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2018 Chicago Forum on Global Cities

Thought leaders and decision makers created new connections and develop innovative solutions to advance in their own cities at the 2018 Chicago Forum on Global Cities.
Event Date

About This Event

The Chicago Forum on Global Cities, hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Financial Times, is a three-day international conference that raises provocative questions about the influence of global cities and how they can solve pressing global challenges. Participating thought leaders and decision-makers create new connections and develop innovative solutions to advance in their own cities.

Featured Event Videos

Screenshot of people talking on stage Play Video

How will cities prepare for the future workforce and workplace?

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How are cities shaping the global agenda? A panel of experts discuss.

Watch all videos from the 2018 Chicago Forum on Global Cities.

About the Speakers
Michele Acuto
Former Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Cities
Council expert Michele Acuto
Michele Acuto is director of the Melbourne Centre for Cities and professor of global urban politics at the University of Melbourne, where he also serves as associate dean (research) in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. He is a recognized voice on the intersection between international affairs and urban governance, with extensive work on questions of urban health, waste management, nighttime economy, and city networks.
Council expert Michele Acuto
Steve Adler
Mayor of Austin
Maria Aiolova
Co-Founder, Terreform ONE
Oluwafemi Ajayi
Nutrition and Food Systems Specialist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Oluwafemi Ajayi is a nutrition and food systems specialist with special focus on nutrition-sensitive integrated agriculture-aquaculture food systems at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In his role, he assists in the design, monitoring and supporting activities on the contribution of integrated agriculture-aquaculture systems for better food security and nutrition outcomes.
Editor-in-Chief, POLITICO Europe
Jamil Anderlini headshot
Jamil Anderlini is POLITICO Europe’s Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning journalist, editor, and published author, he joined POLITICO Europe from the Financial Times where he worked as Asia Editor, Assistant Editor, and member of the Editorial Board.
Jamil Anderlini headshot
Juma Assiago
Global Coordinator, Safer Cities Programme, UN-Habitat
Elisabeth Belpaire
Urban Planner
Michael Berkowitz
President, 100 Resilient Cities
Headshot for Michael Berkowitz
Michael Berkowitz joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 2013 to shape and oversee 100 Resilient Cities, a project pioneered by the foundation. Previously, he was the global head of operational risk management at Deutsche Bank, where he oversaw the firm’s operational risk capital planning efforts. He also held operational risk management positions in New York, Mumbai, Singapore, and London.
Headshot for Michael Berkowitz
Brenna Berman
Executive Director, City Tech Collaborative, UI LABS
Charles Bowman
Lord Mayor, London
Ken Boyce
Principal Engineer Director, Energy & Power Technologies, UL
Simone Brody
Executive Director of What Works Cities, Bloomberg Philanthropies
Denis Coderre
Former Mayor, Montreal
Michèle Coninsx
Assistant Secretary-General, Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, United Nations
Ed Crooks
Ed Crooks, Editor, US Industry and Energy, Financial Times
CEO, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Headshot of Ivo H. Daalder
Ivo H. Daalder served as the US ambassador to NATO from 2009 to 2013. He joined the Council as president in 2013 and took on the new role of CEO in 2023. Previously, he was a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution and served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. He is the author or editor of 10 books.
Headshot of Ivo H. Daalder
Caroline Daniel
Partner, Brunswick and Former Editor, FT Weekend
Caroline Daniel is a partner at Brunswick and former editor of FT Weekend, consulting editor of FT Live/FT Conferences, and FT assistant editor. Previously, Daniel was the FT White House correspondent, a features writer and reporter for the New Statesman, a reporter for the Economist, and a political researcher for Gordon Brown.
Dag Detter
Industrial Advisor, Boston Consulting Group
Dan Doctoroff
Founder and CEO, Sidewalk Labs
US Business Editor, Financial Times
