Chicago Ideas Week Announces New Membership Program

Benefits include advance tickets, preferred seating, all-access passes, and invitations to exclusive speaker events and parties

Jul 17, 2012, 11:00 ET from Chicago Ideas Week

CHICAGO, July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago Ideas Week (CIW), the weeklong event bringing global thought leaders to Chicago to share provocative ideas and inspire the innovations of tomorrow, is launching a new membership program today.  Ranging in price from $100 to $5,000, the various membership levels provide: priority ticket sale access and discounts; invitations to the Edison Talks and CIW private parties; Menlo All Access Passes valid for all CIW Talk and Megatalk entry; and more.  

"We are excited to introduce our CIW Member program this year," said Jessica Malkin, CIW's Executive Director.  "Building a community of supportive members is reflective of the spirit of Chicago Ideas Week – a network of passionate people working together to create a globally impactful, ideas platform.  Our members will enjoy incredible access to the week, become part of year-round events, and be a part of the creative process as we look to redefine world-class programming with a low barrier to entry."

Now in its second year, Chicago Ideas Week (October 8-14) continues to grow by doubling the number of speakers it will bring to Chicago this year to well over 200, and increasing the number of attendees from 12,000 to 25,000 people.

To date, CIW 2012 already features an incredible list of confirmed top-tier speakers, including the bestselling author, and world-renowned mind-body healing pioneer Deepak Chopra, host of Food Network's "Chopped" Ted Allen, legendary television journalist Tom Brokaw, actor and philanthropist Edward Norton, and Academy Award-winning journalist and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

CIW programming is divided into four core programs. First, the event will host 30 ninety-minute speaker programs called CIW Talks where 3-5 speakers will give short form talks around a multitude of topics. Second, CIW Megatalks are evening events featuring high profile speakers, held at the Oriental Theatre.  Third, CIW Labs are unique, behind-the-scenes events that offer glimpses into the inner workings of local businesses and institutions across Chicago. Finally, CIW 2012 will debut the Edison Talks, an invitation-only, daylong experience featuring world-class speakers, performances, and surprises.

Chicago Ideas Week 2012 will feature:

  • 30 CIW Talks: Themes include Art, Design, Technology, Web, Criminal Justice, Music, Work, Economy, Explorers, Health, Education, Cities, Energy, Water, and more, at various locations including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Oriental Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and Riverfront Theatre.
  • 4 CIW Megatalks: Themes of these special evening events include Democracy: The State of Our Union, presented by JPMorgan Chase and TIME; Disruptive Innovation, presented by TIME; and the Meaning of Life.
  • Edison Talks:  Edison Talks, taking place on Friday, October 12, is an invitation-only, daylong gathering featuring an audience of 700 of the nation's leading executives, entrepreneurs, technologists, artists, innovators, and inventors.
  • 75 CIW Labs: Experiences this year include a tour of Accenture's Global Customer Innovation Network where experts will share the latest insights, technologies and strategies emerging around consumer engagement; a visit to the quality lab of Goose Island Beer Co. to learn more about the testing procedures of craft beer; an opportunity to go inside today's NASCAR with Richard Petty Driving Experience executives at Chicago's own NASCAR speedway; and many more.

Additionally, Chicago Ideas Week is also pleased to announce the following speakers:

  • Steve Case, Co-founder, AOL and Chairman, The Case Foundation
  • Richard Stengel, Managing Editor of TIME
  • Jose Andres, Award-winning Chef and Activist
  • Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Bioethicist, Department Head, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania
  • Austan Goolsbee, Former Economic Advisor for President Obama
  • David Gregory, Moderator, NBC's "Meet the Press"
  • Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California
  • Marilu Henner, Actress and Author of "Total Memory Makeover"
  • Deborah Kenny, Author, Founder and CEO, Harlem Village Academies
  • Tim Ferriss, Bestselling Author, "4-Hour Work Week"
  • Helene Gayle, President and CEO, CARE USA

"Our speaker lineup is exceptional, and we are just getting started.  From around the world, we will be bringing to Chicago leading entrepreneurs, economists, technologists, military heroes, artists, award-winning journalists, and so many more types of amazing people," said Brad Keywell, founder and co-chairman of Chicago Ideas Week. "By bringing globally recognized thought leaders to our great city, we are building a community of interested, ideas-driven people, creating events to challenge your perspective, and ultimately inspiring progress and innovation."

Chicago Ideas Week is generously supported by several integral partners, including: TIME, JPMorgan and Chase, Starcom MediaVest Group, Leo Burnett Worldwide, MSLGROUP, University of Illinois, United Airlines, Hyatt, Microsoft, McCormick Foundation, The Joyce Foundation,, Ernst & Young, Tribune Media Group, Crain's Chicago Business, NBC 5 Chicago, WBEZ91.5, Turnstone, CBRE, and Harrington College of Design. More partners will be announced soon.

For more information on the CIW Member Program, interested parties may contact us at

All tickets will go on sale in August.

For more information, please visit

About Chicago Ideas Week

Chicago Ideas Week is a premier annual gathering of global thought leaders created to drive ideas into actionable results. It is the platform for ideas, created for innovators, thinkers, doers and interested citizens from across Chicago, the greater Midwest, and the world. CIW's goal is to stimulate new initiatives and ventures, create new connections and collaborations, and establish a community of people who have the desire to achieve great things. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts:
Jessica Malkin|
Executive Director, Chicago Ideas Week

Christie Shein

SOURCE Chicago Ideas Week