- City Age. Conversations about the future. High-mindedness.

Perhaps a distinction in how I view a Latitude Movement convening in contrast to the City Age format is that I see it as much less Keynote, Ted-Talk and moderated panel, and much more break-out sessions, walkabouts, casual discussions. Less formal, less mainstage. More spaces and opportunities for exploration within the convening. Less on registration and information control. More open, and throughout a city, or town where the convening takes place.

That is not to criticize more traditional conference formats. They work, and the structure provides an important platform for conversations.

With the Latitude Movement, the agenda itself is convening, not a particular conversation or set of ideas to contemplate. The Latitude Movement is meeting up for coffee or tea, and getting lost in a deep conversation that elevates your perception of the world.

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