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Downtown leaders from around the world converge in Chicago for innovation conference hosted by Chicago Loop Alliance

Posted  4 years ago

Press contact: Jessica Cabe | PR and Communications Manager, Chicago Loop Alliance jessica@chicagoloopalliance.com | 312-782-9160


CHICAGO—This fall, Chicago Loop Alliance will host an inaugural conference bringing together leaders of global business districts, their managing companies and urban planning authorities, including representatives from Casablanca, Moscow, New York City, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo and Toronto. Global Business Districts Innovation Club’s Learning Expedition Chicago will focus on placemaking issues and cutting-edge trends in downtown management and will take place October 17-19.

Walking tours of the Loop and Magnificent Mile will familiarize attendees with downtown Chicago. Speakers like Kimberly Bares (Magnificent Mile Association), John Buck (The John Buck Company), Margaret Cavanaugh (Studio Gang), Michael Edwards (Chicago Loop Alliance), Mark Kelly (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Bill Nevruz (Lettuce Entertain You), Lucas Ward (Kin Insurance), David Whitaker (Choose Chicago), Michelle Woods (Department of Fleet and Facility Management), Elizabeth Ziegler (1871), Andrea Zopp (World Business Chicago) and more will lead sessions highlighting the importance of arts and culture, residential living, public space, global tourism, culinary arts, transportation and business recruitment. Each day will also feature an “Innovation” session, highlighting Chicago tech companies like Mapillary, Omni Ecosystems and Vamonde.

“We’re thrilled to host the first Learning Expedition of the Global Business Districts Innovation Club right here in the Chicago Loop,” said Michael Edwards, President and CEO of Chicago Loop Alliance. “The Loop is ahead of the curve when it comes to downtown management, and Chicago has so much to offer in the way of tech innovation. This gathering of thought leaders is a great way to spotlight the work being done in the city, and we’re excited to learn from the attendees as well.”

Chicago Loop Alliance is one of the founding members of the Global Business Districts Innovation Club, an nonprofit organization founded in 2018 so global cities could exchange innovative ideas in downtown management. This fall’s Learning Expedition is the inaugural event.

“To stay competitive in the face of a changing world, we need to learn,” said Marie-Célie Guillaume, CEO of Paris La Défense and president of the Global Business Districts Innovation Club. “The most effective learning outcomes go beyond the cognitive, to the collaborative and experiential. That’s why we have created our first GBD Innovation Club Learning Expedition. Based on an experimental format, this expedition will use an exchange-centered focus as the primary source of inspiration and innovation.

“Three days of learning expedition will enable the participants to immerse in the latest urban trends, meet the key players of Downtown Chicago to learn from their practices, visit unique places of innovation, get in touch with the GBD Innovation Club network and exchange and benefit from immersion in the ecosystem,” Guillaume continued. “When we talk about innovation in downtowns, Chicago’s rich history and forward-thinking energy makes it a prime example. We’re excited to bring international leaders to learn from each other in one of the top downtowns in the world.”

More information on the Learning Expedition Chicago is available online, and a full schedule of sessions can be downloaded here.

About Chicago Loop Alliance

Chicago Loop Alliance’s (CLA) mission is to create, manage and promote high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. CLA is a membership organization as well as the sole service provider for Special Service Area#1-2015, and the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation produces public art projects and events.

About the Global Business Districts Innovation Club

The Global Business Districts Innovation Club is a professional ecosystem of world business districts, its managing companies, urban planning authorities, and experts of related fields mobilizing resources to foster cooperation, encourage knowledge sharing, enhance dynamism, attractiveness, and the spirit of innovation, and compare inspiring methods among the world’s most influent tertiary places. Its mission is to help world business districts to identify local innovative ideas and transform them into operational projects with global meaning. The Global Business Districts Innovation Club was founded in 2018 by: Paris La Défense, France; Chicago Loop Alliance, USA; Beijing CBD, China; Montreal Destination Centre-Ville, Canada; and Guangzhou, China.


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