Community Research Symposium

The annual Community Research Symposium is a unique forum for community leaders, practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to share how they advance data-driven research and policy in their communities—and how we could do even more through collective action.

To accomplish this, the 2024 annual symposium featured short presentations from the leading experts featured on this page on an extremely relevant topic of the day: Artificial Intelligence and Government. The AI discussions were followed by information about the Partnership’s 2024 Community Research opportunity, followed by smaller facilitated breakout sessions.

Upon registration, each participant was asked to describe either a community problem they are experiencing which could be addressed with technology and research, or if they are a practitioner, to describe their research focus or area of expertise. Facilitated breakout conversations among participants were focused on these topics. We would like to thank you if you were able to attend this year’s Symposium. We hope that participants will continue to consider ways to collaborate and provide access to research and innovation to solve community problems.

When was the event?

Friday, February 16th, 2024, at 9:00 am EST.


  • Introduction,
    • Debra Lam, Executive Director, Partnership for Inclusive Innovation
  • Keynote, The State of AI in GovTech: Exploring the Future & Charting the Course
    • Dustin Haisler, President, e.Republic
  • Societal Implications of AI, What Citizens Need to Know about Artificial Intelligence
    • John P. Nelson, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • AI in Local Government, Practical Questions and Change Management
    • Katy Leggett, Chief Information Officer, Woodstock, GA
    • Clay Pearson, Senior Vice-President, Strategic Government Resources
  • AI Implementation, Where AI Makes Sense, and Doesn’t
    • Sasha Anderson, Guest Faculty, University of Washington Information School
  • Next Steps, Community Research Grants Program Overview & Introduction to Breakout Discussions
    • Katie O’Connor, Community Research Manager, Partnership for Inclusive Innovation
  • Facilitated Breakout Sessions: Following the AI conversation, the event will break into six separate zoom meetings arranged by community issue topic, with facilitated discussions among communities and researchers for about 45 minutes. Links to join the meetings will be sent in an email reminder before the event.

Breakout session topics:

  • Continue the conversation on AI
  • Housing, Affordable housing, Urban development, Smart growth, Aging communities
  • Transportation, logistics, infrastructure, connectivity
  • Workforce development, digital inclusion & skills development
  • Government operations innovation & efficiency

Watch a video of the Symposium on our YouTube page!

Contact the Partnership’s Community Research Manager ( for additional information.

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