Sister Cities International 56th Annual Conference: a recap


Sister Cities International’s 56th Annual Conference was a success thanks to the amazing attendees, volunteers, and speakers!

For those who couldn't make it, here's a quick recap: The Conference started with an exciting new development. Sister Cities International signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the All India Institute of Local Self-Government to further collaboration on creating new sister city relationships between communities in the United States and India. Given the growing interest in developing more relationships and sister cities with India within our membership, this MoU is a crucial step in the right direction.

The Conference also starred distinguished keynote speakers who spoke on important trends in the public and citizen diplomacy arena. Former Assistant Secretary of State Goli Ameri shared her experience on heading the Department of State's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. Amy Liu of the Brookings Institution spoke on how metro areas, specifically sister cities, can collaborate to boost exports and better connect with global markets, generating more jobs. And over a keynote luncheon, Steve Kalishman of Citizen Diplomacy Initiatives and Emily Hylton of Friends of the Earth Middle East shared tips on the emerging trend of trilateral twinning.

Participants also attended sessions on key program tracks: Economic Development and Innovation. They heard from award-winning peers in the Best Practices sessions and learned from experts in the Sister City University sessions. Attendees networked with peers, elected officials, and visiting international dignitaries during the evening sessions which included a Sister Cities International movie night (Africa Documentary Series and Sun City Picture House) and the Jacksonville Mayor's Reception.

All this and more in three action-packed days! Thank you again to all the attendees, volunteers, and speakers who ensured that the Conference was a success! Click here to view pictures of the event.

Get excited about our 57th Annual Conference in in San Antonio, Texas, July 11-13, 2013! Get the early bird rate of only $275 by registering TODAY at

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As the world becomes smaller, and connections online become more frequent than face-to-face interactions, multicultural understanding at the community level is more important than ever. Sister Cities International enables citizen diplomats in communities across the world to develop relationships with communities in other countries that are based on cultural understanding and mutual cooperation.Donate