Inaugural Symposium Panelist: Aaron Renn
Aaron M. Renn is The Urbanophile, an opinion-leading urban affairs analyst, consultant, speaker and writer on a mission to help America’s cities thrive in a 21st century that will be very different from the 20th.
In his blog and elsewhere, Renn regularly offers innovative strategies for urban success found nowhere else. He believes that by discarding old stereotypes and adopting new strategies based in progressive planning principles across an integrated set of disciplines, America can create sustainable, everyday cities for the majority of its citizens to visit, live and work in.
Aaron Renn, the Urbanophile, speaker, consultant
and urban affairs analyst
Renn started the Urbanophile in 2006, and it has developed into one of America’s top urban policy destinations. His writings have also appeared in publications such as Forbes, the Dallas Morning News, and the Portland Oregonian. His insights on urban issues have been featured numerous times in national and regional news media, including by the New York Times, Time, the Economist, the London Daily Telegraph, and many more. He also has shared his insights on TV and radio, as well as through in-person speaking appearances.
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce honored him for his innovative ideas for public transit in Chicago. The Urbanophile also was cited as among the most important urban planning Web sites in America by Planetizen.
Renn’s insights are rooted in a 15-year career in management and IT consulting, where he was a partner at Accenture. His clients included companies such as Walgreens, United Parcel Service, and Allstate. In addition to being the lead manager for several multi-million dollar IT implementations, he was also a senior technology architect and served in several strategy roles, including Director of IT Strategy for both Accenture and Focal Communications. Today he works as an independent consultant.
Renn was co-author of an early social-networking platform at Indiana University in 1991, which attracted more than 4,000 users in an era before the Internet. And in 1998 he launched one of the nation’s first blogs, The Weekly Breakdown, to cover the Chicago Transit Authority.
A native of Laconia, Indiana, a town of 29 people along the Ohio River, Renn grew up fascinated by those larger places known as cities, and made it his life’s preoccupation to learn what makes them tick. He currently resides in Chicago.