2017 Conference Certificate Level I

The International Town and Gown Association (ITGA) brings its industry experience in the world of town gown relations to a comprehensive Certificate in Town-Gown Relations (Level I and Level II) offered at the annual conference. You must take Level I before taking Level II. Designed for busy university professionals, community leaders, city officials and their staff members, and students, this program uses real-world experiences to inform practical solutions. More than 400 participants have taken advantage of this program. The ITGA is offering the following professional development opportunities for the 2017 Conference in Eugene on Tuesday, May 30th, from 8:00am-4:30pm for Certificate Level I and 8:30am-5:15pm for Certificate Level II. 

The Certificate in Town Gown Relations Level 1: Modules include:  

‚ÄčThe Certificate in Town Gown Relations Level II: Training Topic: 
Solving Wicked Problems Through "Design Thinking" and "Strategic Doing."


This interactive training will give participants an opportunity to bridge the gap between the theoretical and the practical as it applies to the "wicked problems" that they are often challenged with at the Town Gown interface. Through a combination of pre-work, training, and hands-on work in teams, participants will gain the skills and insights needed to bring tangible solutions back to their communities. Participants will also develop a close relationship with a cohort of participants who will then become resources in the future through the shared learning they have experienced.  

Explore "Design Thinking" and "Strategic Doing" concepts

Participants are coming to this conference and training because they want new ideas for how to address 'wicked' problems. These are complex problems that do not have easy answers. Both "Design Thinking" and "Strategic Doing" are frameworks for how to address complex challenges. Design Thinking focuses on creating innovators and is not just for the design profession; business and community organizations are embracing this framework to reframe their work. Strategic Doing, coming out of Purdue University, emphasizes the importance of directing networks to generate innovative solutions. We will discuss how these two processes directly apply to Town Gown relations.  

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how the practice of Strategic Doing and Design Thinking can help you in your work;
  • Learn from colleagues from around the world;
  • Develop an action plan for a specific question/task you have been working on that pertains to your own community; and 
  • Create an expanded network to utilize at the conference and after. 


Jason Dedrick is a Senior Policy Analyst with the City of Eugene in the City Manager's Office. His formal training is in ecological systems, a background  he continues to draw on as he works with organizational systems and efforts that intersect with the community. Recent projects include a long list of "wicked problems" at the town and gown interface such as homelessness, equity and human rights, long-range land use planning and preparing for the 2021 World Track & Field Championships in Eugene. 

Bethany Steiner has been working at the intersection of the University and community for the past 15 years as an instructor at the University of Oregon (UO) Department of Public Policy, Planning and Management and as the Associate Director of the Community Planning Workshop with the Community Service Center at the UO. All of her work involves creating opportunities for university students to directly engage with communities on planning, policy and design issues.

Jason and Bethany co-teach a service-learning class at the University of Oregon called Real World Eugene. In this class undergraduate students work on solutions to real problems facing the City of Eugene.