At Leading Cities we understand the importance of learning first hand. It is often said, seeing is believing. Through our annual Exchange Missions we aim to share lessons from across our network of cities with today’s urban leaders. Theses missions feature business, academic and civic leaders traveling together to a world-class city to observe and examine in-person what is happening there. Past Missions have visited Spain, Portugal,Ireland and Brazil. Delegates on the missions spend their days meeting with local leaders from city, regional and national governments, business executives, entrepreneurs and activists. We visit important sites, tour changing neighborhoods and immerse our delegates in the communities we are studying. Delegates often walk away with new ideas and inspiration for changes that can be made at home. Exchange Missions offer a valuable perspective of what is happening around the world and how we can learn from one another to improve our own communities.
Exchange Missions also offer special opportunities to build ties across the network. In 2012 for instance, officials from the ports of Boston and Lisbon met and signed a cooperation agreement to share information and resources. In Ireland in 2013, exchange mission delegates and local partners had a private dinner with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and discussed the country’s economic recovery and development strategy. Leading Cities looks forward to continuing this tradition with upcoming missions to other cities around the globe.