Here leading Chicago business people and artisans weigh in on the pressing question, "Is Chicago the creative capital of the Universe?"

“Big yes! A great creative place has to have great art, great food, and a combination of beauty and grit to be inspired by. Chicago has all of that.”

“Chicago is a pirouette. When you do a pirouette, you prepare for a turn and you might not know how many times you’re going to go around, but your goal is to land gracefully. Chicago is always turning, always changing, always trying to get better.”

“It’s the momentum. Sitting in a restaurant, you can hear the buzz of conversation -- the discussion of innovative ideas. Driving downtown, you can see the cranes -- the creation of an even greater community. It’s living, breathing progress. It’s exciting and evolving. It’s Chicago.”

“I think Chicago restlessly settled into a grudging sense of its global irrelevance years ago, which has kept it rather interested in the rest of the world. It attracts a respectable number of European tourists, who perhaps see it as the most American of American cities. It’s an honest city, and because of that, it has a grim, refreshing isolation to it.”

“People perceive New York as the most creative place, but it’s not as lively as it is here. More risks are taken here. You have a community that’s willing to embrace food for what it is, look past preconceived notions, and not be scared to try something new.”