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Afternoon Shift

J.B. Pritzker wants to save the economy

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J.B. Pritzker (WBEZ File photo)

J.B. Pritzker could have taken his famous name and sizable inheritance and done any number of things that people in his position do:  run a club in South Beach, start his own perfume line, or hang out on a gold-plated party yacht.  

Instead, he's created spaces and made capital available so that others can achieve their dreams, and the world can become a better place.  Two areas Pritzker is focused on are early childhood education (where he has funded numerous projects through the Pritzker Family Foundation), and technology entrepreneurship (through New World Ventures).  

Pritzker is deeply involved in President Clinton's CGI America.  CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) brings together leaders from the worlds of business, nonprofit, and government.  The aim is to create and fund solutions to our current economic problems, and prepare Americans to be part of a competitive global workforce.  This year, the meeting takes place in Chicago.  It's happening this Thursday and Friday (June 7th and 8th).  Attendees are broken up into groups according to expertise.  There, they'll design programs and pledge to fund these programs through specific Commitments.  

One of J.B. Pritzker's goals is to make Chicago the world hub for this kind of thinking and activity. In addition to working closely with CGI America, Pritzker recently launched 1871, a 50,000 square foot space inside Chicago's Merchandise Mart designed to give the technology startups a place to grow and implement their ideas.  



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