The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City was founded in 1964 by 15 CEOs of major Kansas City companies. The goal was to bring together their civic leadership, resources and influence to accomplish what none of them, or their business enterprises, could do alone. Throughout its 50-year history, the Civic Council has given birth to significant initiatives that have contributed to the community’s quality of life and economic well-being.
A hallmark of the Civic Council is its commitment to a long-term agenda that is strategic and informed by research. The value placed on well-informed decision-making is a legacy of the organization’s founders, who benchmarked civic leadership efforts in other cities as they brought the Civic Council from concept to reality. In succeeding years, Civic Council Boards of Directors have convened in retreat settings to assess their progress, evaluate trends and factors that might influence the success of the community and the Civic Council’s initiatives, and consider next steps.
As the Civic Council approached its 50th anniversary, the members of the Board of Directors once again stepped back from the day-to-day demands of community, family and business and convened in a retreat in October 2013. They discussed current and emerging trends, issues and opportunities and Kansas City’s performance against peer cities, and identified priorities and strategies that will drive their action in the years ahead. As a result of research and these discussions, the Board of Directors identified four priority areas that will guide and shape the Civic Council’s initiatives in the years to come: Innovation Economy, Human Capital, Vibrant Communities and Leadership Development.