Chicago on the Global Stage: Does It Have the Right Stuff?

International Roundtable

April 17, 2008: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

In many respects, Chicago is becoming a global city. Its bid for the 2016 Olympics is just the latest example of its global prominence. But are world class universities, corporate headquarters, and a major airport enough to qualify as a global city? Paul O'Connor, drawing upon his years of experience leading organizations in both the private and public sectors, will present the factors that qualify a city as a global player and assess critically what Chicago must do to rise beyond its legacy of being the home of Al Capone and Michael Jordan. Paul is uniquely positioned to address this topic as he founded World Business Chicago, a partnership of the City of Chicago and the private sector, after a distinguished career in advertising, where he rolled out branding and promotional campaigns for Fortune 100 companies for over 20 years.


Gleacher Center
450 Cityfront Plaza
Chicago, Illinois


No Charge


Register Online
At times, we need to upgrade the room size to accommodate you so registering in advance helps makes things go smoother.

Deadline: 4/17/2008


6:00 PM-6:30 PM: networking

6:30 PM-8:00 PM: presentation

8:00 PM-9:00 PM: drinks at The Midway Club, Fifth Floor

Speaker Profiles

Paul O'Connor (Speaker)
Civic Leader and past Executive Director, World Business Chicago

Paul O’Connor is a city-builder with roots deep in Chicago’s mud. His great grandfather Patrick had a house at Taylor and Halsted, and mastered schooners rafting logs down the treacherous lakes to rebuild after the Fire. His grandfather John J. got as high as a Catholic could at the First National Bank of Chicago in his 47 years there. His father Len wore large his love for the city in 20 years of nightly TV news commentary. His mother Jane was an arts and culture builder. Paul spent a good deal of his life trying to escape Chicago for other cities, but…. Eventually he took a spot at the end of a colorful line of windy Chicago boosters, founding for Rich Daley economic-development nonprofit World Business Chicago whose data-based approach to urban marketing landed Boeing and led all U.S. metros in corporate capital investment for six of the past seven years. Financial Times’ worldwide fDi magazine ranked WBC the best city investment promotion operation in the U.S., and then for all North America. Paul came to WBC, which he left last December, by a circuitous route through advertising, corporate communications, global economic development, and state government service in Washington State and Illinois. His core craft is journalism. As legman, he called columnist Mike Royko “boss.” He was John Callaway’s first hire to create a nightly news show on WTTW. And he was urban affairs writer (and restaurant critic) for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He is on the board of CEOs for Cities; is a founding board member of the Global Chicago Center; served on the executive committee for the Chicago Central Area Plan, and on the Mexican-American Economic Integration task force; and was co-founder of the City of Chicago’s Shanghai office. His undergraduate studies were in Classics at the University of Chicago. Followed by Czech at the Defense Language Institute; then color at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His hobbies are cosmology and his wife's cooking.


Karl Buschmann 

847 310 0412

Other Information

PARKING: 300 East Illinois Street (AMC Theater-River East Self Park Garage) $6.00 after 3:00pm on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday for a 12-hour period Garage: Self Park Facility Payment: Automated; at pay-stations by cash or credit card or upon exit pay by credit card only. To receive discounted rate: There is a card validator at the first floor security desk of the Gleacher Center. The new system for the AMC Theater- River East Self Park Garage is automated. You will only need to insert your parking card in the validator and the new price will be automatically applied. You can validate your parking ticket at any time between your arrival at and departure from the Gleacher Center. When you leave the lot you will be charged for the lower $6.00 fee.