A Look Back at the 2019 Summit

Another year, another Annual Summit under our belts! This year’s Summit, which took place in Boulder, CO on September 19-20, brought together leaders from across the civic ecosystem, including local governments, academia, federal and state agencies, philanthropy, industry, and nonprofits. 

Some quick stats about this year’s attendees:

  • 207 total attendees
  • 35+ universities represented
  • 30+ cities and counties represented


This year’s agenda reflected many of priorities facing cities and communities and drew from the transformative projects underway across the MetroLab community. The plenary session featured remarks from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, projects underway between the City of Boulder and CU-Boulder, Mayors from across the country, and representatives from major philanthropies invested in civic innovation.  This year, we dedicated two-thirds of the Summit programming to more unstructured breakouts and roundtable sessions, to foster deep interaction among attendees focused on specific topics, including:  

  • Partnerships for economic mobility, human and social services, and community engagement;
  • How can smart cities be more equitable, accessible and inclusive;
  • Going beyond your city— looking at regional and international collaborations;
  • Data for equity, privacy, mobility and the environment;
  • …and so much more! You can recap the topics by looking at the archived agenda.


We also offered an update on the NSF Civic Innovation Challenge,  including news about our cooperative agreement with NSF that will enable our work as partners on the Civic Innovation Challenge.  

We also met with our members to discuss MetroLab’s transition to a membership dues model and considered priorities across the network for future programming and activities.  

Finally, we were excited to convene a network of municipal privacy leaders  as part of a NSF-funded partnership with the Future of Privacy Forum.  

We would like to thank the University of Colorado, Boulder and the City of Boulder for being inspirational leaders on this work and fantastic hosts. We also thank the sponsors and partners who helped make the event a success.  Finally, we thank you for your ongoing support for MetroLab and look forward to seeing you next fall in Chicago for #MetroLab2020.