Agenda

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This is an early version of the event agenda and is subject to change.

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This is an early version of the event agenda and is subject to change.

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Day 1

Tuesday

MAY

28

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Offsite Tours

Watch this space for information about a diverse range of tours. Each tour is capped at a maximum number and will also need a minimum signup. Tours will be offered in the morning and afternoon.

  • Cultural Tours
  • Gastronomy Tours
  • Thematic Tours

Day 2

Wednesday

MAY

29

All Day
Registration

Details will be published soon.

9:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Municipal Best Practices and Technical Exchange Seminar

Join municipal government officials as they discuss topics of common interest and concern to municipalities throughout the Americas. The session is aimed at local government employees and elected officials and is by invitation only. Key topics may include Cybersecurity, Ethics and Transparency, Economic Development, and Community Policing.

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sister Cities International Leadership Academy


SCI Academy is a program unique to each Sister Cities International Summit experience.  Structured to highlight SCI’s history and current goals, provide tools for success, share effective tips on strengthening existing partnerships and establishing new ones, Sister Cities International Academy is a powerful platform to showcase best practices for emerging, new, and current sister cities  – locally and globally!

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Mayor’s Welcome Reception at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Join Mayor Ron Nirenberg on May 29 as he hosts the Sister Cities International All Americas Summit Welcome Reception at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and encounter the unique architectural, artistic, and sensory experience of this exceptional facility. Guests will be treated to an amazing variety of outstanding local musicians.

About the Venue
Originally built 98 years ago in the colorful Spanish Colonial Revival style, the Municipal Auditorium was transformed in 2014 into the state-of-the-art Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
Situated along the banks of the San Antonio River in the heart of the city, the historic Auditorium, with its preserved original facade and a new modernistic “metallic veil,” has been transformed into a beautiful world-class venue.  High tech sound, lighting, and seating systems allow remarkable flexibility in its multiple performance spaces, including the 600-seat outdoor plaza that descends to the lush and lively Riverwalk.

Day 3

Thursday

MAY

30

All Day
Exhibit Hall

Exhibit Hall (Exhibition Space with Booths)

Trade / Tourism / Education

8:30 AM to 9:30 AM
Opening Ceremony: Parade of Flags & Honor Guard

Please join us in a time-honored Sister Cities tradition as we begin our Summit with the Honor Guard and join youth from across the world celebrating our organization’s diversity and strength with flags from cities and countries from across the Western Hemisphere.

9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
High Level Mayoral Dialogue
"City Diplomacy is the New Diplomacy"

Listen to an in-depth dialog between Americas’ Mayors about pressing issues for their cities regardless on topics including resilience & sustainability, economic development & trade, immigration, transportation, among others.

11:00 AM to 11:15 AM
Break

15 Minutes Break.

11:15 AM to 12:30 PM
International Trade and Investment in the Americas


Learn from industry leaders and organizations about the future direction of business and investment in the Americas.

11:15 AM to 12:30 PM
Humanitarian Cooperation and Security in the Americas

This session explores how different organizations respond to humanitarian issues and crises throughout the Americas. Learn how partnered cities across the Americas work interdependently, alongside humanitarian cooperation initiatives aimed at enhancing quality of life in the Western hemisphere.

12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Lunch Plenary:
Diplomacy Across the Americas
Strengthening Hemispheric Bonds

Join us as we navigate the world of diplomacy, promoting harmony and cooperation within the Americas. This enlightening session delves into the intricate dynamics of inter-American diplomacy, exploring avenues for building stronger bonds, fostering mutual understanding, and addressing shared challenges.

2:00 PM to 3:15 PM
Water Across the Americas: Challenges and Solutions

Water is the basis for so many communities, yet it is often overlooked. Listen to experts from a variety of fields talk about the challenges with our water supplies and what communities across the Americas are doing to deal with water challenges.

2:00 PM to 3:15 PM
Sports Diplomacy Across the Americas

This panel aims to explore the intersection of sports and diplomacy within the Americas region. This discussion brings together experts and leaders to examine how sports can serve as a powerful tool for building bridges, fostering international cooperation, and addressing common challenges in the region.

