The annual Chicago Ideas Week will be hitting the city Oct. 14–20 with over 200 speakers presenting on a range of topics from food to technology to comedy to the Middle East. The week-long event features such names as David Gregory, Donna Karan and Buzz Aldrin, but with all these thought leaders spreading out across numerous venues all over the city, it would be impossible to catch all of them. So here are some highlights:
The Tech Summit will take place Friday, October 18 from 1:00–6:00 p.m. at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. Some of the featured speakers include Ben Kaufman, the founder and CEO of Quirky; Chad Dickerson, CEO of Etsy; and Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code. It’s one of the week’s largest events, and it’s not hard to see why. When it comes to ideas, the ones that really sell these days usually revolve around technology, be it a new photography app or a new smartphone with a sharper camera. Some of this year's topics include big data and cloud computing.
But the week isn't all about tech; it can also be about chocolate, beer, and riding bikes with the mayor. The "Lab" events take participants to businesses and staples around Chicago like Vosges Chocolates, Goose Island, and those multiplying Divvy bike stations.
One of the less advertised attractions of the week has actually been going on all month. The CIW headquarters has partnered with GE for a “fab lab,” a hands-on manufacturing garage where visitors can learn how 3D printers, laser cutters and other devices actually work, and participants are invited to make custom projects for free.
Tickets for the events start at $15, and while many have already sold out, some are still on sale on the CIW website.