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January/February 2024: A Promise of a New Year

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A Fresh Start for Sustainable Impact in 2024!

In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., whose legacy we recently celebrated, Net Impact Chicago echoes his wisdom: "All life is interrelated." Our community champions sustainable and equitable choices, recognizing their profound impact on our shared destiny. As we navigate the cold nights we faced together weeks ago, let's embrace eco-conscious decisions, creating a fabric of well-being for all and a healthier planet.  Please scroll down for opportunities to join others and make a difference!


Calling all circular economy enthusiasts! Net Impact is hosting a 2024 Circular Plastics Challenge. Professionals and students alike are invited to form teams of 2 - 4 members to present a solution to the problem statement: How might we increase the supply of rPET to create a more circular economy for plastics?

Submissions are due March 29, 2024. The first place team will receive the $10,000 USD grand prize, with second and third place teams taking home $2,500 USD and $1,000 USD respectively. If you are interested in participating on behalf of our Chicago professional chapter, please email us at and download an interest form.

Up to five teams will be selected as finalists in the Circular Plastics Challenge. Finalist teams will be paired with a subject matter expert mentor to refine and prepare their presentation ahead of the finals. Finalist teams will present their solution to a panel of expert judges at the virtual Final Showcase event, which will be broadcast live at NPE, the largest plastics trade show in the Americas.

Are you looking to get more connected to the business, civic, environmental, and social impact community? Joining the Net Impact Chicago Leadership Team is a great way to network with others in the space while showcasing hands-on communications, leadership, management, and strategic skills. We are industry- and sector- agnostic, so you can come from any professional background.  Check out our open positions and apply today!

Open Positions:

Content Manager: Are you great at writing content for marketing and digital communications? This role involves researching, strategizing, editing, and updating our digital platforms.
Fundraising Manager: Do you have, or want to build, fundraising experience? We would love your contribution to our team to help us host more meaningful events and grow our reach.
Membership and Engagement Manager: Do you love meeting others and getting them excited about social and environmental impact? Are you a people person? This role would be perfect for you.

Apply Now

Have another skill you’d like to contribute to the Net Impact team?
Fill out our volunteer form here!

Contact the Leadership Team at with any questions.


Reboot Your Network for a Better World: Connect with Social Impact Professionals
Loyola University Baumhart Center
Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 5:30-7pm CST

Loyola University’s Baumhart Center for Social Enterprise & Responsibility is hosting a networking event focused on social impact professionals! Start the new year with an opportunity to meet new people and connect with social & environmental impact leaders across Chicagoland. This in-person networking event will have limited capacity so register early to confirm your spot.
The Baumhart Center is co-sponsoring the event with the following organizations: 18 Coffees, the Associate Board of Chicago Scholars, the Auxiliary Board of Illinois Green Alliance, the Greater Chicago Chapter of the United Nations Association, Illinois Environmental Council, Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League, YNPN Chicago, Young Leaders Fund of The Chicago Community Trust, and Young Leaders United of the United Way of Metro Chicago.
Location: Schreiber Center, 16 E. Pearson St., Room 1001
Event Cost:  Free!
Click here to RSVP - capacity is limited

Rising Voices, Lasting Impact: Meet Global Next Gen Changemakers
Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at 5:00-6:30pm CST

This hybrid event will highlight three amazing climate changemakers who have taken up unique challenges to make our world a better place. What has their journey been like, and how has their unwavering commitment and innovative solutions led to impactful change?
Speaker Bios:
Dr. Mayada Adil is a Young Leader for the SDGs, doctor and fashion designer, recognized by the Secretary- General's Envoy on Youth for her profound work in achieving the Agenda 2030 and contributing creatively to advancing and amplifying youth voices.
Tharma Pillai is the co-founder and advocacy director of Undi18, a youth movement that successfully advocated for the lowering of the voting age in Malaysia from 21 to 18 years old.
Germán Santillán Ugarte is a social entrepreneur and cultural chocolatier working towards a more inclusive and just future through the recognition of the importance of indigenous cultures.
Moderated by Christina Adane, food equity activist & co-founder, Capsule Media
Event Cost:  Free!  
Location:  Hybrid event - attend in person at Chicago Council Conference Center, 130 E Randolph Street (doors open at 4:45pm) OR attend virtually via YouTube
Details and RSVP:  here

  • How this cold snap has Lake Michigan steaming one day and covered in a thin sheet of ice the next. (Chicago Tribune)
  • With climate change bringing more extreme weather, experts say energy efficiency is a must. (CBS News)
  • IEC/ELPC video: “Civics for Environmentalists 2024” highlights key IL environmental legislative efforts
  • As climate risks increase, Mississippi River towns look to each other for solutions (Grist)
  • Over 3.2 Million Americans Have Left High Flood Risk Neighborhoods Creating “Climate Abandonment Areas" (First Street Foundation)
  • Should migrants displaced by climate change be granted asylum?  (GZero Media)
  • Social Innovation Stories That Inspired Us in 2023 (SSIR)

An exclusive curated event list in date order. Free and In-Person unless denoted otherwise as a webinar or online or virtual. If payment is required, noted by “$$”.  Event type codes: BIZ = Business/Career; CIV = Civic/Activism; CUL = Cultural/Arts; EDU = Education/Learning; SOC = Social/Entertainment'.  Inclusion in this list does not always imply endorsement. More info at the respective links. Please observe any applicable health and safety precautions.