2:00 PM to 3:15 PM
How to Leverage the US Commercial Service in Sister City Relationships for Business Development

At a time when subnational relationships are more critical than ever to growth and stability, city leaders are seeking dynamic and innovative partnerships to keep their local communities healthy and thriving. This session aims to discuss U.S. Commercial Service’s resources, how foreign posts engage with local offices and clients/cities, and how international entities can access these services. Attendees will also hear testimonials from panelists about how they have leveraged these services into growing economic development opportunities with their sister city portfolio.

3:15 PM to 3:30 PM
Break

15 Minutes Break.

3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Sister City Market Place & Ceremonials
Cultivating New City Partnerships & Formalizing City Partnership Agreements & Networking Event

Step into this networking zone designed for cities eager to explore and forge a new Sister City partnership. The Marketplace is an ideal setting for city officials, representatives, and community leaders to engage in brief but impactful discussions that allow for exploring shared values, cultural affinities, economic opportunities, and collaborative initiatives (akin to speed -dating that provides a fast-track avenue for cities from across the Americas to discover each other).

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
"The Future is Here" Reception
at Boeing Tech Port

Connect with cutting-edge innovation and experience an evening of interactive tech, music, and e-sports at Boeing Center at Tech Port, the most technologically advanced entertainment venue in the world. Guests can explore Tech Port’s “San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology,” its LAN Gaming Center, and much more.

About the Venue
Established in 1917 as Kelly Field, Port San Antonio has redeveloped this former Air Force Base to focus on the continued evolution of global technologies.  Today, marquee names in aerospace, manufacturing, cybersecurity, robotics, and other technologically advanced industries conduct an array of projects on this large and dynamic site.
Located at the heart of Port San Antonio, the 180,000-square-foot Boeing Center at Tech Port boasts a reconfigurable 3,100-seat arena and gaming hall, a 60-by-20-foot LED wall, and the largest array of musical Tesla coils which can be incorporated into the lighting and sound design for live music with 7.1 surround sound. A LAN gaming center and interactive tech museum will also be open for enjoyment and play during the Reception!

Day 4

Friday

MAY

31

All Day
Exhibit Hall

Exhibit Hall (Exhibition Space with Booths)

Trade / Tourism / Education

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
People Centered Smart Cities across the Americas

The “People Centered Smart Cities Across the Americas” panel is a pivotal session that aims to delve into the evolving landscape of smart city development, with a unique focus on human-centric approaches. The panel brings together esteemed thought leaders, urban planners, technologists, and policy experts from various cities across the Americas. It seeks to explore how emerging technologies and smart city solutions can be leveraged to enhance the quality of life for residents, while ensuring that these advancements are accessible, inclusive, and sustainable.

The session promises to offer a dynamic and interactive platform for sharing best practices, discussing challenges, and envisioning the future of urban living in the Americas. It will particularly emphasize the importance of putting people at the heart of smart city initiatives, ensuring that technological advancements lead to more liveable, equitable, and connected urban environments.

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Supply Chains and Transportation in the Americas

We live in an interconnected world where communities and cities are connected to each other. Come learn how our goods and products are connected throughout the Americas and arrive in our communities.

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Transformative Impact of Arts in the Americas

The impact of the Arts is often misunderstood and underappreciated. Come share in spirited conversations with curators  and arts professionals who discuss the evolution and power of the Arts throughout the Western Hemisphere.

10:30 AM to 10:45 AM
Break

15 Minutes Break.

10:45 AM to 12:00 PM
Travel and Tourism in the Americas

This session delves into the potential of tourism to serve as a unifying force across the Americas, fostering synergy and providing a platform for collaboration and communication among tourism cities, enterprises, and practitioners within the region.

10:45 AM to 12:00 PM
Immigration in the Americas


Go beyond the headlines and learn directly about immigration trends in the Americas and what cities are doing to  embrace the movement of people throughout  the Americas.

