Urban experts from five continents gather at Great Cities symposium

Diego Aulestia, Ecuador's minister of international trade, will speak on alternative growth strategies.

Diego Aulestia, Ecuador’s minister of international trade, will speak on alternative growth strategies.

Officials and scholars from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas will speak on global trade at “Cities Across the Globe,” the annual symposium of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute.


Wednesday, April 29, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Thursday, April 30, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Wednesday: Thompson Room, UIC Student Center West, 828 S. Wolcott Ave.
Thursday: Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Residents’ Dining Hall, 800 S. Halsted St.


On Wednesday, Diego Aulestia, minister of international trade for the Republic of Ecuador, will speak on “Global Exchange: Building Local Economies Through World Trade.” An economist, Aulestia will present alternative growth strategies that have helped Ecuador and may apply to other economies.

A panel discussion will follow on devising a national economic agenda that can produce commodities for export while bringing capital back into neighborhoods. Panelists are:

  • Thomas Bartkoski, director of international business development, World Business Chicago
  • Laura Ortega-Lamela, executive director, International Business Council of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce; partner, Delaney Law
  • Raul Raymundo, co-founder, The Resurrection Project in the Pilsen neighborhood

Teresa Córdova, director of the Great Cities Institute, will moderate the panel.

On Thursday, scholars from around the U.S., Australia, Mexico, Turkey, West Africa, and the U.K. will join UIC faculty in urban planning, sociology, gender studies, African American studies and Latin American studies to discuss urban design, urban diasporas, social welfare, taxes, corporate responsibility and more. Details are on the Great Cities website.

Admission on both days is free. Paid visitor parking is available at UIC garages at 915 S. Paulina St., 1100 S. Wood St., and 760 W. Taylor St.

RSVP online, or call (312) 996-8700 or email gcities@uic.edu.

This event is co-sponsored by World Business Chicago, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and the UIC Office of International Affairs.

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