At 30,000 attendees, this year’s Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) is definitely one of the largest ideas festivals in the world. The October conference featured more than 150 events on everything from advertising to tech, startups, innovation, comedy, policing, refugees, and more. As a Chicago digital agency, we were interested in what presenters had to say about startups and the digital sector. Here are our favorite moments and takeaways on tech, the ad world, and general inspiration advice for the businesses and creatives out there as told through Twitter.
CIW on Tech
There’s two sides to everything, even tech, explained former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morell at a panel on the future of national security. A good thing to keep in mind as we use new tech to serve our clients.
Another panel asked, “as artificial intelligence continues to become more of a reality, what’s at stake for humanity?”
Adam Waytz, a professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, broke it down for us:
Ayanna Howard, a professor at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, spoke about the machines and us, saying:
Artist and roboticist Alexander Reben brought things full circle:
CIW on Advertising
The next panel that caught our eye was Advertising in Action. Britt Nolan, US Chief Creative Officer at Leo Burnett, on breaking through the noise:
Nolan also had advice on relevance versus awareness.
Panelist Krishna Subramanian, co-founder of Cativ8 and Team in Residence, illuminated on how to get more from your influencers.
Furthermore, don’t forget your influencers are supposed to be creative experts.
Panelist Khaleed Juma, creative director for Mosaic, talked about advertising ambition and he didn’t hold back:
Juma was speaking about a formative experience:
In the end, a lot of the success comes down to teamwork:
One of the coolest parts of CIW was Ink Factory Studio’s on the fly infographics of CIW event discussions. They looked like this:
Another advertising-focused event, the Future of Storytelling, looked at how storytellers are pushing boundaries like never before.
Gabriel Lifton-Zoline, chief operating officer for RYOT:
Eli Horowitz, a digital publishing specialist and author, emphasized that medium matters:
Horowitz really takes this idea outside the box in a refreshing way:
Don Hahn is a filmmaker, but we found his advice particularly compelling for the ad world:
CIW on Inspiration
This being a meeting of some of the best minds in every discipline, we found great inspiration everywhere we turned.
Best-selling author and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Graham Moore inspired us at the Unlocking Genius talk with this thought:
and this one, too:
We should all get out of our comfort zone more often, said the Creativity at Work panel.
Panelist Charles Duhigg, a reporter for the New York Times and author of Smarter, Faster, Better, touched on mindset:
Sam Zell, founder and chairman of Equity Group Investments and Equity International, spoke at the entrepreneurship panel:
Later, things got deep for Dan Evans, co-founder of Electronic Arts:
and even reached a turning point with Bethenny Frankel, founder and CEO of Skinnygirl: