Who to Watch at Chicago Ideas Week 2012: Brad Newman


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: Brad Newman.

Accolades: He's a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a law degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Why you should care: Remember in Breaking Bad (spoilers!) when the cancer-afflicted, meth-cooking Walter White teamed up with the ambulance chasing "lawyer" Saul Goodman set up some sort of proxy website that would allow them to basically run their ill-gotten funds through legal channels? The site would break down the hundreds of thousands of dollars White already got into nickel-and-dime donations to help him get the treatment he needed. Well, the good news is that Newman's site, givelocally.net, makes an arrangement like that impossible since it takes the donations and pays it directly to whomever is providing the treatment. That means it's harder to scam. Which is good.

Newman is also a self-confessed "Recovering Cynic" (emphasis is his own) who now "passionately believes in the private sector's potential to assist local communities." I'm not saying this is true about Newman, but if you feel like you've gone too far down a path and can't pull back to help your fellow brother man, the words he has to say might be inspiring and help you determine how to reverse course -- or at least spot a fork in the road and take a hard right.

When you can see him: Oct. 9, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Read more here.

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