Columbia is changing.

What is changing? How is it changing? Why does it matter?

Evolution is a natural and necessary part of any community. CA is a resource to help you understand those changes and engage in the processes that make an impact.

The Change in Columbia Speaker Series will explore a variety of topics that matter to you and strategies we can all use to adapt to change and stay involved. These events will feature experts from CA and other entities/organizations. You will also experience interactive sessions and feedback opportunities.

Upcoming Events

New Stories, New Experiences, All Uniquely Columbia

Columbia was intentionally built to be a diverse community, and that means everyone has their unique experience and story to share. We welcome a panel of first- and second-generation immigrants who now call Columbia home.

Join us Tuesday, August 6 (6-8pm) at The Hawthorn Center for a candid conversation about what makes this area a choice location for people of so many backgrounds and what we can all do to better support our neighbors who bring their culture and experience to our community.

More information on the panelists and moderator are coming soon!

Childcare (preregistration required) and light snacks will be provided. You can also tune into the panel discussion via Zoom. If you’re tuning in virtually, the panel will start at 6:30pm. Click here to register for this free event in-person. Click here to register for the livestream.

Interested in submitting a question for our panelists to consider? We’d love to hear from you via email:

Past Events

Confronting Climate Change in Columbia and Beyond

CA is proud to bring you our fourth Change in Columbia Speaker Series event (November 29, 2023) where we discussed the important issue of climate change. Panelists shared valuable insight on what it means to be adaptible and resilient to the ongoing impacts of climate change and tips for resources and actions we can all take to make a difference.

How Serving Your Community Serves Your Business

Our third Change in Columbia Speaker Series event (August 3, 2023) explored the connections between serving business and community. Our expert panel shared real-life experience and advice on adapting to our ever-changing economy. A recording of the panel can be accessed by clicking the image or button to the right.

A Fresh Approach to Wellbeing

Our second Change in Columbia Speaker Series event (February 27, 2023) offered a fresh approach on what it means to be well. Our expert panel challenged traditional ideas of wellness and helped us shift our perspective. A recording of the panel can be accessed by clicking the image of the button to the right.

Our Built Community

Our first Change in Columbia Speaker Series event (July 26, 2022) covered topics around how Columbia’s built environment has evolved, how we balance preservation and development and how to get involved in the decision-making process. A recording of the panel discussion can be accessed by clicking the image or button to the right.

We received so many questions to our panel of experts that we were not able to answer them all in the time allotted for our panelists. We are in the process of reviewing these questions and identify key themes that we can help explain! See below for video content.


A Legacy of Speaker Series

While the Change in Columbia Speaker Series is a new concept, we continue to be inspired by the work of the late Jane Dembner. Dembner served as CA’s director of Planning & Community Affairs and launched the Community Building Speaker Series program in 2010. We are excited to honor her legacy and passion for building a sense of community in this way.

Click the icons below to watch the past speaker series sessions or click here to access the YouTube playlist of all past Community Building Speaker Series events.

Jane Dembner