Headshot for Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson is the US business editor of the Financial Times, leading its coverage of US business in an age of populism, policy upheavals, and shifting expectations of corporate America. He manages a team of reporters while writing news, analysis, and commentary and helping develop new offerings for the FT’s core audience such as Moral Money, its awards-winning ESG newsletter.
Headshot for Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson
Rahm Emanuel
US Ambassador to Japan
A headshot of Rahm Emanuel.
Rahm Emanuel is the 31st US Ambassador to Japan. Previously, Ambassador Emanuel was the 55th Mayor of the City of Chicago, a position he held until May 2019. Prior to becoming Mayor, from November 2008 until October 2010, Ambassador Emanuel served as President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff. He was elected four times as a Member of the US House of Representatives from Illinois’s 5th Congressional District. From 1993 to 1998, Ambassador Emanuel was a key member of President Bill Clinton’s administration, rising to serve as Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Politics.
A headshot of Rahm Emanuel.
Peter Fatelnig
Minister-Counsellor for Digital Economy Policy, Delegation of the European Union to the United States of America
Paul Fletcher
Minister, Urban Infrastructure, Australia
Sheila Foster
Professor of Law and Public Policy, Georgetown University
Juan Manuel Gastélum
Mayor, City of Tijuana
Helene Gayle
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Chicago Community Trust
Helene Gayle headshot
Helene Gayle, MD is president and chief executive officer of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s leading community foundations. The Trust works with donors, nonprofits, community leaders, and residents to lead philanthropic efforts that improve the quality of life in Chicago. Previously, Gayle was CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit that builds partnerships for social impact.
Helene Gayle headshot
Kate Gebo
Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Labor Relations, United
Fred ad Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University
Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Faculty of Arts & Sciences; Harvard University
Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
Mayor of Warsaw
Nina Hachigian
Deputy Mayor for International Affairs, Los Angeles
Danielle Harbison
Executive Director, Black Chicago Tomorrow
Alaina Harkness
Nonresident Fellow, Global Cities
Council expert Alaina Harkness
As executive director for Current, Chicago's water innovation hub, Alaina Harkness leads a team working to grow the blue economy, accelerate innovation, and solve pressing water challenges. She most recently served as managing director for the economic development firm RW Ventures, where she helped develop inclusive growth strategies for cities and metropolitan regions.
Council expert Alaina Harkness
William Hoffman
Corporate Fellow, Senior Scientist, UL
Wang Huiyao
President, Center for China and Globalization
Anne-Marie Imafidon
Founder, Stemettes
Abha Joshi-Ghani
Senior Adviser, Infrastructure Finance & Public Private Partnerships Department, The World Bank
Abha Joshi-Ghani headshot
Abha Joshi-Ghani is the senior adviser for Public-Private Partnerships at The World Bank, co-chair of the Global Future Council on the Future of Cities and Urbanization for the World Economic Forum, and co-editor of The Urban Imperative: Towards Competitive Cities, with Professor Edward Glaeser (2014). Previously, she worked on infrastructure finance and urban development around the world.
Abha Joshi-Ghani headshot
Isher Judge Ahluwalia
Chairperson, India Council for Research on International Economic Relations
Juliana Kerr
Senior Program Director - Migration, The Walder Foundation
Juliana Kerr is the senior program director of migration at the Walder Foundation, and the former director of Global Cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Niamh King
Nonresident Fellow, Global Cities and Women and Global Development
Council expert Niamh King
Niamh King is a nonresident fellow on global cities and women and global development at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. King previously served as the Council's Vice President for Programs and Strategic Content. Prior to joining the Council, she held positions with Intel, the European Commission, FÁS, and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Council expert Niamh King
Steve Koch
Council Board Member
Managing Partner, Bowline Group
Michael Koh
Executive Fellow, Centre for Liveable Cities
Headshot for Michael Koh
