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Who to see at Chicago Ideas Week this fall

A summit at Chicago Ideas Week.
Photograph: Sarah Jane Rhee A summit at Chicago Ideas Week.

It’s fall in Chicago, which means our city is flooded with geniuses for a week. That’s right: Chicago Ideas Week is back, from October 17–22, in a handful of venues all over downtown. The full lineup was announced this week, and we’re already excited. Chicago Ideas Week 2016 boasts a lineup of dozens of brilliant minds from all walks of life—journalists, doctors, politicians, comedians and more.

You may not be able to make every single talk at Ideas Week (or, your brain might explode if you try), but here are some of the speakers worth catching this year:

Obama’s Middle East Strategy: What’s Next?
Chicago Ideas Week kicks off with a conversation about Obama’s foreign policy strategy and dissects the question: What role should the U.S. have in the Middle East post-Obama? Journalists Leila Fadel (NPR), Robert F. Worth (New York Times) and Deb Amos (NPR) do their best to answer. (Morningstar, October 17, noon–1:15pm)

Creativity at Work
No matter what you do, no matter what your position, ingenuity and adaptability are critical to your ability to succeed. At this talk, you’ll hear that from some of the world’s most imaginative leaders—including legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield. (Cadillac Palace Theatre, October 18, 4–5:30pm)

Comedy: But Seriously…
Comedians Phoebe Robinson and Negin Farsad take a look at how and why comedy evolves, and its role as a societal influencer. These women are hilarious, but the power of comedy is no joke. (Museum of Contemporary Art, October 19, 7–8:30pm)

Humanity and Technology: What’s at Stake?
U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith and journalists Julia Angwin and Kenneth Cukier discuss concern society held for centuries, now: What’s our ethical role when it comes to technological advancement? Smith will share insights on how world leaders weigh the risks and benefits of new tech. (Cadillac Palace Theatre, October 19, noon–1:30pm)

Business in Motion: The Keys to Creating a Company That Thrives
Learn the keys to business success from masters of three very different fields: Hyatt CMO Maryam Banikarim, Wall Street powerhouse Sallie Krawcheck and Alinea owner Nick Kokonas. What’s the common thread? (Cadillac Palace Theatre, October 20, 4–5:30pm)

Edison Talks: Up to Here
This daylong event hosts 15 speakers to explore the turning points within chaotic, fearful, frustrating situations—in other words, when’s you’ve had it “Up to Here.” Speakers include LeeAnne Walters (who uncovered the Flint, Michigan water crisis) and entertainment giant Ari Emanuel. (Cadillac Palace Theatre, October 21, 10am–4:30am)

Want to see more? Check out the full lineup here

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