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Chicago Ideas Week – Death of Conversation

October 12, 2011

Inspiration from ChicagoChicago Ideas Week (CIW) has consolidated some of the brightest minds in America into our wonderful city on the shores of Lake Michigan. And these are not simply the smartest people, but also passionate people who have devoted their lives to making our world a happier place. I’ve been to 4 events so far and have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. I’ve received advice, ideas, and goosebumps from the most innovative people in their respective fields. I shook hands and had conversations with world renowned photographers, entrepreneurs, and documentarians…and it’s only Wednesday. This experience has been slightly bitter sweet though.

Handshakes only last a second. Conversations during CIW last from seconds to minutes but, for every one, there’s the moment it ends. One minute I’m having a productive, inspiring, and collaborative conversation about increasing happiness on our planet, the next minute I’m standing alone thinking, “Where do I go from here?”

Chicago Ideas WeekFor about 72 seconds Ami Vitale was sharing a story with me about the potential of the human spirit (I rarely find someone interested in this topic); if I didn’t know any better, days, months, or years could have gone by. I was lost in the moment, a moment of conversation which found death as one of her other fans stepped in.

Although I feel a little melancholy, I will not mourn the death of that moment, I will celebrate its life. I will learn from my experience, harvest the inspiration, and make a difference. Someday I will be the Ami Vitale or Justin Dillon of the event. This is the power of Chicago Ideas Week.

Thank you to the innovators I spoke with this week so far:

Ami Vitale (@amivee), you are one of a kind, a true role model. You remind me of the Dalai Lama.

Scott Harrison (@ScottHarrison) and his life changing non-profit which brings fresh water to millions of people around the world (Charity:Water).

Walter (a Dialogue Facilitator) and Saya (Mac & Cheese Productions) from the Social Entrepreneurship talk.

Cobe Williams (@CobeWilliams) from CeaseFire.

Fisher Stevens, I told you about my idea for a documentary, you took my business card, we’ll see if I sold you, but thanks for flattering me.

Hannah, the art student I met on the El ride home tonight, who engaged me in a conversation about identifying sources of unhappiness.

Pat, the woman sitting next to me at the Film talk (she told me she liked me, thanks Pat!).

Thank you all, can’t wait till tomorrow. And don’t forget, letUbeU!

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