Inaugural Chicago Forum on Global Cities to Spotlight World’s Leading Voices from Business, Government, Academia and the Arts

February 18, 2015

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Financial Times partner on three-day international event focused on critical trends and opportunities facing today’s global cities

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is partnering with the Financial Times to convene global leaders from business, government, academia and the arts at the inaugural Chicago Forum on Global Cities. The Forum will provide a critical venue for advancing innovative thinking around how global cities – those cities with the most significant concentrations of global business and services, education, arts and tourism – can be agents of change. It will take place May 27-29 throughout the city of Chicago.

“Global cities are at the forefront of our most important public policy debates given the challenges of solving issues at the nation-state level. The Chicago Forum will initiate a new conversation around the potential of global cities to shape the international agenda on commerce, education, civics and arts and culture,” said Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, president of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “The Chicago Forum will provide an opportunity for civic and business leaders to share best practices and work collectively to address the challenges unique to global cities.”

“As a global city, Chicago provides the ideal setting to discuss models for innovation and change in response to urban challenges,” said Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times. “We are delighted to be partnering with the Chicago Council, a leader in the debate on global cities.”

At the Chicago Forum, world leaders representing all areas of urban life will initiate an informative and inspiring dialogue on the various challenges and opportunities facing today’s global cities. Forum sessions will focus on the key pillars of urban life – commerce and the economy; education; civics and society; and arts, architecture and culture – and the search for solutions to growing issues such as global warming, inequality, terrorism, immigration, infrastructure and cybercrime.

Home to more than 9 million people – including at least 1 million foreign-born residents – and more than 400 major corporate headquarters, the greater Chicago area is a global center at the crossroads of people, ideas, commerce, culture and transportation. Chicago consistently ranks in the top on global city indexes through its business resources, great universities, human capital, cultural reach, immigrant communities and transportation ties. At the same time, Chicago deals daily with the problems confronted by major cities – inequality, aging infrastructure and the need to channel growth into economic vitality for all its citizens. Chicago is a laboratory for urban change and is an ideal host for a dialogue on global cities.

“Chicago is the number one city in America for corporate relocations and the top metro area for foreign direct investment, and we are seeing record growth in our tourism, all of which brings economic growth and jobs to the city,”said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Chicago’s competitiveness as an economic engine, as well as that of our counterparts worldwide, depends largely on how we work with each other in order to solve our collective challenges.”

The Chicago Forum on Global Cities expands on the Chicago Council’s Global Cities Project, which focuses on how global cities will drive policy decisions and international relations and builds on the Council’s work on global cities and other global issues including agriculture and food security, the economy, immigration, water, security, energy and public opinion.

Generous sponsorship for the Chicago Forum on Global Cities is being provided by AbbVie, Aon, The Boeing Company, Hyatt Hotels Foundation, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Motorola Solutions, Northern Trust, UL, United Airlines and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Further details about the Chicago Forum will be forthcoming and will be made available at

Additional information:
  •     Follow the Forum on Twitter @ChicagoForum
  •     For more information about The Chicago Council on Global Affairs: /
  •     For more information about the Financial Times: http:/