"I am so incredibly impressed with Civic Consulting's ability to create extraordinary outcomes by combining its lean staff with external resources (like externs!) into a best-in-class public-private collaboration. It's clear why the organization has set a new standard for city level civic engagement to create impact."

Michael Sykes
Senior Associate Consultant,
As a Senior Associate Consultant at Bain & Company, I had the opportunity to complete an externship with a not-for-profit for four months. Bain has a long-standing relationship with Civic Consulting Alliance, and I knew from conversations with prior externs that Civic Consulting leverages the skills built at Bain to drive civic outcomes to a new level. Needless to say, I was excited to join their team.

During my externship, I had the privilege of working with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). MPEA manages McCormick Place and several other important tourism and convention assets, which makes it a critical economic engine for Chicago. Each year, McCormick Place attracts more than 2.5 million visitors and hosts more than 160 events, creating more than $1.7B in economic impact for the city. To strengthen MPEA's continued economic impact, our team worked with MPEA to create a set of strategic priorities that would guide the organization for the next three years. These priorities incorporated the input of the MPEA senior leadership team, board of directors, the local community, and government officials.

As part of a small team, I wore multiple "hats" ---     from analyst to project manager to supervisor of the team's intern. As a result, I was primarily responsible for both ideation and creation of content to drive meetings and decisions with the leadership team. Now that I've returned to Bain, my Civic Consulting experience is helping me see my clients' needs more holistically by connecting individual workstreams to the broader project strategy. 

For more information on fellowships at Civic Consulting Alliance and how you or your firm can participate, click here or contact Haley Sonenthal.

"Civic Consulting and their partners have proved invaluable over the course of our transition. I know we are better positioned now to execute on our vision of promoting public safety and justice within Cook County."

Kim Foxx
Cook County
State's Attorney

Kim Foxx took office as the new State's Attorney at a critical time for justice in Cook County. About a dozen neighborhoods are suffering from a staggering level of gun violence, and the public's faith in the criminal justice system has been deteriorating. Following her election, State's Attorney Foxx laid out a vision to promote public safety by seeking justice in every case, improving collaboration, promoting accountability, and increasing transparency. To help translate that vision into a plan of action, the State's Attorney looked to the support of Civic Consulting Alliance and its pro bono partners, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Deloitte.
To make her vision actionable, the Civic Consulting / BCG team worked with the new State's Attorney's team to prioritize initiatives, then created goals, metrics, and change plans for each initiative. "With strategic priorities and change plans in hand, State's Attorney Foxx and her team are poised to make a real, lasting impact on public safety in a short period of time," said Michelle Stohlmeyer Russell, Senior Partner and Managing Director at BCG.
Meanwhile, a separate Civic Consulting / Deloitte team focused on change management. They defined decision rights for the leadership team and conducted an employee survey to identify opportunities to build employee engagement.
With a strategic plan and change management structure in place, State's Attorney Foxx and her team have the tools to turn her campaign vision into a reality.

For more information on this project, please contact Eric Patton.

"Civic Consulting has a unique ability to understand the needs of our neighborhoods and mobilize sophisticated pro bono partners who can help organizations like Rush move the needle and improve outcomes."

Larry Goodman
CEO, Rush University Medical Center

On average, a resident of West Garfield Park has a life expectancy 16 years shorter than a resident of the Loop. This gap is caused by disparities that reach beyond the doctor's office and into the broader social determinants of health, such as employment, safety, and education.
Last year, Rush University Medical Center leadership began to re-think its own role in improving health and wellness on the West Side, and committed itself to addressing the social determinants of health for the more than 400,000 residents of Chicago's West Side.
To help Rush in its effort, Civic Consulting Alliance and a pro bono team from Bain & Company identified what Rush could change within its own business operations to benefit West Side residents. The Rush / CCA / Bain team identified several high-impact initiatives to "anchor" its business operations to the West Side by hiring, promoting, purchasing, and investing locally.
"Harnessing Rush's economic impact will have a meaningful and tangible effect on the West Side," said Mark Capeless, who led the Bain team. "Rush's anchor strategy will open the doors for more jobs and investment for an area of more than 400,000 residents."
However, Rush's actions alone can only improve the West Side's vitality so far ---    so Rush convened a broader collaboration of West Side healthcare institutions, including University of Illinois at Chicago and Cook County Health and Hospitals System, to ask what all the healthcare anchors on the West Side might do, collectively.
To support this emerging "collaborative," A.T. Kearney and TLSG developed a model of neighborhood vitality, which includes metrics that will help the collaborative assess where it can make the greatest impact working collectively. "The neighborhood vitality model will help the collaborative set ambitious, evidence-based targets to effectively build health and wellness," added Kish Khemani, Partner at A.T. Kearney.
Together, the anchor strategies aim to help close the gap in life expectancy and make Chicago's West Side a more vibrant, healthy place to live.

For more information on this project, please contact Brian Battle.

  • In 2011, Civic Consulting Alliance worked with the newly elected Mayor and County Board President to find areas of collaboration between the two units of government. The initial report from this work was recently selected by the Kennedy School as one of 30 "most useful reports on operational efficiency in state and local government," and can be found here.
  • This month, Fast Company announced its World Changing Ideas of 2017. Among more than 1,000 entries, a recent Civic Consulting Alliance project was selected as one of 12 winners: the physical redesign of Cook County's Central Bond Court. The redesign was a collaboration between Civic Consulting and pro bono partners CannonDesign and the Kellogg School of Management. Read more about the winning idea here.
  • When Kim Foxx was sworn in as the new Cook County State's Attorney, Civic Consulting Alliance and pro bono partners Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Deloitte, and Mayer Brown supported her transition team in setting strategic priorities for the Office. Initial progress on these priorities is described in the recently published 100 Days Report, which can be found here.
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Civic Consulting Alliance is an affiliate of the Civic Committee of the
Commercial Club of Chicago.