Chicago Ideas Week: Sign-up Now

Chicago Ideas Week 2015

The fifth annual Chicago Ideas Week is October 12, 2015- October 18, 2015. During this one week, Chicago promotes curiosity by drawing in top businesses and leaders on a city, national, and global level.

Chicago Ideas Week brings together professionals from various industries. You can learn tangible skills such as building a chair, tasting wine, or baking a pie from Bang Bang Pie Shop. But there is so much more beyond that. Think through ending violence with music with Grammy award winner, Common. Learn how to handle PR Crises with Edelman.

For the first time, Chicago Ideas Week will be hosting a talk in Spanish on October 17, 2015 from 10:00 – 11:00 am.

Chicago Ideas Week Talks & Labs:

Unlike some conferences where there are collective conference passes, you can choose your classes a la carte. Chicago Ideas Week is extremely flexible and low-cost to make these talks as accessible as possible. Take off a week of work or come to an event during your lunch break. You can also go to work and then go to a talk afterwards.

There are three components to Chicago Ideas Week.

The first is CIW Talks where attendees listen to interviews, watch performances, or listen to an open discussion with panelists. The talks are all priced at $17.50 ($15.00 + $2.50 handling fee per ticket)  each.

The second component is CIW Labs. The labs are a special component where a small group of attendees become privy to best practices and little secrets from businesses, such as Edelman and IDEO. The labs are also $17.50 each.

The last component is Edison Talks, which are invite-only. These talks are specifically aimed at leaders with a global vision. You can apply to join Edison Talks.

As an added bonus, there are also meet-ups you can join following talks and labs. After hearing inspirational and successful speakers, you can think through some of the points with fellow attendees. These meetings are under Chicago Ideas Week Meet-Ups and they are free.

Chicago Ideas Week Team:

Chicago Ideas Week is brought to you by a team of 25 professionals including co-chairman, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. Accomplished entrepreneur, Brad Keywell, founded Chicago Ideas Week among other successful companies including Groupon and Echo Global Logistics. Keywell regularly helps his students foster ideas as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

You can help make Chicago Ideas Week possible by joining the team as a volunteer. Available shifts are October 12, 2015 – October 15, 2015 in as little as three-hour increments from 6:00 am until 10:00 pm. Sign up to volunteer.

Chicago Ideas Week Speakers:

City, national, and global journalists, actors, entrepreneurs, humanitarians, authors, professors, and politicians will be leading discussions and workshops at Chicago Ideas Week 2015.

For a glimpse into this year’s speakers, please see below.


Barbara Starr, Pentagon Correspondent, CNN


Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., Professor, Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Director, Genetics & Aging Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital


Martha Stewart, Founder, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Gary Slutkin, M.D., Founder & CEO, Cure Violence


Governor Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont
Sean M. Spicer, Chief Strategist & Communications Director, Republican National Committee

Beyond Chicago Ideas Week:

While Chicago Ideas Week is a main event for the year, there are also weekly Chicago Ideas Twitter chats (#IdeasChat), and other events to help foster ideas and help to execute them.

 Chicago Ideas Week Tickets:

Chicago Ideas Week is only a few weeks away. Tickets went on sale two weeks ago. Some sessions have already sold out to coveted events such as the CIW Lab, “Edelman Crisis Simulation.”

The opening day of Chicago Ideas Week will be on Monday October 12, 2015 in Lincoln Park. The CIW Opening Toast is free and includes cocktails and conversation with fellow Chicagoans and a global crowd who inspire.

If you can’t wait until mid-October, start watching Chicago Ideas Week videos right now from speakers including Hillary Clinton.

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