Brett Goldstein is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Ekistic Ventures, a group of urban problem-solvers who are actively cultivating a portfolio of disruptive companies that bring new solutions to critical urban problems.
A government studies major in college who taught himself to code in his spare time, Brett began his career as an early employee of OpenTable, where he helped scale the company’s technical and business operations from a small startup to a multinational enterprise over seven years.
Brett returned to his public sector interests in 2006 when he joined the Chicago Police Department, graduating at the top of his Police Academy class. After a year as a beat cop in the 11 th district, he founded and eventually commanded the department’s Predictive Analytics Group, a team that used advanced analytics to enhance police efforts. In 2011, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Brett as the first-ever municipal Chief Data Officer. As CDO and later CIO, he established one of the nation’s leading open data efforts and overhauled the city's technology infrastructure to reflect the needs of 21st century government. He also created WindyGrid, a situational awareness and analytics platform that was first used during the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit and later adapted to support improved service delivery citywide.
In 2013, Brett curated and edited Beyond Transparency: Open Data and the Future of Civic Innovation, an anthology on the potential of open data to reshape the relationship between residents and government. Brett was also featured in a chapter of The Silo Effect by Gillian Tett (2015), which discusses Brett’s work with the Chicago Police Department to reduce crime and murder rates.
In addition to his work with Ekistic Ventures, Brett serves as a Senior Fellow and Special Advisor for Urban Science at the University of Chicago. He advises governments, universities, and major corporations around the globe on how to use data to better understand urban ecosystems.