Birthplace of modern thinking



Chicago really, really wants you to believe it’s a world-class city. Hence, the failed bid to host the Olympics in 2016 and the successful bid to host the NATO Summit in 2012. The strategy appears to be to show how important the city is by showing how important its guests are.

But Chicago is already legitimately world-class. It is arguably the hub of modernity in the United States: the birthplace of modern thinking in science, literature, architecture, journalism and social justice.

“Why should NATO come here? Because NATO is re-thinking NATO,” Howell Malham Jr. said on one of our regular appearances on WBEZ, Chicago’s public radio station. “Because NATO needs to break through, to think beyond what NATO already knows. What better place (to do that) than a place like Chicago?”

We worked this through on air with host Steve Edwards. Among our other appearances on WBEZ were our thoughts on the emerging idea bubble and the future of civic engagement.