With Pensacola facing challenges and opportunities related to rapid growth and economic transformation, one local entrepreneur decided to bring in national experts on important issues to raise the community’s “civic IQ.”
Attendees for monthly civic engagement speaker series.
Online viewers streaming the speaker series on their computers.
Net Promoter Score for the speaker series and small group workshops.
Following a major hurricane, an oil spill, a change in municipal government structure, and the kickoff of a downtown renaissance, our hometown of Pensacola was experiencing tremendous opportunity and some growing pains along the way.
The question facing this Gulf Coast community was how to make sure that citizens, businesses, and government were on the same page and making good decisions about the community’s future.
Philanthropist-entrepreneur Quint Studer came up with the idea of a community education effort to help answer these tough questions and engage citizens in a conversation about their future.
He partnered with the Pensacola News Journal through the Studer Community Institute to create CivicCon, a forum where civic conversations could happen about important community issues.
Along with a small group of citizen activists, the Impact Campaigns team worked with the Pensacola News Journal and the Studer Community Institute to market and promote the CivicCon speaker series, which featured national and international leaders in community-building.
Speakers included experts in urban design and planning, pedestrian safety, neighborhood preservation, environmental resilience, city and community marketing, and the importance of connected neighborhoods. Smaller, in-depth discussions accompanied the larger community-wide presentations.
Our work included building the CivicCon brand, developing content for event promotion, social media management, email marketing, small-group seminar management, and coordinating speaker interviews and videos for ongoing community education.
Thanks to an incredible partnership with the Pensacola News Journal and the brand value of the Studer Community Institute, the first year of CivicCon exceeded all expectations.
This small community started tackling some big ideas and the lessons from CivicCon are now a part of the public dialogue. In addition, Pensacola was named as “America’s Strongest Town” in 2019 by StrongTowns, due largely to the civic engagement that came from CivicCon.
Since its inception, CivicCon has hosted dozens of national and international experts on important topics ranging from urban planning and affordable housing to community policing and entrepreneurship.
Want to learn more about how your community can engage citizens for positive change?
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