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Top 10 Labs During Chicago Ideas Week (According to Our Members)

By Kevin Beerman / September 4, 2019

Chicago Ideas Week is coming up soon (Oct 12-17) and our community is already well into saving their spots—and fast.

Always a fast-selling part of the Chicago Ideas Week experience, Labs are an opportunity for our community go behind the scenes in hands-on experiences with some of the world’s most innovative brands and organizations, right here in Chicago. And with more than 60 different Labs this year, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

The best part? These experiences are exclusive and intimate, with attendance to most capped at around 30 guests.

With just over a  week until Chicago Ideas Week, the electricity is in the air. The verdict is in and our Members have spoken (read: purchased). These are the 10 top-selling Labs—that you can still get in on—at Chicago Ideas Week this year:

Lab: Designing Supertall Wood Buildings with Perkins and Will

When you think of skyscrapers, you probably think steel, glass, sleek modern lines gleaming against the blue Chicago sky. You probably do not think: wood. In this Lab, Perkins and Will will show you how they’re building the tallest wood structure in the world, an 80-story tall skyscraper on the banks of the Chicago River. Get tickets.

Lab: Come as You Are, Move as You Are

Learn some new choreography and create your own unique dance phrasing through a series of prompts that will show you the power of moment to affect your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Get tickets.

Lab: Urban Ecology Experience with Sweet Water Foundation

Revitalizing a neighborhood is community work. Roll up your sleeves in this Lab that will show you a range of skills, from carpentry to art-making, that bring essential components of vibrant community health to life. Get tickets.

Family Lab: Explore “Luna” at the Filament Theatre

Bring the whole family out to this backstage experience with the Filament Theatre. In addition to seeing their acclaimed production of “Luna,” a magical play about a girl who befriends the moon, you’ll get to do some special activities with the cast and crew before the show. Get tickets.

Lab: Reviving the Culture Through Creative Sips

How do you navigate the creative world of Chicago as a creative of color? It’s all about know how to build and grow your network. Join us for a drink and find out how. Get tickets.

Lab: Improve School Attendance through the Care Counts™ laundry program by Whirlpool

One in five kids miss school due to unstable access to clean clothes. Immerse yourself in this Lab that will take you into a special World of Whirlpool creative space to see how you can create your own productive solutions to this unseen problem. Get tickets.

Lab: ‘A Shot Worth Taking’ Elevator Pitch with Hornitos® Tequila

Want to help bring someone’s entrepreneurial dream to life? In this lively pitch fest, three hopeful entrepreneurs will put their dreams on the line before a live audience that will help decide who gets a $10,000 grant to bring their business dreams to life. Get tickets.

Lab: Rio Tinto Tech Playground with EX3 Labs

Everything in your life is probably mined in some way. Go beneath the surface of one of the oldest industries in the world to see how Rio Tinto and EX3 Labs are designing the technologies that will take mining to the next level and keep everything in your house—from your iPhone to your coffeemaker—up and running. Get tickets.

Lab: Record a PSA for Your Organization

Your organization has an important message for the world—you just have to tell them about it. This experience will teach you how to hone in on your message, show you have to make it resonate with the public, and then help you record it. You even get to take a digital copy with you when it’s over. Get tickets.

Lab: From (Urban) Farm to Table with Gary Comer Youth Center

How does one small farm on the South Side grow more than 23,000 pounds of produce every year? Come see the thriving urban farming community in Greater Grand Crossing while you learn how to make farm to table a reality in your own backyard. Get tickets.

But it doesn’t end here. With more than 60 Labs during our annual festival, there are plenty to choose from. Go explore the schedule to find the right experience for you. From community engagement and high-tech manufacturing to financial wellness and photography, there’s something for the learner in everyone.

Go catch your idea.