#ChiStories Podcast: As American As Apple Inc.

Tim Cook and Rahm Emanuel at the new Apple Store on the Chicago Riverwalk. (Photo by Patrick Pyszka)

You might not think of Chicago when you think of Apple, but their ties are closer than you realize. Apple’s first major retail store was on Michigan Avenue. Chicago Public Schools has been the home of Apple’s computer education programs. And thousands of Chicago’s students use Apple products in the classroom everyday.

The same can be said about Apple CEO Tim Cook and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. On this week’s episode of Chicago Stories, recorded at the grand opening of the new Apple Store on the Chicago Riverwalk, the two leaders talked about everything from the equalizing power of education, the need for diversity, and driving inclusive growth. It’s the stuff we as a country are grappling with today.

“Regardless of whether people want to be a computer scientist, it’s important to know what’s possible.”

For both Tim and Mayor Emanuel, computer science education stands as the means to those ends. It’s what brought Apple into the classroom. In fact, as far as Tim’s concerned, computer coding is on its way to being the most important second language anyone can have.

Diversity is also central to their visions — the need to support it, and the need to channel its energy to a shared goal. For Tim, diversity isn’t just a moral imperative, it’s a business one as well. As he says, the best products are created by the most diverse teams.

“We want to infuse humanity into the product,” Tim said, “and you don’t get that by having all one skill set, all one gender, all one ethnic group, all one anything.”

They didn’t stop there. Tune in as they dive into the importance of public spaces, the role of community colleges, the definition of America, and much, much more.

Listen to our podcast on Apple Podcasts as Mayor Emanuel and Tim discuss:

0:35 — Why Chicago
4:42 — Computer Education and Inclusive Growth
9:20 — Diversity and the Common Cause
17:25 —From Alabama To Cupertino
22:30 — Public-Private Partnerships

Tim and Mayor Emanuel are both part of the Dream Coalition founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, comprising business, civic, and national security leaders, and elected officials with a unified commitment to ensuring Dreamers can live, work, serve, and study in the United States without fear or threat of deportation.

Subscribe to Chicago Stories on Apple Podcasts to catch future episodes, and tweet us your great Chicago Story ideas at @ChicagosMayor on #ChiStories. Please also rate and review. Thank you for listening and tell your friends!