While usually a fall event, Chicago Ideas is following in the footsteps of many summer Chicago events and festivals and moving Chicago Ideas Week into a virtual space for 2020. The festival will be easily accessible to anyone with a working internet connection. The festival will run in its virtual space from October 26th to October 30th later this fall.
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Chicago Ideas is a nonprofit platform engineered to inspire and motivate people to action through entertainment, accessible events, grassroots initiatives, and content that opens up the mind to curiosity. The idea is that cross-industry connectivity and collaboration across social boundaries will be the spark to ignite ideas into true action.
2020 marks the 10-year anniversary for the flagship festival and despite the change of going virtual, Brad Keywell, CEO of Uptake and founder of Chicago Ideas, said the following in regards to the virtual pivot: “We’re excited to evolve our format this year to meet our current needs, but also achieve a goal we’ve been working towards these past 10 years of expanding our reach to truly be an ideas platform for everyone.”
In addition to that, Keywell finds the switch to a virtual festival more in line with the overall goal of Chicago Ideas. “Ideas are meant to travel. By going virtual, we’re propelling the innovative thinking, empowering conversations, and personal connections well beyond our city to reach more curious people than we ever have before.”
The list of speakers featured for events for the year is available on their website, with some notable names being Grammy-winning artist Alicia Keys, best-selling authors Paris Rosenthal and Sam Irby, and Val Warner, the Emmy Award-winning host of Windy City LIVE. The stacked list comes as no surprise, given that past speakers have included Jonathan Van Ness, Alec Baldwin, George Lucas, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Lene Waithe, Taraji P. Henson, and a whole host of other amazing speakers. With the festival moving online and the current state of Chicago in flux, many events have been postponed or will be altered. The list of speakers for Ideas Week will be released in full in the fall.
While the official schedule and further details on how the mode of access to the festival will be released in the fall, Chicago Ideas has a free virtual event coming up on Wednesday, July 1st titled “The New Normal—Be Our Guest: Reviving Tourism in Chicago,” which will feature a conversation from “Chicago’s tourism and hospitality industries to examine how COVID-19 will impact the stream of visitors into the city.” This event will hopefully give newcomers and veterans alike a chance to feel out what a whole virtual Chicago Ideas Week could feel like.
Have you attended Chicago Ideas Week before? Do you prefer it going virtual? We’d love to know about your experience; let us know in the comments below!
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Featured Image Credit: Chicago Ideas Twitter Page