Planning for progress: P33 is building a roadmap for Chicago tech’s future

by Alton Zenon III
October 25, 2018
Chicago skyline from the lake
Image via shutterstock

A meeting of the minds, with the intention to cement Chicago’s position as a national tech hub, is underway.

A new initiative known as P33 launched on Wednesday to place influential members of the city’s business community in the same room as local community leaders and key players from the city’s tech, civic and educational sectors. The diverse cast of leaders will come together to discuss the obstacles Chicago faces in reaching its full technological potential, as well as solutions to those issues and plans for seeing them through. 

“Together, we will harness the collective power of what’s already happening in Chicago today to build momentum for tomorrow,” said Penny Pritzker, P33’s co-chair and the former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, in a press release. “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.”

Pritzker co-chairs P33 alongside Ocient co-founder and CEO Chris Gladwin, who sold his previous company, Cleversafe, to IBM for a reported $1.3 billion.

We plan to make Chicago a magnet for technology’s next era of creators.”


P33’s work will be split across five different committees, each dedicated to addressing specific areas of Chicago’s overall makeup: talent and education, capital and finance, business, community and culture, government and infrastructure, and messaging and communications.

Each division has its own set of co-chairs, which include the president and CEO of Allstate, the chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions, a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and Chicago’s former deputy mayor.

The privately run program was organized by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club and has thus far garnered the support of over 120 emerging and experienced figures from across the city, such as technology experts, educators, entrepreneurs and policy makers. Voluntary assistance is also being lent by Accenture, BCG, McKinsey, FCB and Edelman.

“The P33 initiative has the potential both to strengthen Chicago’s position as a top tier tech leader and to grow our economy over the long term for all who live here,” said Kelly Welsh, president of the civic committee of the commercial club of Chicago, in the release. “We look forward to helping bring the ideas and vision of P33 to reality.”

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