History of the Meeting of the Minds

Meeting of the Minds is the world’s longest running conference focused on on the intersection of technology, sustainability and cities. Thousands of leaders have attended the annual summit during the past decade. Each participant has brought more than their deep knowledge of their practice areas to the program – they brought their enthusiasm for in-depth learning, via delegate-led workshops, networking, and partnership building.


The annual Meeting of the Minds leadership summit is limited to 400 VIPs, and it’s been that way since the very beginning. The goal is to convene a thoughtful group of leaders form many disciplines, each one committed to a sustainable urban future. Participants are key decision-makers in their own organizations, and they come from a wide variety of sectors, backgrounds and cities.


As a non-profit organization, Meeting of the Minds serves as a global knowledge-sharing platform from its bas in San Francisco, CA.


Since it was founded, Meeting of the Minds has been dedicated to a singular proposition: bring together a carefully chosen set of key urban sustainability and technology stakeholders and gather them around a common platform in ways that help build lasting alliances. We believe that such a platform is a vital ingredient for smart, sustainable and equitable urban (re)development strategies.


Meeting of the Minds focuses on the people and initiatives at the bleeding edge of urban innovation. Through our blog, magazine, webinars, monthly meetups, workshops, pop-up events, and annual summit held each fall, we invite established and emerging international leaders from the public, private, non-profit, academic and philanthropic sectors to identify innovations that can be scaled, replicated and transferred from city-to-city and across sectors.


Among the thousands of international leaders who participate in the Meeting of the Minds leadership network are innovators scaling- up practical urban solutions in infrastructure, technology, policy, design, equity, technology, energy, mobility, water, finance, and more.


Now in its 10th year, our annual summit brings together 400 opinion-shapers, policy-makers, leading thinkers and innovators from over 20 countries for two and half days of intensive immersion in thought leadership and cross-sector network building. Gathered together, you will have unique opportunities to think critically, ask questions, share tools, and build lasting partnerships.


The focus of Meeting of the Minds is the innovator, whether you sit inside a large firm, an influential NGO, or a start-up. Our participants take different approaches: some shape new policies; deploy new technologies; embed new innovations into existing institutions; blazing new trails where partnerships can flourish. Meeting of the Minds helps participants build their ecosystem of partners while also taking home new tools that help accelerate the transition to sustainable and smart cities.


The agenda <http://cityminded.org/events/motm2016/agenda> is structured to accommodate different kinds of needs. For instance, on the afternoon of October 26 delegates divide into smaller groups of 30-40 people. They can then dive deeply into a topic of their choice, joining in that process with a cross-section of leaders. Some workshops will stay at the historic Craneway Pavilion in order for delegates to roll up their sleeves and develop actionable blueprints on important issues.


Other workshop tours leave the Craneway, bringing delegates into local neighborhoods to connect with an incredible array of organizations, innovators and initiatives that connect the dots and push the boundaries on innovation, technology, policy, and more.





Who participated in Meeting of the Minds in 2015?



Media 3%

Academic and Student 7%

Public Sector (elected and appointed) 20%

Non-Profit Sector 26%

Private Sector 44%







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