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Cities are becoming the most prominent context for social change in the world today, and they offer exciting opportunities for participative governance. A model of “systematic civic stewardship” frames the city as community-based, action-learning system. Leaders play key roles in neighborhood teams focused on local challenges (graduation rates, health outcomes, etc.), while learning and working with peers via city-wide communities of practice. We have much to learn about learning systems in any context—understanding how they work in communities and cities draws on organization experience and provokes new insights.