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Who to Watch at Chicago Ideas Week 2012: Taryn Davis

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There's a lot to wrap your mind around with the approaching Chicago Ideas Week, the weeklong invasion of super-smart and super-influential folks taking place at venues all over town from Oct. 8 to 14.

We're helping with a series of speaker profiles designed to highlight the speakers who will benefit you, the sexy Chicago entrepreneur. There are just over 100-plus speakers announced so far, and more to come.

In this profile: Taryn Davis.

Accolades: Davis was named one of Newsweek's "150 Women Who Shake the World,"a top 10 CNN Hero, L'Oreal's National Woman of Worth and a recipient of VH1's Do Something Award.

Why you should care: She got a Do Something Award because the something she did was extremely admirable. At 21, she lost her husband, who was serving in the military. She turned her grieving into an opportunity to found the American Widow Project, a non-profit organization "dedicated to providing military widows with the opportunity to heal together." The organization has also yielded a documentary.

Basically, the takeaway here is the reminder that the things that happen to you are universals. You aren't the only one with that set of circumstances, so, if you choose to do so, you could help unite others and forge a community. Is that something you want to do?

When you can see her: Oct. 8, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Albert Theatre at Goodman Theatre.

Read more here.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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