Groupon co-founder Keywell taping radio pilots

Saturday morning show on WBEZ-FM 91.5

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Serial entrepreneur and Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell has begun taping pilots for a new 30-minute radio program he would host on WBEZ-FM 91.5, a public radio station.

"It would be a Saturday morning show," said Jessica Malkin, executive director of Chicago Ideas Week, which Keywell founded. "We're doing three pilots. Then (WBEZ executives and producers) will do a review, and then they'll look at scheduling."

Keywell's guest for the first pilot, which doesn't have an air date, is business book author Daniel Pink, whose latest is "To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others." The second pilot, to be taped Sunday, will feature Somalian human rights activist Dr. Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe.

"We're going to feature incredible minds from across the world who happen to already be coming to Chicago," Malkin said. "They're going to be friends of Brad's, or friends of Chicago Ideas Week. He'll sit down for an unplugged convo on life, innovation, big ideas. It's intended to be a living room conversation."

Keywell, a self-made multimillionaire, if not billionaire, is an avid reader and counts real estate mogul Sam Zell among his mentors. His online "bookshelf" on his personal website starts with his "Top 5" titles followed by more than 25 categories of recommended books, including "Books About Art," "Ayn Rand Books," "Books on a Balanced Life," "Books on Meditation," "Books on Philanthropy" and a category simply called "Wisdom."

"We're equating it to Charlie Rose on radio — a new age Charlie Rose," Malkin said.

Ambassador Heyman?

Chicagoan and Goldman Sachs managing director Bruce Heyman is President Barack Obama's pick to be the next ambassador to Canada, according to a source.

Heyman has been with Goldman since 1980. Since 2001, he has led the investment firm's private wealth management group in the Midwest, which covers 13 states and half of Canada.

In addition, Bruce and his wife, Vicki, have been leading fundraisers for the president.

In an interview with the Tribune last year, Ariel Investments President John Rogers credited Vicki Heyman, one of three 2012 Illinois finance committee co-chairs, with being "a big advocate" of a fundraising tactic called a leadership circle. In exchange for a maximum donation, leadership circle members received access to private briefings and events. The circles spread from Chicago to other states, including Colorado and California.

"I know it has been extraordinarily well-received as a way of keeping major donors involved and engaged, and feeling a part of the ongoing flow," Rogers said.

Meanwhile, Bruce Heyman spoke out publicly on the president's behalf in October in The Wall Street Journal, a rarity for someone at Goldman.

"I am sensitive to the emotions" of Wall Street, he told the paper. "But if you look at the facts, Mr. Obama is pro-business."

Paul Gray, a member of Obama's Illinois and national finance committees and director of the Richard Gray Gallery, said Vicki Heyman was at campaign headquarters "every day" last fall.

"She was a dynamic Illinois finance chair, and he was tireless," Gray said. "I think they're a great team, and that's the beauty of an ambassadorship — you get both of them."

Once the appointment is official, Bruce Heyman would replace David Jacobson, a Chicago attorney. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. first reported the news.

Lightbank to host Innovation Day

Lightbank, the venture capital firm co-founded by Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, will host its first Innovation Day for a select group of corporate executives May 9 at its offices.

The purpose of the event is to connect people in the C-suites of medium and large corporations with startups in Lightbank's investment portfolio. The lack of interaction between big corporations and startups — both socially and economically — is viewed as a chief weakness of the city's business culture.

"From what I've seen in the last two years, there hasn't been a real concerted effort to bridge the two worlds," said Paul Lee, a Lightbank partner, who previously worked in New York. "There has only been one-offs — startups working uphill to get connected to companies. ... But it happens in Silicon Valley, with big tech companies working with smaller ones, and in New York City, with Madison Avenue working with startups. It should be happening here. This is basically the first step."

Sam Yagan, the CEO of Match Inc., the parent company of Match.com, will be the keynote speaker. He also co-founded startup incubator TechStars Chicago, formerly known as Excelerate Labs. Only one other scheduled speaker is not part of a Lightbank-funded company.

"Sam sold (dating site) OkCupid to Match.com and subsequently ended up running Match.com," Lee said. "He's the best guy to demonstrate how innovation from a startup can expand to a larger enterprise. Think about it: The guy who got bought ended up running the purchaser."

For more information, go to lightbankinnovation.com.

How millennials bring change

David Burstein co-leads the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship, which annually awards three young social entrepreneurs $10,000 and flies them to Chicago for Chicago Ideas Week in the fall.

Burstein, a New Yorker, also is the author of a new book, "Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping our World."

And much of what millennials are shaping involves business and philanthropy, Burstein said Wednesday morning at a book party at the Waldorf-Astoria, hosted by Chicago Cares founder Leslie Bluhm and Malkin.

"This generation has a predisposition to care and a predisposition to create their own institutions," Burstein said. In the book, he cites 2012 Kauffman Foundation data showing that 40 percent of young people want to start their own companies.

Burstein said millennials believe business can be an avenue for social change. And those not starting their own companies are asking prospective employers about their commitments to service and the environment.

"This is the generation that shops, works and eats their values," Burstein said.

The trends, he said, point to the wholesale remaking of the American dream. For instance, millennials embrace "finding love" versus getting married and "being part of a community" versus buying a home. Homeownership, marriage, childbirth and car ownership are at all-time lows for people of this age, Burstein said.

And the trouble is that much of the country's economy is built on those milestones.

"I think there needs to be an embrace of a shared, collaborative economy," he said. "The future of the auto industry is to figure out how it can be more like Zipcar. And the hotel industry has to figure out how to be more like Airbnb. This is a not a generation that's going to be going to the Hiltons of the world, as they exist now."

Melissa Harris can be reached at mmharris@tribune.com or 312-222-4582. Twitter @chiconfidential.

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