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Chicago Ideas Week 2012: Living the iGeneration Today and Beyond

For one week each October, Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) brings together some of the world’s most prolific speakers to share their entrepreneurial perspectives and inspire the innovations of tomorrow at more than 130 talks, lab sessions and tours across the city of Chicago. Through the melding of artists, engineers, technologists, inventors, scientists, musicians, economists, intrapreneurs and other passionate explorers, CIW aims to be the platform for sharing big ideas and making big things happen.

Chicago Ideas Week 2012 took place from the 8th to the 14th of October

It was my first year attending CIW events and my experience was in a word – spectacular.  The quality of the sessions, the people that I crossed paths and rolled up my collaboration sleeves with made for one of the most enriching weeks I’ve spent in the Windy City since transplanting here a little over two years ago.  After 4 labs, 3 talks and 2 tours I walked away with a broader sense of the entrepreneurial movement that has been building across our nation and larger world.  We are now living in the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) economy, where the skills, communication, investment and technology platforms are readily accessible to create and explore new business models in ways yet to be imagined.  If the 20th century was largely driven by the Information Age with the meGeneration, then I expect that the next 100 years will be defined by the iGeneration, taking us into what I would call the Collaboration Age – which will be characterized by patterns of crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, coworking and connected enterprises.

Today we are seeing the beginnings of this shift take shape in nearly every industry – from manufacturing to retail to politics to education.  The net outcome is a completely new culture that operates on a dynamic flow of ideas and more fluid approaches for testing and morphing new concepts into practical everyday realities.  Innovation will no longer be the privilege of the few, the obscure – it has become the inheritance of the every man and woman.

For more on Chicago Ideas Week – check out my other posts from CIW 2012 plus some of the terrific graphic info-documentaries by the team from The Ink Factory – you can download them for free here.

Graphical info-documentary recording by The Ink Factory of ‘Social Entrepreneurship CIW 2012 Talk

The Ink Factory’s Big Idea Sketchbook installation – image source, Copic Marker

About Michelle Batten

Michelle Batten is a seasoned digital marketing & advertising leader. She has spent two decades in the interactive arena, working with Fortune 1000 brands + start-ups to define and execute their digital initiatives. An emerging media visionary, Michelle is currently serving as Head of Global Marketing for Mobile & Innovation Intrapreneur for Amadeus, a global travel technology company. She is also the President for the Chicago American Marketing Association. Her passions include culture + tech evolution, mentoring, experiential travel and foodspotting.

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