Why I Attend the Congress | Sarah Lewis of Ferrell Madden Lewis LLC

It's no secret that the annual Congress for the New Urbanism is the leading venue for New Urbanist education, collaboration and networking. Every year, the top minds and practitioners from around the globe travel to the CNU event to engage with the ideas that give shape and meaning to the communities we inhabit. By congregating a diverse collection of thought-leaders, planners, architects, academics, government officials, students, and citizen-activists, CNU creates a community for the design of ideas, and readies them for application.

Why I Attend the Congress is a series dedicated to sharing the first-hand experience and insight gained from attending the yearly event. The following contribution comes direct from Sarah Lewis, principal at Ferrell Madden Lewis LLC.

 

Well, there's the easy answer . . . the social events and catching up with colleagues that I don’t see very often during the rest of the year. The plenaries are great and the sessions are good, but the time in the hallways between educational moments is the most fun. Old friends, former co-workers, potential connections, and new networking contacts. 

But there's also the academic answer. . .the Congress offers the ability to fulfill continuing education requirements for a number of professional registrations in one location that are centered around topics of interest to me.

And now for the most honest, but embarrassingly nerdy-sounding, answer. . .the Congress offers me the chance to hear speakers on topics outside my knowledge base and comfort level. For someone trained as an architect who considers herself fundamentally a designer, this is difficult to admit. Yet, some of the most informative sessions that I have attended over the years have been given by lawyers, economists, fire chiefs, civil engineers, and medical researchers. These are topics that I know I should learn about but have no patience to take a class or read a book! So I make it a must to attend the Congress!

Come to Madison and embrace your dorkdom too . . . you know you want to!

 


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