Apple this week opened its new flagship retail store in Chicago, and present at the opening were several Apple executives. Tim Cook, Angela Ahrendts, and Eddy Cue were all in attendance, giving interviews, taking selfies, and more. While there, Cook sat down with the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, for an in-depth interview on Emanuel’s podcast “Chicago Stories.”
The interview covers a wide-range of topics, including education, diversity and more. When talking about the new Chicago retail store, Cook explained that the city is a perfect match for the new flagship store due to its culture and artistic mindset:
“Chicago has an incredible, diverse community and there is a realization here that coding is important and we love that. We’re very much proponents of every child and every adult learning coding. There’s a great artists community, whether that’s visual or musicians or writing stores.
We felt that over the time period and it felt like the natural place for us to go in and connect to the community and then with your personal leadership on the riverfront project. Finding this spots, I realize it didn’t look like this before and people were wondering ‘Oh, why are you going there?’ But we saw beauty there and we thought about what it could.
When you put all of those things together, it’s natural we should be here. “
Cook also touched on Apple’s work to make coding prevalent in colleges around the country, also noting of how Apple found that community colleges are more diverse than standard four-year institutions.
What we found was that, as we started with community colleges, was that the community colleges are significantly more diverse than the four-year universities. It’s like night and day, honestly. And I mean gender diversity and ethnic diversity.
The Apple CEO discussed Chicago’s small-town feeling, noting of how kind and inviting people are. Also TIL that Tim Cook still gets his own coffee:
When you walk the streets here, you feel it’s a home town place. People look you in the face and smile. I went to Starbucks – I had to go out and get my cup of coffee for the afternoon – and you can tell it just by walking. I’m a product of the south and this is one of the great things that I love about the south – people look you in the eye and they say ‘hello’ and it’s amazing how many barriers fall down.
The full interview is definitely worth a listen. Check it out below or in your podcast app of choice.