Main Conference: October 12th - 14th

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Cleveland has held the door open to newcomers for generations, and now 23 global sister cities have joined that journey. These relationships broaden our perspective, knowledge, and opportunities. The partnerships and connections that we build through our sister cities are doors to our world.

Join Global Cleveland as we continue toward a more global and welcoming future that makes our cities more robust and better for generations to come.

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What Is A Sister City?

According to Sister City International (SCI), a sister city, county, or state relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two communities in two countries. A relationship is officially recognized after the highest elected or appointed official from both communities sign off on an agreement to become sister cities.

Cleveland has 23 sister cities and most of these cities have a good relationship with Cleveland and are tied with business, trade, educational or cultural projects, and exchanges.

Alexandria, Egypt

Bahir-Dar, Ethiopia

Bangalore, India

Beit She’an, Israel

Brasov, Romania

Bratislava, Slovakia

Cleveland, UK

Conakry, Guinea

Fier, Albania

Gdansk, Poland

Heidenheim, Germany

Holon, Israel

Ibadan, Nigeria

Klaipeda, Lithuania

Lima, Peru

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Miskolc, Hungary

Rouen, France

Segundo Montes,

    El Salvador

Taipei City, Taiwan

Vicenza, Italy

Volgograd, Russia

West Mayo, Ireland

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, October 12th

Municipal/Civic Leadership


Mr. Leroy Ayalla, President of Sister Cities International will open our conference with Global Cleveland’s President, Mr. Joe Cimperman. The City of Cleveland will be joined with the City of Vicenza for a proclamation ceremony in support of friendship cities.

7 a.m. -8 a.m.

Urban Sustainablity

With the support of the Nepali/Bhutanese and Slovenian communities in Cleveland, Global Cleveland is spearheading a city wide bee keeping initiative. This panel brings together bee experts from three friendship countries to discuss the global importance of pollinators and urban agriculture.

9 a.m. -10 a.m.

4Cities4Peace Forum

How 4 Sister Cities came together to celebrate U.S. – Russian friendships and collaborations. The 4Cities4Peace members will discuss how the project came together, implementing Student Building Diplomacy Workshops, and My City Through My Eyes photo project.

9 a.m. -10:30 a.m.

Fresh Water

Volgograd sits on a river, Bahir Dar sits on a lake, and Cleveland sits on both. Listen to three cities with important fresh water sources about how they maximize usage and protect the watershed at the same time.

10 a.m. -11 a.m.

Sister Cities Global Shapers: Activating the Power of Youth

A conversation about how youth are contributing to the social and economic development of their cities.



United States Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Don Graves will speak about Cleveland as an international city and have a fireside chat with Global Cleveland’s President about the value of wide reaching economic ties.

12:15 p.m. -1 p.m.


Watch the oath swearing of Cleveland’s newest Americans in a special ceremony held at the Cleveland Public Library, presided over by Judge Dan Polster.

2 p.m.


A conversation on how public transportation systems are tools for economic development in cities across the world.

1 p.m. -2 p.m.

Wednesday, October 13th

Culture & Education

Public Art

A conversation about public art in a global context, the value of artist exchanges and the role public art plays in defining a city.

7 a.m. -8 a.m.

Global Citizen

A conversation about global citizenry and holding multiple identities at once while living within systems that seldom recognize such nuance.

8 a.m. -9 a.m.

Jesuits Worldwide

We will discuss the global educational and service work of the Jesuits. How do Jesuits’ faith motivate and inspire their work? How do they work in different cultural and religious contexts to form relationships with the people they serve?

8 a.m. -9 a.m.

International Poetry

Hear original poems from a series of global poets and a conversation about the how poetry can help us heal.

9 a.m. -10 a.m.

Leveling Up: Immigrants changing the gaming world

Hear from independent game developers from around the world linking video games and immigration to broaden perspectives and change hearts.


Diplomatic Simulation for the Next Generation of International Leaders by Cleveland Council on World Affairs

Teams of sister cities students will take on a simulated diplomatic mission proctored by the Cleveland Council on World Affairs.

11 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

Sister Libraries

Hear about how Cleveland Public Library and our sister city libraries work with their city and community and what makes them unique institutions as a way of better understanding our partners.

11 a.m. -12 p.m.

International Children's Book Reading

Children ages 5-7 are invited to listen to NYU Abu Dhabi students read their self published and illustrated book, Where is Our Home? Children will be able to speak with the authors directly.

12 p.m. -1 p.m.

Thursday, October 14th

Business & Economic Development


Meet coffee growers and buyers from around the world for an insight into this global goodwill ambassador as well an important economic product.

9 a.m. -10 a.m.

Advanced Auto Manufacturing

A single car crossing an international boundary x number of times before its ready to be sold. This international panel of auto manufacturers will discuss their role as the face of a changing auto industry.

9 a.m. -10 a.m.

Tech Today and Tomorrow

Learn about companies using breaking edge technology to address poverty.

9 a.m. -11 a.m.

Business Incubators Worldwide

To showcase incubators who are on the bleeding edge of the economy and speak with successful companies to have been incubated through their system.

11 a.m. -12 p.m.

Programs for Newcomer Entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio

To show what Northeast Ohio is doing for newcomer entrepreneurs and what resources and programs are available to support their development because immigrants have a huge role in the creation of small and medium size enterprises which ensure the livelihood of a city.

12 p.m. -1 p.m.

Nuevo Leon - Auto Manufacturing Cluster

Cluster Automotriz de Nuevo León, A.C. (CLAUT), a civil association made up of premier manufacturers in the automotive industry, educational institutions, and government related to the field will present on their innovative model for boosting competitveness and growing Nuevo Leon’s region.

12 p.m. -1 p.m.

Keynote- A celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Cleveland Clinic.

Due to partnerships with Rouen, France in WWI, the inspiration for the Cleveland Clinci was born. Join us for a presentation about the Clinic’s last 100 years and the next 100 to come. Both the cities of Cleveland, OH and Rouen, France, will present the Clinic with Proclamations of Recognition in celebration of this momentous milestone.

1 p.m. -2 p.m.

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