Ryan Short is the CEO and co-founder of CivicBrand. Ryan is also the host of the Eyes on The Street podcast. He has been published on Forbes.com and is a contributing partner of Proud Places.


Economic Development is changing and this is a powerful talk for community leaders who are looking for a more authentic and community focused approach to Economic Development. Ryan Short, author of the 2018 Forbes article, Branding Is The New Economic Development, goes deeper on this topic detailing how communities can engage stakeholders, define who they are, and tell their story in a way that attracts and retains talent and investment from those who share that vision. This goes far beyond design and marketing gets at the core what a community brand really is. The talk explores practical and inspiring ways in which cities can both implement and live the brand on a daily basis.

Equity has been the theme of conferences, campaigns and strategic initiatives for communities. Many cities have even created official equity officers. This is great. However, the actual implementation of equity hasn’t kept up with the desire to simply say the word. This is especially true when it comes to public engagement. Ryan Short wrote the Forbes article, Equity In Public Engagement, and in this talk goes deeper on how create a public engagement strategy as diverse as your community.

Running social media for a city or downtown is very different than running it for a business or personal account. In this talk Ryan covers big picture strategies that can guide your social strategy as well as specific tactics and tools you can implement today. From harnessing user generated content, getting credit and building a loyal following this talk is a must for any city looking to take it’s social media strategy to the next level.

Human Centered Design is a process and framework of cultivating empathy for end users, interpreting and framing problems they experience, creative solution generation, and continuous iteration and testing. Our ‘Human Centered Design for Place Organizations’ workshop is designed specifically for place-based organizations so that they may foster a culture of impact and doing. Human Centered Design is about moving forward and responding to changing ideals, expectations, needs, and wants. In order to truly thrive, your organization needs both a clear sense of direction while simultaneously finding ways to bring about forward movement and change.

This hands-on workshop is led by Ryan Short, CEO of CivicBrand. Ryan has led the CivicBrand team for over 13 years, has been published on Forbes.com, regularly speaks on topics of place, is the host of the ‘Eyes on the Street’ podcast, and is trained in facilitating Human Design by Pratt Institute.


  • Surface ideas and direction for your organization
  • How to apply human centered design principles to tackle place-based challenges
  • Learn techniques to foster a culture of doing
  • Methods for understanding and framing problems
  • Discover how to tell a compelling story to engage audiences
  • Identify new ways to serve and support people by uncovering latent needs, behaviors, and desires
Ryan offered relevant, practical strategies that attendees could easily adopt for their downtowns and commercial districts. We received really positive feedback from attendees and look forward to bringing him back in the future.

Catherine Sak,

Texas Downtown Association




To inquire about booking Ryan Short to speak at your event, conference, or to schedule a workshop, contact us today.

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