The Community Development Society (CDS) and International Association for Community Development (IACD) International Conference 2016


Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity To Sustain Community Development Initiatives

Come Join Us for The Community Development Society (CDS) and International Association for Community Development (IACD) Conference in the Twin Cities, Minnesota July 24th – 27th 2016. The Conference theme of Sustaining Community Change – Building Local Capacity to Sustain Community Development Initiatives will also address the recently adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


Sustainable Development Goals


Network with peers involved with community development from around the world learn about new research and best practices in sessions on sustainability. Hear from speakers on key community development issues in Minnesota, and an international plenary session on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Experience the richness of culture, environment, and community development initiatives of Minnesota on mobile learning workshops, make new friends and colleagues, and have fun at events throughout the CDS IACD Conference 2016!

Event Date: July 24 – 27, 2016

Register Now


Connect Before the Conference

Connect with other conference attendees before the conference by visiting the conference Facebook page.


Mobile Learning workshops

Minnesota is filled with vibrant examples of people initiating and sustaining community change. You will be able to explore these stories during one of the Mobile Learning Workshops. These workshops are not about sitting on a bus all day. Instead, you will be out in the community, seeing and hearing about community change from people who are leading the way.


Here is a small slice of what you’ll experience during each workshop:

  • On the Mill City Water Works tour, you will see and learn about the work being done to establish a tourist and local resident destination focused on families, nature, and the history of the Mississippi River’s geological and cultural significance.
  • At the Northside Achievement Zone Workshop, you will learn about the great work being done to prepare children to graduate from high school and enter college.
  • On the Find Your Park tour, you will explore the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and learn about the ways people are working to steward the natural and cultural assets that surround them.
  • On the Creative CityMaking workshop, you will tour an interactive exhibit about Creative CityMaking Minneapolis, an innovation initiative that brings the resources of community artists to complex community challenges.
  • On the Cedar Riverside Walking Tour, you will learn firsthand about perhaps the most dramatic and successful story of community-controlled redevelopment anywhere.
  • On the Ancient Wisdom workshop, you will visit the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community to learn how American Indian tribes use traditional foods, culturally based social services, and environmentally sound practices to promote health, wellness, and community development.
  • On the Traversing 40 miles and 40,000 years workshop, you will travel through time and see how living history informs today’s community members about the complexities of modern food production, watershed stewardship, and rural/urban interdependence in ever-shifting and multi-layer dynamics.


Jane Leonard
I found my professional home when I attended my first CDS conference 30 years ago. It was amazing because I'm interested in so many things; I could finally see the interconnections.

Jane Leonard,
Past-president of the Community Development Society



The CDS IACD Conference will be a unique opportunity to network with peers involved in community locally, and around the world. Learn from peers about trends, research, challenges, and solutions to addressing the most pressing issues facing our world today.



Sessions will engage participation to address topics ranging from strengthening values of environment, economy, social and cultural well-being, democracy, health, community engagement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and more! The conference will feature top notch local and international speakers, receptions for new members, students, international participants, along with an evening out to meet old and new friends and colleagues in the field of community development.


Why you should attend

Community developers are change agents in a rapidly changing world. This conference will feature a wide range of information, tools, and networking opportunities for learning and sharing best practices to address sustainability of communities, locally and globally. CDS and IACD are partnering to expand our horizons in community development to foster positive community change worldwide, sustaining community change, and addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Event Approval Tool

Attending the Community Development Society Conference/International Association of Community Development Conference can open doors to new ideas, connect you to some of the most innovative practitioners in the field of community development and advance your professional skills. We've developed a resource to aid in gaining approval from your organization to participate in the conference and provide a means to validate and review your onsite experience.