The Aspen Challenge: Chicago Culminates With a Showcase From Students Across the City

April 26, 2016

Nearly 200 students from across the Chicago Public Schools will present innovative solutions to current social issues

CHICAGO, April 26, 2016

WHAT: This week, the Aspen Challenge: Chicago, a program of the Aspen Institute and the Bezos Family Foundation presented in partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS), will host a final competition for teams of students across the city. The Aspen Challenge began with a forum for students and teachers from 20 schools. At the forum, leaders pioneering change to some of the world’s most pressing issues presented the teams with a challenge. Teams then spent seven weeks designing a solution to their selected challenge. At this daylong showcase competition, three teams will be selected to advance and attend the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, CO to present their innovative solution. Learn more at

WHEN: April 27, 2016: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Recommended attendance time for media: during exhibit presentations beginning at 1:15pm

WHERE: Soldier Field | 1410 Museum Campus Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
enter through Gate 14 to access United Club Level

WHO: Challenge participants include 20 high school teams of eight students, a teacher (the coach for the program) and the school’s principal—more than 200 participants from across CPS. Judges include: executive vice president and chief creative officer at Walton Isaacson, Vida Cornelious; Possee Scholar of Northwestern University, Nick Davis; communications strategist at Allstate, Stacy Drumtra; vice president of brand marketing for Nike US central territory, Mike Kelly; co-founder and president of The Future Project, Andrew Mangino; TED Brain Trust and MIT Media Lab advisory board member Linda Stone; and executive vice president, general counsel and chief administration officer for YMCA of the USA, Angela Williams.

FEATURING: The students have designed various solutions, including: a citizen soil project testing levels of lead in Chicago neighborhoods; increasing access to healthy foods in notorious food deserts; bringing unlikely allies together to restore peace in local neighborhoods; reimagine urban spaces to provide opportunities for young children to play; and more. For a complete list of challenges, visit

RSVP: Press passes are available. Please RSVP to CONTACT by Wednesday, April 27 at 8am at or #AspenChallenge and #winDcity

For more information, please visit or For up-to-date information, visit us on Twitter @Aspen_Challenge and follow the conversation: #aspenchallenge or #winDcity.

The Aspen Challenge—a program of the Aspen Institute presented in partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation—provides a platform, inspiration, and tools for young people to design solutions to some of the most critical and complicated problems we face. For more information, please visit


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