Michael Koh is an executive fellow with the Centre for Liveable Cities at Singapore's Ministry of National Development. He has 25 years of experience in public service including appointments as CEO of the National Heritage Board and the National Art Gallery. He has also worked in the private sector with real estate firms such as Mapletree Holdings and SC Global.
Headshot for Michael Koh
Ray LaHood
Former Secretary, US Department of Transportation
Phil Levy
Chief Economist, Flexport
Phil Levy
Phil Levy is a former senior fellow of global economy at the Council. Currently, he's the Chief Economist for Flexport.
Phil Levy
John Lindsay
Vice President of Corporate Accounts, USG Corporation
Kristin Ljungkvist
Nonresident Fellow, Global Cities
Council expert Kristin Ljungkvist
Kristin Ljungkvist is a nonresident fellow of global cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a senior lecturer at the War Studies and Military History Department at Swedish Defense University. Her research focuses on global cities, urban security, and warfare, and on urban dimensions of global challenges such as terrorism and climate change.
Council expert Kristin Ljungkvist
Lesley Lokko
Novelist and Professor of Architecture, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg
US National Editor, Financial Times
Headshot for Edward Luce
Edward Luce is the Financial Times' chief US commentator and columnist based in Washington, D.C. Prior to that role, he was the Financial Times' Washington bureau chief and South Asia bureau chief based in New Delhi.
Headshot for Edward Luce
Corine Mauch
Mayor, Zurich
Edward Mazria
Founder and CEO, Architecture 2030
Will McWilliams
Partner, Grant Thornton
Robert Muggah
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Cities
Robert Muggah headshot
Robert Muggah is a specialist in cities, security, migration, and new technologies. He is principal of SecDev, a cyber security and digital resilience company. He also co-founded the Igarapé Institute—an independent think and do tank devoted to data-driven citizen, digital and climate security across Latin America and Africa. In addition to serving as a nonresident senior fellow at the Council, Muggah is a fellow or faculty at six other institutions. He is the author of eight books, most recently Terra Incognita: 100 Maps to Survive the Next 100 Years (Penguin/Random House) and received his DPhil from the University of Oxford.
Robert Muggah headshot
Distinguished Fellow, Global Cities
Council expert Michael A. Nutter
As the former mayor of Philadelphia, Michael A. Nutter maintains active involvement in critical areas of education, media, public policy, political campaigns, the corporate community, and academic institutions across the country. Along with being a fellow at the Council, he also chairs the Airbnb Mayor’s Advisory Council, an international group of former mayors providing advice on local government issues.
Council expert Michael A. Nutter
Distinguished Fellow, Global Cities
Council expert Claudio Orrego
Claudio Orrego is a distinguished fellow for the Global Cities team at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. From March 2014 through March 2018, he was the governor of the Metropolitan Region of Santiago, and prior to that, he was elected as the presidential candidate for the Christian Democrat party.
Council expert Claudio Orrego
Henk Ovink
First Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Principal of Rebuild by Design
Professor of Political Science, the University of Chicago
Robert Pape
Robert A. Pape is Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago specializing in international security affairs and the founding director for the Chicago Project on Security & Threats (CPOST)
Robert Pape
Juan Pardinas
Director, Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad
Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Former US Secretary of the Treasury
In addition to serving as US Secretary of the Treasury from 2006 to 2009, Henry M. Paulson, Jr. is also the founder and chairman of The Paulson Institute, a non-partisan, independent "think and do tank."
US Special Representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery
Headshot of Penny Pritzker.
Penny Pritzker was appointed the US Special Representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery by President Biden in September 2023. Previously, she served as US Secretary of Commerce in the Obama Administration from June 2013 to January 2017.
Headshot of Penny Pritzker.
Marvin Rees
Mayor, Bristol
Headshot for Marvin Rees
Marvin Rees is the elected mayor of Bristol, UK. He was elected in May 2016, becoming the first European city mayor of Black African-Caribbean descent, and has prioritized housing, transportation, and early health and education intervention. After beginning his career in the voluntary sector, Rees worked in Washington, DC on the response of faith-based organizations to President Clinton's Welfare Reform Bill.
