Who to Watch at Chicago Ideas Week: Henry Bienen

There's a lot to wrap your mind around with the approaching Chicago Ideas Week, and we're helping with series of speaker profiles designed to highlight the benefit to you.

In this profile: Henry Bienen

Accolades: Bienen is the president emeritus of Northwestern University, and in that post was one of the first three university presidents awarded the Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award for innovative leadership in higher education.

Why you should care: So what does the president of Northwestern have to do with running your own business? Admittedly, on the surface, it might seem like not much, but increasingly one of the ways to combat the stagnating economy has been to introduce programs that better connect today's youth with the tools and contacts necessary to take those first brave steps into entrepreneurship. (Just this week, the Chicago Urban League launched one such program.) One of the reasons we're in this big old mess to begin with is because this country stopped manufacturing stuff on as big a scale -- if anyone knows how to help get the next generation onboard for reversing course, it'd be Bienen. He's been with Northwestern, an unassailable and renowned institution, since 1994 and undeniably has a unique insight into reaching the minds of today's texting, sexting, planking, and otherwise easily distractible youth. If that's something integral to your future plans, hearing what Bienen has to say is a no-brainer.

When you can see him: October 12, Venue Six Ten at the Spertus Center, 6:45 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Check out the full list of speakers and register for passes on the Chicago Ideas Week website at ChicagoIdeas.com.

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