UIC Urban Forum to probe data-driven solutions for urban challenges

The University of Illinois Chicago’s 2023 Urban Forum, titled “Can Data Deliver?: Harnessing Data-Driven Solutions for Urban Challenges,” will examine a wide range of issues related to the potential and limits of data to help cities make decisions and improve the lives of citizens.

The event will feature discussions that address how data is currently used by governments and how data can effectively and fairly impact urban planning and decision-making that aims to address current urban challenges. The forum will take place April 19, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at Student Center East, Illinois Room, 750 S. Halsted St.

The keynote address will be delivered by Derek Eder, founder and partner of Datamade and president emeritus and board member of Chi Hack Night.

The forum’s first panel, “The Potential for Data to Deliver: What is big data and how is it being used to shape our cities?,” will include Nick Lucius, chief technology officer for the City of Chicago; Laurie Merrell, senior analytics engineer for Jarvus Innovations and board member of Chi Hack Night; and Federica Fusi, UIC assistant professor of public policy, management and analytics. Fredric Mitchell, principal at Bright Plum, Inc., will serve as moderator.

The second panel — “Principles of Equity, Privacy and Security: How can data be utilized effectively while also preserving our values?” — will feature Daniel Anello, chief executive officer of Kids First Chicago; Rosaella Branson, chief data officer in Cook County’s Bureau of Technology; and Omar Duque, president of the Hispanic Information Technology Executive Council. Their discussion will be moderated by Adam Hecktman, founder and chief data architect at For Good Advisory.

Admission is $25 for the general public, including a box lunch. Admission is free for all Chicago-area teachers, faculty and students with a valid school ID. UIC faculty, students and staff also may attend for free with a valid UIC i-card. All attendees must register online before the event. For more information, email uicurban@uic.edu.

Full event details, including agenda and speaker bios, are available via the UIC Urban Forum website. Follow the UIC Urban Forum on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Co-chairs of the 2023 UIC Urban Forum are Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board president, and Javier Reyes, UIC interim chancellor. Joe Hoereth, director of UIC’s Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, serves as program director.

The event is sponsored by the UIC College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, UIC’s Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, WBEZ 91.5 and Vocalo.

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