It’s been a few months since I’ve moved to Chicago and started Grad School at IIT, and I recently had the most wonderful opportunity to attend the ThinkChicago 2015 event in conjunction with Chicago Ideas Week. Two and a half days packed full of information and fun, it was an experience that I will definitely look back on and smile. To keep this super short, here are some of my key events/takeaways:
- I am by definition an “Accidental Techie”. I can’t express in words how hard the term just stuck to me after Justin Massa from IDEO spoke about it. I also cannot get over how brilliant the idea behind Food Genius is. I am not sure how to even comprehend how awesome this bringing together of Analytics and Food is.
- My absolute favorite event was the Genius: A Peek Inside the World’s Most Brilliant Minds that was held on Thursday night at Cadillac Palace. Dr. Philip Zimbardo is an inspiration and I was blown away to learn about his philosophies and Robert Fischell’s. I was especially mind-blown by Emily Bear’s beautiful opening composition and the fact that she’s only 14 years old!!
- Merchandise Mart is probably one of the largest buildings I’ve ever been in, and I had no idea about it’s existence in Chicago prior to ThinkChicago. It’s also one of the most beautiful buildings, and it houses some amazing companies, not all of which I had the opportunity to visit over the weekend, sadly.
- Jimmy Odom happens to be one of the coolest and down-to-earth people I’ve ever witnessed. Something that he said stuck with me; “If someone thinks you are an idiot, that doesn’t make you an idiot. You shouldn’t have to care about what other people think, that’s their problem and they are the ones who have to sleep knowing that”. That’s probably obvious to most people, but it’s definitely nice to be reminded sometimes.
- The Chicago Public Library is kind of out of this world. I think it’s come a long way and it’s crazy to think about how well they have incorporated technology into their system to keep up with everyone else
- There was only one team selected as the winner for the Tech Challenge (great job guys!), but I thought everyone’s ideas were amazing. Props to the winning team that developed a test version for your app though!
- I met some awesome awesome people and it felt so great to spend an entire weekend with people from different walks of life and who are so ridiculously brilliant. If given the chance, I’d waste no time contemplating and attend the event all over again 🙂
After being mentally compromised for the past week doing other things, it’s time to get back to focusing on school. Wish me luck as I attempt to take on this crazy work load!