Chicago Ideas Week Returns For Third Year

All you need to know about the 2013 event

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Groupon and Lightbank co-founder Brad Keywell talks to Alicia Roman about Chicago Ideas Week's lineup of speakers, which ranges from astronaut Buzz Aldrin to kidnap victim and child protection advocate Elizabeth Smart to actress Kristin Davis. (Published Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013)

    Watch CIW events LIVE right here on NBCChicago.com. Click here for the full live-stream schedule.

    Chicago Ideas Week is back for the third year, and once again, it’s ready to blow your mind with incredible speakers and endless knowledge.

    The event was founded in November 2010, touting a mission “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,” according to its website. The first CIW in October 2011 was a resounding success and resulted in a zealous endorsement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It’s been with Chicago ever since.

    CIW truly is a one-of-a-kind ideas mecca. Throughout the week, attendees will be able to hear from such great minds as Malcolm Gladwell, author of "The Tipping Point," discuss life struggles and how to overcome them. Later on in the week, you can hear stories from astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Clint Hill, a former Secret Service agent who was working in JFK’s motorcade when the president was assassinated. There also are countless speakers ready to tell willing listeners about the ins and outs of business and entrepreneurship and, most importantly, how anyone can succeed.

    The best part about the CIW speakers is the wide variety of backgrounds they come from. There is a speaker for everyone for audiences to get something out of everything. CIW is that good.

    If talks aren’t your thing, never fear. CIW offers a multitude of master classes and labs to attend. Do you want to bike around the city with Emanuel? CIW has you covered. Would it benefit you to learn how to turn business jargon into marketing communication? Check out Jellyvision for one of CIW’s many business-driven labs. CIW isn’t just for people over 30, either. Young adults looking to learn about business can attend the Vosges Haut Chocolate Lab to do just that…oh, and they’ll be able to make their own truffle, too.

    Another perk of CIW is how available it is to the general public. Unlike other events of this nature, you don't have to pay gobs of money or wait for an invitation. If you see an event you like, pay $15, and you're in. Just make sure to snag tickets to the big events early.

    This year’s CIW kicks off Oct. 14 and runs through Oct. 20. Events each day start as early as 7:30 a.m. and go as late as 10 p.m. Locations vary depending on the event, but some of the more popular locations include the Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cadillac Palace Theatre and Morningstar. If an event is being run by a specific company, it’ll most likely take place at its store or business location. The actual CIW headquarters will be located at 401 N. Michigan, but there are only a handful of events happening there.

    If you can’t afford a $15 ticket or want to see so many events that paying for all of them would bruise your credit card, keep an eye on the NBC5 website. We will exclusively stream events throughout the week.

    Moral of the story: CIW is well worth it. Whether you attend a talk or watch it online from the comfort of your own home, you will come away with fresh ideas and a brand new sense of community.