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Addressing the Achievement Gap Intro

Introduction | Speaker Bios

This year’s theme is “New Voices, Fresh Ideas—The Future of Community Development” and will be celebrated with events across the Eighth District. The purpose of Exploring Innovation is to draw national attention to innovation in the community development field and its important role in American life.

"Addressing the Achievement Gap and Fostering Community Leadership" | August 26

The achievement gap is at the root of America's workforce competitiveness challenge and issues that communities face daily. What's more, it may be widening and spreading in our region. At the same time, community leadership is in short supply, and the demand for engaged and informed community members is tremendous.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis held a public policy dialogue to discuss the implications of these issues on society, including how organizations must address these concerns to attract investments, add value and support economic and social development.

Footage from the videoconference portion: watch video

Post-event summaries: St. Louis, Little Rock, Louisville, Memphis

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2011 Exploring Innovation event preview

Exploring Innovation: A Conference on Community Development Finance, will be held May 9-11, 2011, at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Mo. The conference will be attended by lenders, investors, nonprofit community development practitioners and others who will learn how to use innovative business models that will address the financing of all aspects of thriving communities—from housing and infrastructure to community engagement and leadership development. Learning tracks will include retail products and services, the green economy, investments and equity, and financing comprehensive development. Employing innovative presentation and collaboration techniques, the conference is designed to:

  • illustrate how innovation can result in new finance models;
  • highlight industry best practices, state-of-the-art policies and innovative thinking; and
  • serve as a catalyst for future discussions around topics of significant importance to community development.

Conference registration opens Feb. 1, 2011.

2010 Exploring Innovation events

"Restructuring and Retooling for the Future"
April 20 | details and summaries

"Addressing the Achievement Gap and Fostering Community Leadership"
August 26 | details and summaries

"Tapping New Sources and Exploring New Models for Community Development Finance"
November 10 | details and summaries

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Exploring Innovation events from past years