Commissioner Brian Bannon Named One of Fast Company’s Most Creative People In Business

Fast Company announced its annual ranking of the 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2016, honoring an influential and diverse group of leading thinkers around the globe. This year, Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon makes the list for his leadership in democratizing access to learning and technology across Chicago’s 80 library locations, building an entrepreneurial culture that supports innovation at all levels of the organization.

The Library is stepping boldly into the 21st century, with Bannon’s leadership under the direction of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, by reimagining traditional services and serving as a national model for how libraries can thrive in the knowledge and information economy.

Over the past four years, CPL has become a center for innovation, with access to technology for all ages. Chicagoans as young as 8 years old can check out programmable Finch Robots that help teach coding. YOUmedia, located in 11 CPL branch locations and at Harold Washington Library Center, allows teens to participate in 2D and 3D design, fashion, podcasting and digital sound mixing, and gaming. Adults can master digital design software and use 3D printers, vinyl cutters, wood cutters and laser cutters in the Maker Lab located at the Library’s central location.

The Library has re-imagined its summer programming for kids, the award-winning Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge, to include STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning and a partnership with Museum of Science and Industry. The program engages over 90,000 Chicago kids each summer through its 10-week program.

“I’m honored to receive this recognition on behalf of the work we are doing at CPL to provide access to all types of learning and ideas, in every form,” says Commissioner Brian Bannon. “Libraries serve as social, economic, and learning hubs in our Chicago communities and we will continue working to expand learning opportunities for Chicagoans with our investments in innovative programming.”

Also named to the Most Creative People list for 2016 is Chance the Rapper, “for generating music that’s priceless,” who recorded his first mix tape in Chicago Public Library’s YOUmedia recording studio and open mic sessions. He currently partners with YOUmedia to provide performance and creative opportunities to teens at Open Mike events at Harold Washington Library Center.

Each year, the magazine’s editors present an all-new list of 100 visionaries chosen according to a proprietary methodology. The full list is available here.

Introduced in 2009, the Most Creative People list was quickly established as one of Fast Company’s most esteemed franchises. All 100 creative leaders recognized in the 2016 list join Fast Company’s expanding Most Creative People in Business community of highly accomplished, dynamic individuals whose work and ideas are driving the world forward.

“Our goal is to discover and highlight the people around the world who are not just thinking differently, but also putting their ideas into action to create new opportunities, redefine the rules of modern business, and drive change within their own industries and beyond,” says Fast Company editor Robert Safian. “In today’s rapidly evolving world, it is creative and innovative leaders like these 100 who will continue to move the needle and inspire us all.”

Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business issue (June 2016) is available online at as well as in app form via iTunes, and on newsstands beginning May 24. Follow the launch on social media, using the hashtag #FCMostCreative.


Since 1873, Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults. CPL was recently named the first ever winner of the National Summer Learning Association’s Founder’s Award in recognition of its Summer Learning Challenge; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services; received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; and was ranked number one in the U.S., and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information and to take advantage of the Library's world class resources, please call (312) 747-4050 or visit