If you're new to nighttime economy management or want to take your nightlife and sociability to the next level, the 2020 Sociable City Academy will give you the structure your city needs to succeed.

The Academy will be especially helpful for city planners, elected officials, aspiring or current night mayors, police, nightlife venue operators and business district managers, as well as any "big picture thinkers" in nightlife planning and management.


RHI's third annual pre-SUMMIT Academy will showcase creative breakthroughs on nighttime management. You'll learn about the top innovations in nightlife policing, licensing, policy, and social district planning.



  • Identify driving forces that are changing downtowns and town centers from shopping districts to social districts
  • Gain insights on how cities are creating an entertainment commission or an office on nightlife with dedicated staffing (night mayor/manager)
  • Get the tools you need to evaluate the current status of your city’s nighttime economy
  • Once you have a plan for creating an office with staff you will learn how to apply the building blocks in creating an action plan


  • Online seminars in RHI's Building Blocks of a Sociable City and Six Core Measures of a Sociable City prior to the Academy
  • Evaluation criteria to help you decide if a formal office of nightlife is a good fit for your city with pros and cons of different models, structures and placement of a nightlife office
  • Data indicators for measuring benefits, risk and harm in nightlife
  • Apply lessons learned on on a self-guided tour of Seattle's nightlife





 9:00 AM Check-in for Academy

10:00 AM Program Begins

12:30 PM Luncheon

 4:00 PM Program Ends

 8:00 PM Night Tour


Separate from Summit Registration

$180 Individual

$120 Team Member

No Cost for Sociable City Network Subscribers

Join First and then Register

Academy Program and Faculty

Attending the Academy will give you a deeper understanding of foundational concepts that will reinforce your education during the Summit. You'll not only get briefed on the top social trends driving changes in nightlife, but you'll also learn how to create the most critical nightlife oversight models that distinguish successful Sociable Cities from all the rest: Night Mayors, Offices of Nightlife, inter-agency safety teams and hospitality associations.

A DISTINGUISHED INTERNATIONAL FACULTY provides important insights from a century of combined personal experience and RHI affiliation on how to reduce crime and disorder and achieve a thriving social scene.

Go Big or Go Home

Jim Peters

Create a Comprehensive Plan for your City's Nighttime Economy

Jim Peters, President, Responsible Hospitality Institute

Jim Peters brings forty years of dedicated study on trends in nightlife and sociability. He will establish the framework for the day's program with insights gathered during his career to structure a "Transformation Team" with your city's leadership to guide development and apply the diffusion of innovation theory to overcome risk and challenges.

Think Outside the Box for Local Management. In fact, Throw out the Box!

If your city’s hands are tied on how to swiftly address at-risk businesses, then you need a new tool that’s not solely reliant on state/provincial enforcement. Peters will introduce a new approach to manage the transition from evening to late-night activity with a risk-based, time-oriented split-use application process to increase longevity of new nightlife businesses and reduce conflict for social venues operating after 10:00 pm.

Out with the Old and in with the New: Trends in Sociability


Tap into the Latest Social Trends to Combat Home-based Entertainment

Philip Kolvin, Former Chair, London Nighttime Commission

Philip Kolvin is a leading authority and visionary on the nighttime economy. He will provide a new perspective on "life at night" and the evolving role of town centres as more than a place with drinking venues. As chair of the Purple Flag and Best-Bar-None he will demonstrate the importance of strong alliances with a path to a common vision.

Appointed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as the first chair of the London Night Time Commission, Kolvin also wrote the Mayor's vision for London as a 24 hour city, From Good Night to Great Night.

alicia scholer

Get Tips to Accommodate Women's Preferences in Social Spaces

Alicia Scholer, Vice President, Responsible Hospitality Institute

Alicia Scholer recently co-wrote a chapter in the publication, Design Downtowns for Women and Men will Follow about designing nightlife for women. She has led women's focus groups in Canada, US and Mexico to explore what's missing in the social scene and how to overcome barriers to going out so women feel safe and comfortable at night.

Scholer began with RHI in 2005 and was a co-author of Planning, Managing and Policing Hospitality Zones published in 2006. Since then she has overseen the management of multiple RHI events, dozens of city assessments and development of RHI's resources, both online and print.

Hear ye! Hear ye! We Want a Night Mayor! ANd An Office of Nightlife, too!


Your City is Clamoring for a Night Mayor. What is the Job Description?

Allison Harnden, Nighttime Economy Manager, City of Pittsburgh and RHI Board Co-chair

Post the job and they will come. But how do you empower this position with the authority to make a difference and get some "wins" for the nighttime economy?  Harnden will explore her transition as an outside consultant to insider in facilitating progress in nighttime management with entrenched systems and rapid city development. She will bring insights on her work in nighttime mobility planning, developing a music strategy and developing a data based approach to sound management.

Allison Harnden joined RHI in 1995 and continued until taking the Nighttime Economy Manager position in Pittsburgh. She facilitates an informal alliance of US night mayors and managers with regular calls for strategy exchange and moral support in this new profession.

Jocelyn Kane

Do you Want to Build an Office of Nightlife? What does it take for success?

Jocelyn Kane, Former Executive Director, San Francisco Entertainment Commission

An Office of Nightlife or Entertainment Commission is a model many cities are adopting to provide oversight for nightlife development and serve a regulatory role. Jocelyn Kane, former Executive Director of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, will discuss the origins of the commission and how it became a sustainable model, regardless of changes in political administration. She'll share policy innovations such as "Agent of Change," designed to protect legacy nightlife venues and help achieve high standards for quality of life of residents.

Kane's previous career as a promoter and event organizer brought an important understanding of the dynamics of the marketplace and role of government to facilitate business success. She serves as an RHI Consultant working on the Global City Project, city assessments and sound management.



How does an Interagency Public Safety Team Improve Nightlife Safety?

Thomas Manger, Police Chief Retired, Montgomery County, MD; Past-president, Major Cities Chiefs Association

Police departments and code compliance agencies face a shortage in staff. New collaborations are needed to keep people safe in nightlife districts. Find out how to create an effective team for policy review, data-sharing and coordinated intervention. Manger brings essential administrative and practical experience overseeing multiple cities in the county. As a consultant he provides training and technical advice to national police associations and the US Department of Justice.

He also served as president of Major Cities Chiefs Association when RHI presented the Public Safety and Policing Nightlife Districts guide at an annual association event.


Forming a Hospitality Alliance? Some say it's like Herding Cats!

Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, New York City Hospitality Alliance and chair, NYC Nighlife Task Force

Sustaining a trade association of nightlife venue operators is no easy feat. Yet for on-going communication and development of self-regulatory strategies, it is an important tool.

Get firsthand tips of how to create an alliance and create value for members through advocacy, peer support and best practice guides. Andre Rigie hosts a podcast series with innovators in nightlife and facilitates development of Best Practice Guides and training programs in collaboration with NY Police Department and other agencies.

Rigie also serves as chair of the NYC Nightlife Task Force formed as part of legislation establishing the Office of Nightlife.

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