Aaron M. Renn Lecture:The Spirit of Cities

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Location: 104 Bond Hall

Aaron M. Renn, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, will discuss how the spiritual is overlooked in urban planning and architecture. 

Biography

Aaron M. Renn is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and a Contributing Editor at its quarterly magazine City Journal. He is on a mission to help America’s cities thrive in an ever more complex, competitive, globalized, and diverse 21st century. This requires building a future that is both demographically and economically sustainable and equitable. It means creating an engine of opportunity and upward mobility, and a platform on which a broad majority of citizens can build towards achieving their aspirations.

Renn is also an economic development columnist for Governing Magazine, and has contributed to the Guardian, Forbes.com and other publications. His perspectives on urban issues are regularly cited in global media outlets which have included the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, the Economist, and the London Daily Telegraph.

His insights are rooted in a 15 year career in management and technology consulting, where he was a partner at Accenture. He’s held multiple technology strategy roles, and directed multi-million dollar global technology implementations. He also founded the urban data analytics web startup Telestrian.

No stranger to the Internet or urban issues, Renn is a long time innovator in these fields. He was co-author of an early social-networking platform at Indiana University in 1991. He created multiple widely used open source software packages, including the only program ever developed for recovering data from corrupted gzip backups. 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 50 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 lives in New York.