Fri. 01/26

  • EDU - DePaul U 2024 Innovation Day [ Innovation for Social Good ] @ Lincoln Pk   RSVP
  • CIV - MWRD hybrid seminar [ Environmental Justice Using 'Urban Scalable Toolkit' presented by Dr. Ashish Sharma  ] @ Stickney, IL.  RSVP
  • BIZ - Windy City Venture Crawl by GENESIS @ various venues in person.  Like a bar crawl but for founders pitching at different VC offices. RSVP  [+ optional paid afterparty @ Loop]
  • EDU - IHMA webinar [Edgewalkers, organizational boundary-spanners and risk takers]  RSVP

Sat. 01/27

  • BIZ - 2024 NwU Kellogg Business of Healthcare Conference @ Evanston, IL.  RSVP $$
  • CUL - Goethe Institute Holocaust Remembrance film & talk [ The Righteous Man from Fulda ] Info
01/30 - 02/01
  • BIZ - 2024 2024 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference @ Mag. Mile.  RSVP $$
Tue. 01/30
  • CIV - UChicago Workshop [ How To Have Productive Democratic Discourse] @ Hyde Pk.  RSVP
  • CIV - UIC talk/ reception [ Housing Justice Panel and Reception honoring Janet Smith] @ Pilsen.  RSVP
Wed. 01/31
  • BIZ - Loyola U Reboot your social impact network Reception @ Gold Coast.  RSVP
---- FEBRUARY 2024 ----
February is Black History Month!

02/01 - 03
  • CIV - Blacks in Green EPA Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center (EJ TCTAC) launch @ UIC area.  RSVP
Thu. 02/01
  • BIZ - ChiBrrCon IV (2024) vendor-free cybersecurity conference @ Bronzeville.  RSVP $$
  • EDU - DePaul U Design talk [ Feminist Designer Panel]  @ Loop.  Details
Sat. 02/03
  • CUL - NwU Art Opening talk [ Actions for the Earth:  Art, Care & Ecology ] @ Evanston, IL.  RSVP
Tue. 02/06
  • CIV - Lunch talk [ Reimagining Chicago's Collective Future] @ Pilsen. RSVP
Wed. 02/07
  • CIV - UIC lunch talk [ Hannah Arendt on Rhetoric: Democracy Under the Influence of Social Media ] @ W. Loop.  RSVP
  • CIV - CCGA panel [Rising Voices, Lasting Impact: Meet Global Next Gen Changemakers] hybrid talk @ Loop.   RSVP
Thu. 02/08
  • CIV - Reception & Launch - Rev. Jesse Jackson oral history project @ Lincoln Pk.  Details
Fri. 02/09
  • BIZ - 2024 UChicago Khosa SeedCon conference on startups @ Downtown.  RSVP $$
Thu. 02/15
  • BIZ - As You Sow Webinar.[ The Clean 200 climate leaders in 2024 ]   RSVP
Sat. 02/17
  • CIV - GSA Black History Month talk [ Leading With Faith and Humanity with Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III. ] @ Bronzeville.  RSVP
Wed. 02/21
  • CIV - NPQ Webinar [ Remaking Regional Solidarity Economies ]  RSVP
  • EDU - DePaul U Sustainability Network Weaving event re: issues of single-use plastics and food waste on campus.  RSVP
  • EDU - UIC talk [ How private development is transforming aid, governance, and daily life in the West Bank ] @ W. Loop. RSVP
 Thu. 02/22
  • BIZ - Monthly Chicago Climate Connect @ W. Loop.  RSVP
Fri. 02/23
  • CIV - UofC webinar [ Trust, Polarization and The Media In The Post-Truth Era ] Details
Sat. 02/24
  • BIZ - NwU Kellogg Tech Conference 2024 [Tech's Evolving Role in Society] @ Evanston, IL.  RSVP $$
  • CIV - CWCRC 2024 Black History Month Celebration @ W. Side.  RSVP
  • CUL - Chicago Fair Trade celebrates the fair trade community and leaders @ Gold Coast.  RSVP $$
Mon. 02/26
  • EDU - DePaul U talk [ Tech founder/ exec Harper Reed]  @ Loop.  Details
Thu. 02/29
  • BIZ - Built Environment Technology Alliance seminar [AI in 2024+ for Commercial Real Estate & Facilities Mgt.] @ Downtown.  RSVP
  • EDU - UIC / Hull House Book Talk [Mark Larson, 'Work in the 21st Century’]  @ W. Loop.  RSVP
  • BIZ - Conscious Capitalism Chicago Chicago Premiere documentary screening [ Beyond Zero ] @ W. Side.  RSVP $$
---- MARCH 2024 and beyond  ----
March is Women's History Month and 8th is International Women's Day.
One Earth Film Fest begins and proceeds thru April.
03/06 - 06
  • CIV -  Hybrid CFPAC Chicago Food Justice Summit 2024 [Climate Resilience]  @ S. Shore.   Details TBD
Wed. 03/13
  • CIV - UofC talk [  Martin Baron, Former Executive Editor of The Washington Post ] @ Downtown.  RSVP
03/14 - 15
  • EDU - Loyola U 2024 Climate Change Conference @ Edgewater.  RSVP
Thu. 03/14
  • EDU - DePaul U Law seminar [Artificial Intelligence in Health Care: Existential Challenges for Law & Ethics].  RSVP $$
Tue. 03/19
  • BIZ - CPL Webinar [ Know Your Rights: Environmental Updates Impacting Your Community]   RSVP
Wed. 04/10
  • BIZ - NwU Kellogg Climate Conference 2024 @ Evanston, IL.  RSVP $


Have ideas for events / programming you’d like to see from Net Impact Chicago?
There are so many possibilities for events and programming that we may not have considered! Your thoughts are very important in determining NIC’s programming, so please reach out to with any ideas for speakers, local organizations that align with NIC’s mission, interesting things you have worked on, etc!

Did you know that Net Impact Central has materials to aid impact-related career and job seekers in their efforts?  Check out these resources online today, including a nationwide job and internship board and blog!
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