PACE holds inaugural alumni networking roundtable
On March 29, the School of Public Affairs & Civic Engagement (PACE) convened Future Focused: An Inaugural Alumni Networking Roundtable and Reception in Redwood City. Hosted by PACE’s partners at San Mateo County, the event was the first large-scale convening of PACE alumni since the School was founded in 2012.
Nearly 80 alumni, students, faculty and partners attended the event, which included time for open networking and provided an opportunity for attendees to identify challenges confronting public and nonprofit professionals and share strategies, resources and ideas that could address those challenges while promoting a positive vision of the future in uncertain times.
After welcoming remarks from PACE Director Liz Brown, the event opened with additional welcomes from Don Horsley, District 3 supervisor for San Mateo County and SF State alumnus, and Reyna Farrales, deputy county manager of performance management for San Mateo County and MPA Advisory Board member. Attendees then heard from two keynote speakers. John Maltbie, county manager for San Mateo County, spoke about the implications of the current environment for careers in local government and focused on the importance of developing an agile workforce. Chris Rosenlund, senior manager, Bureau of Labor Statistics, MPA Alumnus of the Year 2016 and MPA Advisory Board member, energized the room by emphasizing the importance of harnessing passion, skill and leadership for the public good as a career-long endeavor.
After the speakers had made their comments, the event shifted its focus an interactive table-top activity called Mapping Our Collective Future. Fifteen alumni volunteered to lead other participants through the activity. Reflecting the diversity of disciplines in PACE, each table focused on a different topic. Examples include climate change, housing policy, age-friendly cities, next generation workforce recruitment, and social media, law enforcement and the community. Through the activity, participants shared their perspectives about issues of concern to their communities and worked together to identify potential priorities, resources and strategies available to address those issues. Toward the end of the event, participants shared highlights from their discussions. Several anticipated using the information generated in their work; many more told us that they were energized by the event and excited to have the opportunity to connect across programs.