Leading Urban Change
Delivered by Rotman Executive Programs and U of T's School of Cities
Driving equitable urban change in cities requires a distinctive set of skills and tools combined with collaborative approaches to partnership. Rotman and the School of Cities are proud to launch Leading Urban Change, an essential program that prepares mid- to senior-level city officials, public and private sector leaders to confront complex challenges while deepening their understanding of emergent models of leadership, impact measurement, implementation, relevant party engagement and systems-wide change.
Cities are the solution to our global problems, because they create a platform for people to come together and innovate solutions. At the School of Cities, we teach you how to build soft power — the art of convening people and surfacing new ideas that draw others to the table.
In this course, University of Toronto faculty from the School of Cities and the Rotman School of Management help you shift from a scarcity mindset focused on our deficits, to an abundance mindset based on leveraging our assets. Urban development does not need to be a zero sum game.
Concerned about polarization in your community? This course shows you how to engage in meaningful dialogue about difficult urban projects, to listen to different perspectives with an open heart and mind, understand people’s lived experience, and use that common ground to uncover new possibilities. We provide a safe, intimate space for leaders to explore difficult issues and new paths forward.
Leading Urban Change is a project accelerator. We expect you to come to this course with a project or program that you are working on so we can work together on creating a mindset and approach that will eliminate your roadblocks.
What you'll learn
- Make better decisions across teams, divisions, and effective partnerships with the private, public, and non-profit sectors.
- Understand the importance of data and narrative as key components of organizational strategy and performance.
- Develop a shift in mindset on how to push forward equitable urban change.
The program combines the School of Cities’ flagship model of multidisciplinary and collaborative approaches to problem solving with the Rotman School of Management’s world-renowned faculty, research institutes and network of global partnerships. The result? We expect to shift the mindset of participants to help create a new culture of urban change management.
There is an evening reception on November 19 and a post-class dinner on November 21.
Class times for November 20-22 are 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.
Schedule subject to change.
- Keynote Speaker
- Cocktail Reception
- Understanding Location
- Guest Speakers/Panel Discussions
- Managing Large Scale Projects
- Silo Busting and Working Across Sectors
- Cultural Fluency
- Office Hours
- Guest Speakers/Panel Discussions
- Building the Practice Collaboration
- Urban Data and Narrative
- Guest Speakers/Panel Discussions
- Understanding Fiscal Implications
Director, University of Toronto School of Cities
Karen Chapple, Ph.D., is the Director of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto, where she also serves as Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. She is Professor Emerita of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as department chair and held the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies. Chapple studies inequalities in the planning, development, and governance of regions in the Americas, with a focus on economic development and housing.
Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy
Richard Florida is University Professor, Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy at the Rotman School of Management and Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, School of Cities, University of Toronto. Florida has held professorships at George Mason University and Carnegie Mellon University and taught as a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. Florida earned his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. His research provides unique, data-driven insight into the social, economic and demographic factors that drive the 21st century world economy.
Rotman Executive Program faculty are known for their ability to translate the latest research into practical applications for the workplace, and to transmit skills to participants with the best teaching techniques. Industry leaders contribute to our programs to bring you the most up-to-date best practices and a wealth of real-world experience.
Throughout the program you will gain the skills to:
- Understand cross-sectoral dynamics and strategies
- Acquire skills to build trust with partners/relevant parties/constituents
- Understand silo-busting strategies
- Use urban data for decision-making and narrative construction
- Understand the elements of locational strategy
- Clarify fiscal constraints and opportunities for urban change and development
- Demonstrate inclusive leadership and cultural competencies
What kind of project should I bring to the course?
You will benefit most from this course if you have a project, policy, program, or problem that you believe will make a difference on the ground – but you are experiencing challenges in getting people to support it. We will help you find the language and even the data that can help you make the case.
What expertise do the faculty bring?
The faculty are world-renowned experts in urban development, planning, and governance, with specific expertise in economics, urban fiscal structure, partnerships, governance, implementation, and data storytelling.
How is this program different from what I would get at a conference?
We provide a safe space to discuss the challenges particular to your project, in confidence and among the experts and peers with the experience to provide invaluable insights. The program also offers one-on-one coaching by the faculty member of your choice.
Why should I take this leadership program instead training in my discipline?
Whether you are a real estate developer, an engineer, or a public servant, you will benefit from professional development. Typically, within your discipline, such training will focus on enhancing your skills to prepare you to manage a broader array of staff and projects. This exec ed program instead gives you the skills to work with those outside of your organization, whether from the private sector, government, or community groups, and to implement projects with both technical and social dimensions.
Am I the right person for this course?
This course focuses on leaders across sectors who are eager to make change. Are you a lead public official responsible for implementing an array of programs and policies – in the face of opposition? Are you a city-builder keen to put shovels in the ground on a complex project? Are you an elected official trying to reconcile demands from constituents at odds? This course is for you.
Before beginning the application process, please review the application policies. To apply, complete the online application form.
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Each application is reviewed by Rotman's admissions committee to ensure participants have the appropriate academic and work experience.
Participant Notification Process
If space is available and eligibility requirements are met, participants will receive a notice of admission within 10 days of receipt of a completed application and fee deposit.
Payments can be made online. A deposit of 50% of the program fee (or $4,000 if the program fee is over $8,000) is required at time of application. If the full fee is not paid at the time of application, the balance of the program fee is due 30 days after receipt of invoice or 30 days before program start date, whichever is first. Fees will be refunded to those not accepted into the program.
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