Chicago Booth Partners with World Business Chicago to Boost Economic Development

Published on August 31, 2009

Chicago Booth is among top business schools asked to lend its expertise to World Business Chicago (WBC), a not-for-profit economic development corporation focused on raising the city’s profile with the international business community and appealing to the growing number of companies that are considering the U.S. for their operations.

Others partnering with WBC on the effort include Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, DePaul University, Loyola University, and University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dean Edward Snyder said, “This partnership allows Chicago Booth to support the city in its efforts to connect with all sectors throughout the world and helps our school further develop our global approach to management education. We are proud to be part of this worthwhile initiative to help Chicago achieve its aspirations.”

The partnership has uncovered a wealth of resources in Chicago that other cities could not replicate, said WBC executive director Rita Athas, referring to a survey of faculty that revealed faculty who are experts on nearly every country. “The information we’ve compiled, including data, background information, and translations, is invaluable when visiting other countries or welcoming guests to the city,” she said.

As a part of the initiative, WBC officials have spoken on Chicago’s global business climate to international executive MBA student delegations from a variety of schools that come to Chicago for short visits during their programs. To date, presentations have been made to senior executives from India, France, the Czech Republic, and Russia, with several more international groups expected this year.

Communications with international students is key, Athas said. “These students are the future leaders of business in their countries. We want them to get not only a solid education, but also a good sense of our business capabilities in Chicago. We also want to maintain a strong connection to those alumni networks and build global ambassadors for the city.”

Additionally, deans from the five business schools have participated in WBC events, including the recent Global Cities Forum Luncheon where they met with visiting mayors from around the world. The deans and their key staff members have also agreed to spread the word about WBC when they travel domestically and internationally.

                                                                                                                        —Patricia Houlihan