Save the Date: October 2-3, 2018

To submit a presentation proposal for the 2018 conference, click here. The deadline is Friday, March 9.

In 2017, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference celebrated its 10th anniversary at the Grand River Center in the Port of Dubuque with more than 500 attendees.

Please note: Programming information and online registration for the 2018 conference will be available beginning June 1.

Hosted by the City of Dubuque, Iowa and Sustainable City Network, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is the largest and longest standing sustainability conference in the Midwest and will be held again this year at the Grand River Center located in the Port of Dubuque at 500 Bell Street (View Map). The 11th annual conference on Oct. 2-3, 2018 will be two days of education, inspiration and collaboration on topics of interest to anyone who cares about creating great towns and cities that stand the test of time.

Inspirational Keynote Speakers

The conference features two keynote luncheons and a breakfast plenary session. The 2018 keynote addresses will be announced in June.

Outstanding Programming

The conference features workshop speakers with a wide range of expertise, including representatives from federal, state and local governments, along with business and academic leaders from across the country.

Check out the 2017 programming page to read descriptions and download the presentation files from last year's workshops.


Thank You 2017 Sponsors!

Presented by the City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is sponsored by Crescent Electric Supply Co. and other corporate sponsors.

Here's a list of the 2017 sponsors. To join them in 2018 click here.

AARP   |   Alliant Energy   |   American Forests   |   AWWA   |   Bartlett & West
Big Wave Strategies   |   Bioferm Energy Systems   |   bizTimes   |   Black Hills Energy
Borgert Products, Inc.   |   Cartegraph   |   Conlon Construction Co
Crescent Electric Supply Company   |   Dubuque Bank and Trust (DB&T)   |   Dupaco
Eagle Point Solar   |   Global Traffic Technologies   |   Gronen Properties/Restoration
H & H Energy Services   |   HBK Engineering, LLC   |   HDR, Inc.   |   HousingNOLA
HR Green, Inc.   |   Huff & Huff   |   Hydro-ecology Services, N.A.   |   IIW
Iowa Economic Development Authority   |   ITC Transco   |   John Deere
Midwest Floating Island   |   Midwest Renewable Energy Assoc.
Northeast Iowa Community College   |   Olsson Associates   |   Premier Bank   |   Ramboll
Red Lion Renewables   |   Shive-Hattery   |   SmithGroupJJR   |   State Revolving Fund/Iowa DNR
Suez   |   SunPeak   |   Sustainable City Network   |   TrueNorth Companies   |   Unison Solutions
University of Dubuque   |   University of Iowa   |   Van Meter, Inc.   |   WSP

2018 Registration Fees

Online registration begins June 1. Registration fees for the 2018 conference will be as follows:

  • One-Day Early Bird Rate: $110 (through Aug. 26)
  • Two-Day Early Bird Rate: $145 (through Aug. 26)
  • One-Day Regular Rate: $145 (Aug. 27-Sept. 26)
  • Two-Day Regular Rate: $182 (Aug. 27-Sept. 26)
  • One-Day Late Rate: $210 (Sept. 27-Oct. 3)
  • Two-Day Late Rate: $245 (Sept. 27-Oct. 2)
  • One-Day Student Rate: $15
  • Two-Day Student Rate: $30
  • Mobile Tour: $12

Rave Reviews

Here's what some of our past attendees have said about the conference:

"This was my third year and each year the conference impresses me with its relevance, variety and depth of professional perspective and applicability."

"I was blown away by the quality of the keynote speakers!"

"This conference is one of the most useful professional conferences I attend because of its mix of presenters from multiple sectors: non-profit, academic, municipal, business. We often talk about partnerships across these sectors, and this conference helps make those partnerships happen."

"I love the fact that equity is woven in throughout the conference. It's such a huge issue in America right now and everyone needs to be made aware of the problems that exist and how we can create solutions together!"

"I was impressed by the quality of the programming, the speakers, the venue, the food, the hotel accommodations and the overall organization of the conference. Top Notch!"

"The variety of session options is incredible. You can learn about anything from watersheds to food deserts to solar power to creative placemaking!"

"I appreciate that Dubuque walks the talk and provides a conference site that is gorgeous and committed to recycling/reusing items such as badges and providing meals that are locally sourced."

"Each year I come back with at least one idea I can pursue with our City Council and City Staff!"

"The conference generated multiple ideas in my mind and stirred an excitement in my soul for how I could help my community and my business. The speakers were inspiring and thought provoking and made me question myself and my ideas. Well done Dubuque!"

"The GSC Conference is one of the most well-run and friendly conferences I have attended. As a presenter, the coordination was amazing. As an attendee the space was comfortable, well marked and easy to navigate. The sessions were professional and I appreciate the effort made to allow us to obtain CEU's."

"One of the best conferences I've attended on sustainability. Valued packed at an affordable price. I will be returning."