Executive Cohort

The Meeting of the Minds Executive Cohort is a networking accelerator for urban practitioners.

Please note: Cohorts starting in April 2021 are full. Only a few spots remain for May. Apply today.

Hundreds of executives have completed or commited to joining an Executive Cohort. Participating organizations have included:

I loved the casually curated conversations and the diversity of the group. The conversation never lacked and the variety of perspectives was really energizing and insightful.

Emily Yates

Smart City Director, City of Philadelphia

Who will you meet?

The Executive Cohort Program is a new event format created in reaction to the isolation and adversity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Cohorts provide participants a unique opportunity to cultivate new relationships with extraordinary, like-minded peers in an era when making new connections is nearly impossible.


Following an interview and onboarding process, 10 urban practitioners from a diversity of industries, geographies and sectors are carefully vetted and invited to form an Executive Cohort.


Executive Cohorts meet online once a week for 6 weeks. Meeting facilitation encourages genuine conversation and allows enough time and space to dig in to important topics.



Executive Cohort sessions follow Chatham House Rules.  These private sessions enable participants to connect and share on a level that would be otherwise unachievable.

“The pandemic has short-wired our traditions of interaction and connection. Conferences canceled, in-person meetings moved online. Most convening organizations have simply turned their events into digital conferences, but that format strips the experience of the serendipitous, authentic social interactions that happen at in-person events. The hallway conversations. The elevator rides. The networking receptions.

The loss of these social collisions is catastrophic. For individuals, the lack of exposure to intelligent and industrious colleagues slows inspiration and innovation, and at the organizational level it impedes business development, partnership building, and the maintenance of important partner relationships.

Through curated invitation lists and small, facilitated group discussions, Meeting of the Minds Executive Cohorts offer a better model for urban practitioners to build their network and cultivate partnerships in this pandemic era.”

Jessie Feller Hahn

Executive Director & Cohort Facilitator, Meeting of the Minds

“With the suspension of conferences and in-person events, and the important social collisions they engender, savvy and tenacious individuals have turned to digital breakout rooms, chat rooms, virtual happy hours, webinars, Zoom meetings, even apps and services that provide random interaction, in the hopes of finding meaningful networking. 

But irregular, informal digital networking formats, without the undergirding of curation, facilitation, or time, tend to lead to transactional and impermanent connections.

The Meeting of the Minds Executive Cohorts are a rare opportunity to connect deeply and regularly with colleagues and peers working on the transformation of the world’s urban spaces.

Dave Hahn

Director of Digital Strategy, Meeting of the Minds

Discussion Topics



Urban policy, justice, services



Mass transit, shared mobility, AVs


Innovation, connectivity, data



Climate change, natural disasters



Healthy communities, social equity, education



Public-private partnerships, jobs, economic inclusion



Street design, smart buildings, urban planning



Energy, water, food systems

Sample Schedule

Executive Cohorts begin with a 90-minute initial session of introductions. In subsequent sessions, participants are paired 2-by-2 and featured in short, facilitated fireside chats, followed by group discussion.

Executive Cohort participants are expected to attend all sessions.

Session #1: Introductions / 90 minutes
Session #2: Fireside chat #1 / 60 minutes
Session #3: Fireside chat #2 / 60 minutes
Session #4: Fireside chat #3 / 60 minutes
Session #5: Fireside chat #4 / 60 minutes
Sessions #6: Fireside chat #5 / 60 minutes

Participation Fees

Designed to cost about the same as a pre-pandemic conference, participation fees for the Executive Cohort are on a sliding scale based on sector. 

Private sector: $2,000
Start-ups and philanthropy: $1,000
Non-profit and academic participants: $500
Public sector leaders: Suggested donation of $250

“I cannot thank you enough for putting together the cohort program. Believe it or not, I believe it is even more beneficial than the connections we make at a conference.”

Emma Skalka

Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Victor Stanley

Participant Application

Participation in the Executive Cohort program is by invitation only. To express your interest in joining a Cohort, please complete this application.