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Chicago Council on Global Affairs Launches New Web Site to Help Midwest Compete and Thrive in Global Era

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Monday launched a new Web site, globalmidwest.org, and blog, The Midwesterner, to connect individuals in the Midwest who are developing regional responses to today’s global challenges.

Part of the Council’s Global Midwest Initiative, the site includes a calendar of events, links to critical reports covering global issues affecting the Midwest, and a database of experts and organizations undertaking work on key Midwest issues such as agriculture, economic development, energy, and transportation.

The Global Midwest Initiative and globalmidwest.org emerged from ideas first suggested in Richard C. Longworth’s 2008 book Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism.

Longworth, a Chicago Council senior fellow and former Chicago Tribune correspondent, is The Midwesterner’s lead blogger and serves as its editor.

“While Chicago seems to be thriving in a global era, much of the broader Midwestern region continues to struggle with the transition from an industrial past to a global future,” says Longworth.

“What the Midwest needs, is a regional approach – new alliances that reach across state lines between cities, businesses, workers, and universities to set a regional agenda and find regional solutions to the economic and political challenges of this new era.”

Rachel Bronson, Chicago Council vice president of programs and studies, demonstrated globalmidwest.org on Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, at “A Green Midwest, A Blue Midwest,” the Council’s second annual conference to discuss key challenges facing the region and recommendations for how to best position the Midwest for success in a global era.

“We hope this website proves a powerful vehicle to connect the best thinking on a global Midwest,” said Bronson.

Dallas Tonsanger, U.S. Department of Agriculture under secretary of rural development, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn delivered keynote addresses at the conference.

Tonsanger, discussed the Midwest’s role in the national energy-climate debate, and Gov. Quinn, discussed ways to enhance regional cooperation for a green‐blue future.

Audio files of their remarks and other conference panels will soon be available on this new Web site as well.

Also available on globalmidwest.org are the Council’s Heartland Papers, a new monograph series of original research that delves deeply into the challenges and opportunities of globalization for the Midwest, and Global Midwest Policy Briefs, short, timely briefs that offer policymakers recommendations for addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing the Midwest.

Global Midwest Policy Briefs, Heartland Papers, the annual Globalization and the Midwest Conference, globalmidwest.org, and The Midwesterner blog all are part of the Council’s Global Midwest Initiative.

The initiative, launched in October 2008, is a regional effort to promote interstate dialogue and to serve as a resource for those interested in the Midwest’s ability to navigate today’s global landscape.

About the Chicago Council on Global Affairs

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, founded in 1922, is a prominent, independent and nonpartisan organization committed to influencing the discourse on global issues through contributions to opinion and policy formation, leadership dialogue, and public learning.

Long known for studies of American public opinion on foreign policy, the Council is expanding its contributions to discussions of critical global issues through studies, task force reports, special initiatives, and conferences.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Samantha Skinner Monroe, 312-821-7507

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