P33 Initiative Seeks to Reclaim Chicago’s Position as “World’s Brightest Spot” for Technology

Chicago Tech, Business, and Civic Communities Launch Initiative to Propel Chicago’s Technology

Ecosystem to Top Tier and Promote Inclusive Economic Growth by 2033


CHICAGO, Oct. 24, 2018 – Chicago’s technology, business, educational and civic community leaders are introducing a major initiative to reclaim the city’s position as the “World’s Brightest Spot” for technological discovery and development. Named “P33,” the ambitious project seeks to regain that signature earned during Chicago’s 1933 World’s Fair by 2033, the city’s bicentennial.


Recapturing innovation and technology leadership for Chicago is essential, as the world is in the midst of a transformative digital revolution, and Chicago is uniquely positioned to raise its status as a leading technological center. Today, Chicago has the second highest concentration of computer science graduates in the U.S. and ranks sixth in the number of stem workers that live here.  Additionally, Chicago has been the top city for direct foreign investment for the last six years and was the top location last year for corporate relocations and expansions.  And, Chicago start-ups lead the nation in venture returns.

P33’s immediate focus is to understand the city’s strengths and challenges, and create a comprehensive set of initiatives and plans to place Chicago at the center of the technological map and promote long- term inclusive economic growth.


“Together, we will harness the collective power of what’s already happening in Chicago today to build momentum for tomorrow,” said P33 co-chair Penny Pritzker, Founder and Chairman of PSP Partners and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce. “We plan to make Chicago a magnet for technology’s next era of creators and generate opportunity across all industries for everyone living in our city.”


P33 is co-led by Pritzker and Chris Gladwin, Co-Founder and CEO of Ocient.


“We are recruiting the best and most diverse thinking essential to generate tangible measures of technological success,” said Gladwin. “Our opportunity to engage people to create change is now, and we will focus on outcomes, continuously tracking the forward progress of our efforts.”


Organized by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club, P33 is attracting a growing number of Chicago’s business and community leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, technology experts and policymakers. These representatives are joining forces with more than 120 of Chicago’s emerging and established leaders who currently are involved in P33. It also is being supported by the pro-bono commitment of the following firms:  Accenture, BCG, McKinsey, FCB, and Edelman.


To address the important challenges Chicago faces, P33 has committed five core committees that are focusing on individual aspects of the overall initiative:

  • Talent & Education – co-chaired by Walter Massey, Chairman of the Board, City Colleges of Chicago, and Mark Tebbe, Chairman, ChicagoNext and Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business 
  • Capital & Finance – co-chaired by John Rogers, Chairman and CEO, Ariel Investments, and Kristi Ross, Co-CEO and President, TastyTrade
  • Business Community & Culture – co-chaired by Tom Wilson, Chairman, President and CEO of Allstate, and Michael Krauss, President and Co-Founder of Market Strategy Group
  • Government & Infrastructure – co-chaired by Steve Koch, former Deputy Mayor, City of Chicago, and Hardik Bhatt, Leader, Smart Cities & Mobility Business, Amazon Web Services
  • Messaging & Communications – co-chaired by Greg Brown, Chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions and Suzanne Muchin, Co-Founder and Principal, Mind + Matter Studio


“The P33 initiative has the potential both to strengthen Chicago’s position as a top tier tech leader andto grow our economy over the long term for all who live here,” said Kelly R. Welsh, President of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago. “We look forward to helping bring the ideas and vision of P33 to reality.”


P33 leaders will convene this evening for an official introductory event, hosted by the Commercial Club of Chicago.



P33 is committed to reclaiming Chicago’s position as the World’s Brightest Spot for technological discovery and development. We are a team of thinkers and doers – business and community leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, technology experts and policymakers – who represent today’s establishment and tomorrow’s vanguard. Our work is focused on the key areas that will drive the future of Chicago’s technology leadership: Talent & Education, Capital & Finance, Business, Community & Culture, and Government & Infrastructure. Together, we’re harnessing the spirit of technological innovation that lives in Chicago to drive momentum for businesses, both emerging and established, as well as for all people of Chicago. For more information: www.p33chicago.com.