The first Learning Expedition was held in Chicago

October 28, 2019 3mn
The first GBD Innovation Club’s Learning Expedition took place in Chicago and was focus on Placemaking issues.

The Global Business Districts Innovation Club’s Learning Expedition took place in Chicago,October 17-19 and was focus on Placemaking issues.

This Learning Expedition, hosted by Chicago Loop Alliance, brought together 20 leaders of 12 global business districts, including representatives from Casablanca, Moscow, New York City, Chicago, Paris La Défense, San Francisco, Montreal, Tokyo and Toronto.  

3 day event was enable participants to immerse in the latest Placemaking trends, meet the key players of the Chicago Loop and to learn from their practices, and visit unique places of innovation.

Walking tours of the Loop and Magnificent Mile familiarized 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), David Whitaker (Choose Chicago), Michelle Woods (Department of Fleet and Facility Management), Elizabeth Ziegler (1871), Andrea Zopp (World Business Chicago) and more led sessions highlighting the importance of arts and culture, residential living, public space, global tourism, culinary arts, transportation and business recruitment. Each day was also feature an “Innovation” session, highlighting Chicago tech companies like Mapillary, Omni Ecosystems and Vamonde.

Associating the Chicago actors and representatives of global business districts working all on the Placemaking issues, allowed to identify not only common challenges but also local innovative ideas with the objective to transform them into operational projects with global meaning.

“We were 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 was a great way to spotlight the work being done in the city, and we were excited to learn from the attendees as well.”

“To stay competitive in the face of a changing world, we need to learn. 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,” said Marie-Célie Guillaume, chairwoman of the Global Business Districts Innovation Club and CEO of Paris La Défense. “Placemaking promotes better urban design and facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the cultural and social identities that define a place and support its permanent evolution process.”

We would like to say thanks to Gensler (San Francisco, USA), the Urbanization and Development Agency of Anfa (Casablanca, Morocco) for their support, and Chicago Loop Alliance (Chicago, USA) for being such a great host.