Next City’s annual gathering of the best and brightest young city leaders will meet in Montreal, Quebec in the spring of 2017 to explore citizen­-driven urbanism.

The 2017 Vanguard conference will be run by Next City and a citizen-led committee. The host committee includes representatives from the City of Montreal, Montreal International, Pop Montreal, Concordia University, the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, The Commons Inc., jevois mtl/je fais mtl, Hip Hop No Pop, as well as entrepreneurs from start-ups including Trendr and Ajah.

“This vibrant, historic, international city will serve as the perfect backdrop for a multi­day experiential leadership program for young urban professionals. We look forward to bringing 40 of the best and brightest urban leaders from around the world to address urban challenges as well as experience the great city of Montreal.”
Tom Dallessio, President, CEO and Publisher of Next City.

Montreal is Canada’s second largest city and home to a diverse population in excess of four million people. According to Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, the city is creative, vibrant and dynamic, and is a place where citizen participation, intellectual contribution and youthful energy is strong.

The Next City Vanguard programme brings together 40 urban professionals under the age of 40 working to improve cities. Solving urban problems means working across divides and breaking silos, so Vanguard convenes professionals across sectors, including architecture, art, civic technology, community development, entrepreneurship, government, transportation and urban planning.

Each year, Next City selects applicants whose smart ideas for cities, experience in the field and ambition for the future all show great promise. The conference is free and there are a limited number of stipends to cover travel costs for qualified applicants. Past Vanguards have worked for the Obama administration, founded successful city­-focused start-ups such as Ioby and Fundrise, held municipal office and climbed the ranks of influential organisations such as the Brookings Institution, the Urban Institute, Citi Group, Code for America, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Transportation Alternatives, Smart Growth America and the University of Chicago. Many come back to participate in subsequent conferences.

With more than 250 Vanguards participating over the last seven years, Next City has created a programme that will advance the non-profit’s mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities through journalism and events around the world.

Applications for the 2017 Vanguard conference will open during autumn 2016. The only requirement is that applicants must be 40 or younger and have demonstrated a commitment to improving their city.

Website: Next City