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Until further notice, all CAC walking tours are suspended and the Center at 111 E. Wacker Dr. is closed, in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines from the State of Illinois.

The Chicago Architecture Center’s What’s Next series explores how business and design leaders can unite in response to major issues—both ongoing and unforeseen.

What’s Next asks, What kind of future do we want? and What are we willing to do to get there? Each networking event in the Center’s Joan and Gary Gand Lecture Hall features a panel of influential thinkers who pack a full day’s worth of thought-provoking content into one dynamic breakfast. New for 2020, the CAC also offers What’s Next programming through its vehicle for remote engagement, CAC Live. Whether joining us in person or online, What’s Next attendees walk away with clear visions of where we’re headed and how we can work together to build better cities.

“The way we think and act in silos prevents innovative solutions and contributes to why and how we leave so many people behind… the more we can bring various disciplines together for a broad platform of exploration and discussion the better.”

—Phil Enquist, Consulting Partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill


Past Events 

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW (RUN TIME 11:15) FOR HIGHLIGHTS FROM WHAT’S NEXT ON CAC LIVE: RETHINKING GREEN SPACE FOR A MORE RESILIENT CHICAGO
Watch the video below (run time 5:04) for highlights from
What's Next: Designing the future city: part 2

View the full program video

Watch the video below (run time 3:17) for highlights from
WHAT’S NEXT: DESIGNING THE FUTURE CITY: PART 1

View the full program video

Why Cities?

Our world continues to urbanize. With 70 percent of the global population predicted to live in cities by 2050, now is not the time for business as usual.

Cities will have the greatest impact on planetary health and quality of life. We need big plans and bold action in urban design, economic policy, next-generation technologies and sustainable development.

What’s Next examines the major forces at play in cities everywhere—with a frequent focus on Chicago—and offers critical learning for civic-minded executives.

What’s Next is a multi-year series generously supported by Sandra L. Helton and Norman Edelson.