CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) celebrates its five-year anniversary this October 12–18, 2015 with a lineup of over 150 globally renowned speakers, including lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and television personality Michael Strahan, entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt, designer Cynthia Rowley, actor/comedian Tom Arnold, Khan Academy Founder & CEO Sal Khan, former New York City Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly and economist Roland Fryer. Additional speakers and events will be announced in the coming weeks.
"Each year, Chicago Ideas Week sparks game-changing ideas and opens new possibilities for innovation by engaging a cross-section of people from our community and beyond," CIW Founder Brad Keywell said. "By bringing together business, civic, philanthropic and artistic leaders, CIW drives intellectual conversations and inspires individuals to turn ideas into action."
Chaired by Keywell, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Sterling Partners Co-Founder Eric Becker, the weeklong ideas festival annually brings in 34,000 attendees from across the globe. This year, over 30 Talks and intimate Conversations will focus on a wide range of topics, including genius, race and terrorism. In addition, 75 hands-on Labs will take attendees behind-the-scenes of some of Chicago's most innovative organizations and businesses like Argonne National Laboratory, Bang Bang Pie Shop, iHeartMedia and more. Most events are open to the public with the purchase of a $15 ticket.
"This year, we're debuting several new Talk and Conversation topics, including Redefining the American Dream, our first Spanish-ever language conversation, and Wildcard, an electrifying talk we won't announce the speakers for until the audience is in their seats," CIW Executive Director Jessica Malkin said. "We're excited to celebrate our fifth year with our most engaging, thought-provoking lineup of speakers and events yet."
As a part of their fifth anniversary, CIW will feature the stories of five participants who created new businesses, made career changes, founded social good projects and catapulted their existing business into further success, all as a result of their interaction with CIW:
- Nicole Vasquez, Founder, The Shift After attending CIW's Entrepreneurship Talk, Nicole gained the motivation, tools and connections necessary to start The Shift, a co-working space and community center.
- Dorri McWhorter, CEO, YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago Dorri left her job as a partner in a public accounting firm to become the CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, a move she was inspired to take after attending a CIW 2012 Talk featuring Deepak Chopra.
- Steven Dyme, Founder, Flowers for Dreams Steven's Flowers for Dreams makes sending your loved one flowers an act of charity, literally. His experiences at Chicago Ideas Week in 2011 gave him the tools to get his business idea off the ground, "with no regrets."
- Ryan Robinson, Co-Founder, Ink Factory Studio Ink Factory and Chicago Ideas Week grew up together. In 2011, the graphic recording company launched alongside CIW. Today, Ryan credits much of Ink Factory's meteoric success to the exposure and connections the company has gained through CIW.
- Laura Milani, Founder, IN2 Products As a result of a CIW connection to Embarc, Laura this year was able to take 10 Chicago high school students to New York City, where they met executives at BET, staff members at SNL and had briefings at the U.N.
For a full schedule of CIW Talks, Conversations, Labs and other events, visit www.chicagoideas.com. Tickets will be available for purchase by CIW Members on Monday, August 17 and general tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, September 8. To become a CIW Member and enjoy exclusive access, advanced tickets, invitations to Member-only events and more, visit www.chicagoideas.com/membership.
Select CIW 2015 Talk Topics
Cultural Icons Get an inside look into the work and lives of our cultural icons from their best friends, spouses and biggest fans.
Genius What's the mark of a true genius? CIW features the academics, athletes and business leaders whose ideas are so groundbreaking, so inventive and so awe-inspiring, it can only be the work of a genius.
Life's Big Questions CIW faces life's big mysteries head on in a Talk that will raise just as many questions as it answers.
Politics: The State of the Union With the 2016 presidential election fast approaching, CIW explores the issues, both domestic and international, that will define American politics and policy for years to come.
Race in America A diverse and provocative panel discusses some of the most pressing issues of racial inequality facing America today—and shares the paths they see to a more equal world.
Terrorism: Behind the Headlines Experts and journalists provide an on-the-ground look at the groups behind extremist acts and the threats currently facing our nation before addressing the questions most on everyone's minds in an audience Q&A.
Wildcard We're not going to reveal who is speaking. We won't divulge what they're talking about. We'll just tell you: You don't want to miss this.
Select CIW 2015 Labs
Be the DJ at iHeartMedia Experienced DJs lead a recording session, with recorded commercials to air on the station's overnight shift.
Energizing Our Future at Argonne National Laboratory Get a peek into America's energy future with George Crabtree, director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, and look at the strides we've taken toward living in a battery-powered world.
Graffiti Art with Havas Worldwide Chicago Street artists JC Rivera, Matthew Hoffman and Sentrock will lead a collaborative graffiti art installation.
Pie Making 101 with Bang Bang Pie Shop Attendees will go behind-the-scenes of the Logan Square pie shop with founder Michael Ciapciak before baking their own pies.
CIW is generously supported by Cornerstone Partners The Chicago Community Trust, Ernst & Young LLP, Sterling Partners, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Comcast NBC Universal and Keywell Foundation; Edison Talks Partner U.S. Trust; Official Creative Partner Leo Burnett; Official Integrated Marketing Partner Starcom Mediavest Group; Official Communications Partner Edelman; Platinum Partners Caterpillar, TransUnion, Table XI and Zeller Realty Group; Gold Partner Lefkofsky Family Foundation; Official Travel Partner Orbitz for Business; and Contributing Partners kCura, Bluhm-Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship, CareerBuilder, CBRE, Gogo, Next Door Chicago, State Farm, The Robert R. McCormick Foundation, The Susan Crown Exchange, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Exelon, Ink Factory and Innerworkings.
Media Partners at Chicago Ideas Week include ABC7, Crain's Chicago Business, Captivate, Chicago Tribune, Clear Channel Airports, Clear Channel Outdoor, Fast Company, iHeartMedia, Michigan Avenue Magazine, WBEZ 91.5, Univision and Fusion.
About Chicago Ideas
Chicago Ideas is a year-round platform featuring globally recognized speakers and interactive experiences that are designed to turn ideas into actionable results. It is a platform for ideas, created for innovators, thinkers, doers and interested citizens from across Chicago, the greater Midwest and the world. Its goal is to stimulate new initiatives and ventures, create new connections and collaborations, and establish a Community of Curiosity. Chicago Ideas is a 501(c)(3) organization. Follow Chicago Ideas on Twitter @chicagoideas and on Facebook for updates.
Jessica Malkin, Executive Director, Chicago Ideas
Beth Florina, Edelman Chicago
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