AGC at CIW: Chicago Ideas Week Applauds Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, AGC’s Vision for the Future

AGC at CIW: Chicago Ideas Week Applauds Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, AGC’s Vision for the Future


AGC’s Founder and Executive Director, Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, shared AGC’s history, mission and vision at Chicago Ideas Week last Tuesday. The theme of the talk was “Big Shoulders, Big Ideas,” and featured talks about innovating in Chicago. Chicago Ideas Week is an affordable and accessible gathering of  thought leaders created to provoke new ideas and inspire actionable results. The goal is to stimulate new initiatives and ventures, create new connections and collaborations, and establish a community of people who have the desire to achieve great things.

Ms. Ippel shared a stage with Heather Sperling of Tasting Table, who explored the history of food in Chicago, Thomas Dyja, author of “the Third Coast”  who shared the history of entrepreneurship in Chicago, Mark Peters from Argonne National Labs, who shared their plans to build a city of the future on Chicago’s South Shore and representatives from the Chicago Bears (Brandon Marshall, Wide Receiver and mental health advocate,) Chicago Cubs (Chairman Tom Ricketts,) and Chicago Bulls (President Michael Reinsdorf).

Ms. Ippel’s talk explored the state of public education, in Chicago, across the country, and across the world. She shared our school’s history, it’s global influences, its successes and our vision to impact the public education system as a whole by sharing our learnings.

“I believe we can fundamentally shift the future of public education in this city,” Sarah Elizabeth opened with a bold statement,  “I believe that we can  scale the innovations that have been incubated in Chicago’s classrooms to create vastly better outcomes across multiple measures . . . for all children.”

Ms. Ippel painted a picture of AGC’s development and how, through participation in a thoughtful and student-centered education program, our students abilities grew dramatically over our first three years.

The crowd broke out in spontaneous applause when Ms. Ippel shared our latest state testing scores.


Finally, Ms. Ippel returned to the theme of Chicago Ideas Week, “make no little plans.” “I’ve found innovation budding up in classrooms across Chicago and across America,” she said, and asked fellow innovators and educators to join her in identifying a technology based platform to facilitate the collection and open sharing of classroom and school-wide innovations and, most importantly, assessing the impact of those innovations by sharing data.

Sarah Elizabeth is participating in the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship, a Chicago Ideas Week partner.

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