Headshot for Marvin Rees
Martin Roemers
Carlos Sada
Undersecretary for North America, Government of Mexico
President and CEO, UL Solutions Inc.
Headshot of Jennifer Scanlon.
With a deep foundation in and commitment to science, technology, and engineering, Jennifer Scanlon leads UL Solutions in its ambition to become customers’ most trusted safety, security. and sustainability partner.  Prior to UL Solutions, she was most recently president and CEO of USG Corporation and led the company through a major international expansion, digital transformation, and sustainable evolution, enhancing its ability to meet customer needs. Jennifer Scanlon is a fierce advocate for STEM education and the benefits of diversity and inclusion. She sits on the board of Norfolk Southern Corporation and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and is chairperson of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, secretary treasurer of the board of the US-China Business Council and appointed to the US-India CEO Forum. 
Headshot of Jennifer Scanlon.
Eytan Schwartz
CEO of Tel Aviv Global
Mariela Shaker
Activist and Violinist
Paul Shipp
Principal Research Associate, USG
Jamie Smith
Global Chief Communications Officer, BitFury
US Managing Editor, Financial Times
Headshot for Peter Spiegel
Peter Spiegel is currently the US managing editor of the Financial Times. Prior to that, he worked at the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Headshot for Peter Spiegel
Sanjay Sridhar
Regional Director for South and West Asia, C40
Rodrigo Tavares
Founder and President, Granito Group
Chair of the Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large, US, Financial Times
Gillian Tett headshot
Gillian Tett is chair of the editorial board and editor-at-large, US of the Financial Times. She writes weekly columns covering a range of economic, financial, political, and social issues. In 2014 she was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards. In addition, Tett’s past roles include US managing editor, assistant editor, and capital markets editor.
Gillian Tett headshot
Michael Tiboris
Nonresident Fellow, Global Water
Council expert Michael Tiboris
Michael Tiboris is nonresident global water fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and was a public fellow for the American Council of Learned Societies. His research focuses on primary resource stability as a foreign policy objective, and is particularly focused on water resource policy, cooperative resource governance, and global justice.
Council expert Michael Tiboris
Lucy Turnbull
Chief Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission
Jozias Van Aartsen
Acting Mayor, Amsterdam
Octavi de la Varga
Secretary General, METROPOLIS
Octavi de la Varga headshot
Octavi de la Varga's previous positions include head of the office of development cooperation and head of the office of Europe and international strategy, both at the diputació de Barcelona (Barcelona Provincial Council). He has led and participated in projects on local development, the institutional strengthening of local governments, public policies, and social cohesion in several countries.
Octavi de la Varga headshot
Karen Weigert
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Cities
Council expert Karen Weigert
Karen Weigert is the director of the Baumhart Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility at Loyola University. In 2011 she was appointed chief sustainability officer for the city of Chicago, working to guide the city's sustainability strategy and implementation, and bringing innovative and practical solutions throughout the work of the city.
Council expert Karen Weigert
Gary White
Keith E. Williams
President and CEO, UL LLC
Keith Williams is president and CEO of UL. Under his tenure, UL has reorganized and optimized its operating structure, expanded geographically, extended its services, and successfully managed the integration of more than thirty acquisitions. Williams has championed UL’s global expansion with a focus on Asia, a region in which he has broad expertise.
Carmen Yulín Cruz
Mayor, San Juan
Simin Zhou
Vice President and Managing Director, UL Ventures
Andrea Zopp
President and CEO, World Business Chicago
Andrea Zopp is the President and CEO of World Business Chicago, where she leads the organization’s mission of inclusive economic growth, supporting businesses, and promoting Chicago as a leading global city. Most recently, she served as Deputy Mayor, Chief Neighborhood Development Officer for the City of Chicago.