10:45 AM to 12:00 PM
Creative Cities Collaborating Across the Americas

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) launched in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The Network now counts 350 cities in more than one hundred countries, representing seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, and Music.

Join representatives from several Creative Cities from across the Americas to learn how they cooperate at the local, national, and international level to share best practices, develop partnerships that promote creativity and the cultural industries, and foster a strong commitment to integrate culture and creativity in their work. 

12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Lunch Plenary:
Food as Love: a Conversation on Culture & Cuisine in the Americas

Food means so much to cultures and families across the Americas. Join us for a spirited and insightful conversation led by Texas Monthly’s Taco Editor Jose Ralat with culinary practitioners and companies about the food we love across borders.

1:30 PM to 2:45 PM
Compassionate Americas

What is a Compassionate City? What is happening in those cities that connects to and enhances the work of a Sister City? What could happen globally if the ~1700 Sister Cities also became Compassionate Cities with ~650 Compassionate Communities? What is CompassionateUSA and could it be CompassionateAMERICAS? A panel of Sister City Mayors from all the Americas that are also Compassionate City Mayors will be discussing and dreaming these questions into future legacy. Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the International Charter for Compassion, will be facilitating this prestigious panel. Mayors on the CompassionateAMERICAS

1:30 PM to 2:45 PM
Resilience and Sustainability in the Americas

This session focuses on the importance of cooperation in addressing the issues of resilience and sustainability. You will explore case studies and effective strategies for cross-border cooperation toward a more sustainable and resilient future for the Americas, emphasizing the interconnectedness of nations in addressing our shared environmental challenges. Key topics may include regional collaboration in resilience and sustainability endeavors, innovative partnerships, and community engagement.

1:30 PM to 2:45 PM
Leveraging the Diplomatic Corps to support sister city engagement

Aimed at city officials, diplomats, and community leaders, this session will explore inspirational ways to leverage the diplomatic corps to foster connections between sister cities in the Americas. You will learn about successful diplomatic initiatives that have maximized the influence of diplomatic channels to enrich sister city programs and elevate cultural exchanges, economic partnerships, and mutual understanding between cities across borders. Key topics will include diplomatic roles and influence; cultural diplomacy, and economic partnerships.

2:45 PM to 3:00 PM
Break

15 Minutes Break.

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Texas Gateway of the Americas

The state of Texas has greatly benefited from its commercial and cultural relationship across the Americas. As a gateway to global trade, and as the nation’s top exporting state, its strategic location and extensive infrastructure provide seamless access to international markets and position the state as a prime destination for foreign direct investment. With its large manufacturing base and well-established trade corridors with Mexico, Central, and South America, the state is well-positioned to broaden its connections throughout the Americas, reinforcing its already robust network of partnerships. This panel will explore key economic regions in Texas and discuss a broad range of topics and economic opportunities.

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Africa Connection to the Americas

6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Closing Remarks and Farewell at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Plaza México

On the final evening, the Summit culminates in the spirit of citizen diplomacy with final remarks at the Instituto Cultural de Mexico. Make time to bid new friends and old a memorable farewell and take final group photos at nearby historical landmarks. Guests will enjoy refreshing, locally made aqua frescas. Leave time for a stroll to one of San Antonio’s newest art installations with citizen diplomacy at its core – Alas de México (Wings of Mexico) – an interactive bronze sculpture by artist Jorge Marín, which was “A gift from the Citizens of Mexico City to the Citizens of San Antonio.”

Enjoy all that San Antonio has to offer! Visit San Antonio can help you make your discoveries and adventures.

About the Venue:
The Mexican Cultural Institute is the Permanent Cultural Representation of the Mexican Government in San Antonio and the first such one established in the world, outside of Mexico. Since its creation in 1968, the Institute has organized vibrant exhibitions, high caliber performances, and engaging public events to promote the cultural and aesthetic richness of Mexican arts and traditions. With these outstanding artistic, academic, and cultural activities, the Institute has become an iconic cultural reference in San Antonio and beyond.

Session Topics

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