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About Forward Cities

Forward Cities was founded in 2014 by Denise M. Byrne from Friends of New Orleans and Christopher Gergen from Forward Impact with the belief that the future of our economy and our communities are dependent on our ability to innovate, that these place-based efforts will be more successful if they are connected with one another, and that these efforts to create innovation ecosystems will only reach their potential if they are truly inclusive. We also want to recognize the important role that Friends of New Orleans and its board of directors played in launching and supporting Forward Cities during its first two years. 

- Our Mission and Work

to help cities develop and implement strategies to increase inclusive innovation in their communities.
Overview of Forward Cities:
Forward Cities is a multi-city, national learning collaborative that seeks to develop more inclusive innovation ecosystems in our nation’s cities. In its first two years, Forward Cities sought to advance this work in partnership with four cities: Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, and Durham. Drawing on this work and through the support of the Case Foundation and Kresge Foundation, Forward Cities is now working to develop a set of case studies on this work, codify a toolkit for cities interested in fostering inclusive innovation ecosystems, strengthen efforts to grow the number of locally, minority-owned enterprises in the original four Forward Cities, and build a national learning platform and convening strategy with partner organizations to carry this work to many more cities across the country. 

- Our Founding Team:
  Denise M. Byrne
  Christopher Gergen

- Our Advisory Boards:
  New Orleans Forward Cities Council
  Detroit Forward Cities Council
  Cleveland Forward Cities Council
  Durham Forward Cities Council

-Newsletter Archive:
  2/26/15:   Welcome to Forward Cities
  3/27/15:   Creating an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  5/6/15:     Measuring Impact
  6/19/15:   All Eyes on Detroit
  8/4/15:     What We Learned From Detroit
  9/28/15:   Catalyzing Inclusive Innovation
  11/23/15:  Preparing for Durham
  1/8/16:      Digging Deep in Durham
  2/29/16:    Forward Cities February Newsletter
  3/22/16:    Forward Cities March Newsletter
  4/19/16:    What is the Federal Government Doing to Promote Inclusive Innovation? 
  5/16/16:    Are Cities Experiencing an Urban Innovation Transformation? 
  6/18/16:    Forward Cities, Get Ready to Rock 'n Roll in Cleveland
  7/20/16:   A magical moment in Cleveland

- Convening Photos
New Orleans Convening Photos - December 15 - 17, 2014
Detroit Convening Photos - June 23 - 25, 2015
Durham Convening Photos - December 8 - 11, 2015

Forward Cities was co-founded by Denise M. Byrne of Friends of New Orleans and Christopher Gergen of Forward Impact. With support from the Case and Kresge Foundations, Forward Cities is now partnering with ScaleUp Partners to capture stories of inclusive innovation emerging from the four participating cities and develop a case study and toolkit for cities interested in advancing this work in their communities.
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