2016 Chicago Forum on Global Cities to Convene International Dialogue on the Rising Role of Global Cities

March 2, 2016
With two out of three of the world’s people destined to live in cities by midcentury – and as urban centers encapsulate some of the world’s most vital and vexing trends – cities are exerting unprecedented influence across the global landscape. The emerging role of global cities in world politics and the economy takes center stage when leaders from around the world converge for the 2016 Chicago Forum on Global Cities, hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Financial Times June 1-3.

“This is the century of cities – and at the forefront of this historic evolution are the global cities that have the resources and capacity to shape political, social and economic policies beyond their borders,” said Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “The Chicago Forum offers a premier platform to explore the powers and the limits of global cities to drive innovations, confront threats and advance solutions to some of the most pivotal issues and endeavors of our times.”

At the 2016 Chicago Forum on Global Cities, a cross-section of global influencers and thought leaders will lead hundreds of participants in a three-day exploration of how global cities are addressing some of the defining challenges of urban life – climate change, terrorism, inequality, urban violence, cybercrime and more – and leading cutting-edge innovations in technology, transportation and sustainable development. Financial Times journalists will navigate the multifaceted discourse as moderators, including journalist and chief political commentator Philip Stevens, chief U.S. commentator and columnist Edward Luce and U.S. managing editor Gillian Tett.
“The Financial Times has journalists deeply engaged with today’s most pressing issues in 42 countries around the world,” said Tett. “Having examined many of the issues and opportunities confronting global cities in the pages of the FT, we look forward to returning to Chicago to continue this important conversation.”
This year, UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova will shed light on whether global cities can solve problems that nations can’t – and on what should be the intersections and distinctions between the two. The role of global cities to implement and uphold the promises of the Paris agreement on climate change will be deliberated by Connie Hedegaard, former EU commissioner for climate action, and former United States Treasury Secretary and China expert Henry Paulson. Mayors from around the world will offer insights on governing major urban centers – including city leaders from Chicago, Melbourne, Oslo, Philadelphia and Athens.
The complex array of security threats confronting global cities will be examined through the lens of Scotland Yard by Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. Corporate leaders such as Keith Williams, president and CEO of UL, and Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, will provide global business perspectives. The benefits and costs of the big “attractions” of global city life – from iconic cultural sites to world-class events – will be analyzed by, among others, Belgian artist Arne Quinze and Dora Bakoyannis, former Foreign Minister of Greece.
The full agenda of the forum will address some of the seminal questions facing global cities, such as:
  • As nations pledged in Paris to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, what heavy lifting remains for their global cities to balance prosperity and conservation?
  • How can global cities effectively prepare for and respond to an array of transnational security threats that will inevitably arise?
  • Are these urban metropolises inherently a tale of two cities, where abundance and paucity will forever live side-by-side?
  • How can local neighborhoods, law enforcement and city governments find a path to the trust and collaboration needed to create safe streets and just communities in cities plagued by violence and crime?
  • As hubs of ethnic, demographic, economic and racial diversity, can global cities define a new tolerance to establish truly welcoming, inclusive communities?
  • How can global cities sustain their rich cultural heritage while modernizing to meet contemporary demands – all without pricing people out of the urban market?
To learn more about the full agenda, visit ChicagoForum.org and follow @ChicagoForum and #GlobalCities2016 for updates.
Generous support for the Chicago Forum on Global Cities is provided by AbbVie, UL and United Airlines as Lead Sponsors; Hyatt Hotels Foundation, IBM Corporation, Motorola Solutions, Inc. and Walgreens Boots Alliance as Supporting Sponsors; and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
About the Chicago Council on Global Affairs
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices and conduct independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. Ranked No. 1 Think Tank to Watch worldwide, the Council on Global Affairs is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business and governments engage the world. Learn more at thechicagocouncil.org and follow @ChicagoCouncil.
About The Financial Times
The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 780,000. Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving almost half of total traffic.