Chicago Council’s Emerging Leaders Spotlight Vital Issues of Global Import

June 22, 2015
Council’s Latest Class of Thought Leaders Examines Teaching Arabic, Africa Investment, Mediterranean Energy and Civic Engagement

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs today released four research reports from a group of 22 emerging leaders from the Chicago area. The reports — focused on the importance of teaching Arabic in Chicago public schools, growing opportunities for investment in Africa, the rise of energy resources in the Mediterranean and how to improve diversity on the boards of civic organizations throughout the city — will be presented in a series of flash talks during the Emerging Leaders 2015 Perspectives event this evening, June 22.
Each year the Council selects Chicago’s best and brightest mid-career leaders to join its Emerging Leaders Program to explore Chicago’s place in a globalized world.
“The members of this year’s class are the leaders of tomorrow’s world, and this program allows these impressive participants to broaden their global perspectives to fit that role,” said Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, president of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “These leaders have come together to define and propose solutions to some of the key issues facing Chicago and the world, and we are excited to share the insights they have developed.”
Tonight these leaders will present the following reports:
  • Natural Gas in the Eastern Mediterranean: The Coal and Steel of the 21st Century?
    Significant natural gas deposits have been found in the Levant Basin of the eastern Mediterranean. These energy resources could help reduce Europe’s energy dependence on Russia and contribute to the reunification of Cyprus, a lessening of Israeli-Arab tensions and better Greco-Turkish and Israeli-Turkish relations — much in the way that coal and steel played a role in powering European integration in last century. 
  • Africa is Now: The Opportunity for Mid-Size U.S. Companies
    Africa houses seven of the top ten fastest growing economies in the world. While investors have shown tremendous interest in the continent, actual economic investment is lagging. Yet, the African frontier is the next investment hotspot, and many perceived challenges are actually myths.
  • Teaching Arabic in Our Schools: Globalizing Education for Chicago’s Next Generation
    Chicago Public Schools offers Arabic in seven elementary schools and five high schools, reaching about 3000, or less than 1 percent, of students. Increasing access to Arabic language instruction would enhance Chicago’s reputation as a global city, create opportunities for young Chicagoans and show other districts how to inspire a diverse generation of children to become globally aware and tolerant.
  • Changing of the Guard: A Roadmap to Nonprofit Board Diversity for Generation X
    Many nonprofit organization board of directors have associates groups or other pre-board entities to engage up and coming leaders in their 20s to mid-30s. Yet there are fewer structures in place to engage the next cohort of future leaders in their 30s and 40s. By targeting these leaders early for their boards, civic organizations can gain a long-term strategic and fundraising advantage.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Emerging Leaders Program provides nominated mid-career professionals a deeper understanding of global issues while connecting each class with a strong network of current civic and business leaders. The Emerging Leaders Program was established in 2008 and receives generous support from John F. and Mary Manley, the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.