In 2037, Chicago will be 200 years old – how will you shape your city's future? What will be your legacy? Join the Chicago 200...

Chicago200 is an annual leadership program that convenes young diverse leaders from across the Chicagoland area to address the question: "What will we make our city known for by its 200th Birthday?" The inaugural program takes place Thursday, February 28 – Sunday, March 3, 2019 and is brought to you by The Chicago Community Trust in partnership with Common Purpose, with support from Chicago Public Media, University of Chicago, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Votes and Northern Trust. Over ten years, Chicago200 aims to engage and develop 2,000 diverse leaders, who are committed to reshaping their city for the next generation.

Why Chicago200?

Boundaries are everywhere: between sectors, specializations, geographies, generations, backgrounds and beliefs. Chicago is replete with boundaries, and will not reach its true potential unless we break through these boundaries. Chicago200 aims to do this by convening the next generation of leaders to establish diverse relationships, facilitate crucial conversations, and collaborate around future solutions.

What happens on the program?

Over four days, Chicago 200 participants will brainstorm, test, refine and present their visions for Chicago. In the process, these young leaders will explore different geographic areas of the city to learn from established public, private, and non-profit leaders. They will investigate key issues, hold difficult conversations, and collaborate around tangible solutions for Chicago. The winning team will be provided with resources and support to implement their idea.

On each program, around 50 established leaders from across the city will serve as group advisors, speakers and immersion hosts. They will be supporting the participants of Chicago200 – and in doing so they will see the city through the eyes of others.


The initiative launches in 2019 as pilot. The goal is that over the next 10 years, a diverse alumni group of 2,000 leaders will emerge from the program who can think beyond today to forge Chicago's path for tomorrow. As advisors to established leaders in the city, the 200 will express their vision for the city through local media and help shape Chicago’s future. By 2037, 10 big ideas will have emerged, which these leaders will be supported to make a reality. Furthermore, Chicago200 alumni will lead the initiative moving forward and cultivate the next 2,000 young leaders with the same charge to look beyond Chicago turning 200.

Daniel O. Ash, Chair of Chicago200 Steering Committee, Chief Marketing Officer, The Chicago Community Trust

"Chicago200, in my view, is an enormous opportunity to bring together youth leaders in a bold and equitable manner."


Chicago200 is a partnership between The Chicago Community Trust and Common Purpose; it is supported by the following organizations: City Colleges of Chicago, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, University of Chicago, Northern Trust and Chicago Public Media to ensure this program is reflective of the city

The Chicago Community Trust

The Chicago Community Trust is a community foundation dedicated to improving our region through strategic grant making, civic engagement and inspiring philanthropy. We are here to serve the nonprofit organizations, the generous donors and the thoughtful residents who strive to make a difference, helping their bold vision create lasting community change. We work with a number of partnerships and initiatives to accomplish this work.

As businesses, local governments, and organizations strive to solve pressing challenges, the Trust brings these key actors together. Working together, we leverage collective knowledge, creativity and resources for a greater impact than any of us can make alone.

Common Purpose 

Common Purpose is a leadership development organization that specializes in cross-boundary leadership. A not-for-profit, we run programmes in over 100 cities worldwide. Founded in 1989, we have over 75,000 alumni globally.

Our leadership development programmes inspire and equip people to work across boundaries. This enables them to solve complex problems in organizations and in society


How much? FREE

Who can apply? Young leaders aged 18-24

When and Where? Chicago, February 28 to March 3 2019

For further information contact: TBC

Application deadline: Friday, January 18, 2019