“Our goal is not to present some fixed theory of how change happens,” former President Barack Obama said as he opened the main session on Tuesday of the Obama Foundation’s first international summit, held in Chicago. “Our goal in this session is not to pump you with a whole bunch of PowerPoints, data and information or a blueprint for how you can go back and do what you’re doing even better. In many ways, we want to learn from you.
“In other words, this is a big brainstorming session, it’s a big hackathon."
The two-day event kicked off with the welcome from Obama and a second welcome from former first lady Michelle Obama and featured large main-stage sessions with
Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson and Prince Harry of Wales, but also smaller breakout gatherings where the participants could talk and network.
Wednesday's schedule will be filled with soft-socialists. A main stage discussion will include as part of its panel: Ai-jen Poo of The National Domestic Workers Alliance and Mary Kay Henry of the SEIU.
Breakout session will include speeches by John McIntire Chairman of Cuba Emprende Foundation, Taquari Milton of My Brother’s Keeper Boston, Aria Finger of DoSomething.org, Maggie Dunne Founder and Chair of Board of Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Precious Brady-Davis Deputy Press Secretary of the Sierra Club, Lola Omolola Founder of Female IN (FIN) Facebook group, Michele Norris Founding Director of The Race Card Project and Susan Rice 24th US National Security Advisor, US Ambassador to the UN.
According to the Foundation website:
The Obama Foundation was established 2014 to carry on the great, unfinished project of renewal and global progress...
In the near future, the Foundation will oversee the design and construction of the Obama Presidential Center to be designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects | Partners and Interactive Design Architects in Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago.
Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Obama’s sister sits on the board, as does J. Kevin Poorman, CEO of Pritzker Realty Group, and Robert Wolf, former CEO of UBS Americas and President of the UBS Global Investment Bank.