Brain Expansion

In order to learn more about the future careers, which will continue to be impossible to predict, I participated in an extraordinary learning opportunity that left me feeling a strange new sensation that I am calling brain expansion. Brain expansion is the sense that no matter what age you are, your mind can grow to hold new concepts and expand by letting go of old ideas that no longer serve you. I do not necessarily feel smarter than I was I week ago, but I do feel more connected, informed and hopeful.

The event was Chicago Ideas Week (#ciw) , seven days of networking happenings, talks and labs where anyone with $15 to spare per event could access thought leaders from a variety of disciplines on any topic you can imagine or maybe, never imagined.

At first, I looked at the ciw site and could not choose because I was overwhelmed. It took me several visits over a span of two weeks to choose five events that I wove into my work schedule. I was beyond impressed and next year, I will devote my entire schedule for the week to ciw. Here are the events I attended and a my main take-a-ways that include resources you may want to check out for your own curiosity and development:

Tech: Change is the Constant, Presented by Microsoft: Inventions from the Jetsons are now reality. Jetpacks will be commercially available for a mere 100K next year and if your child is playing football or another contact sport, soon, his or her mouth guard will also be a real-time brain scanning device to monitor and prevent brain injuries.

Democracy: State of Our Union, Presented by TIME: Cities are now the hot bed of political change because they are more flexible and closer to their constituency than our federal representatives. Of course, I have may have been a political victim of the very charming and bipartisan panel led by David Gregory Moderator, “Meet the Press”:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel ,City of Chicago, Mayor Annise Parker City of Houston, Mayor Acquanetta Warren, City of Fontana and Mayor Michael Nutter, City of Philadelphia.

Art: How It Moves:  The integration of Art and Technology is rapidly transforming our world for the better.  PLEASE, check out: Naomi Natale Founder & Director, One Million Bones, Carter Cleveland Founder & CEO, and Phil Hansen Multimedia Artist.

Mrs. Judd’s Games: Children, Technology & Innovation: If you have the strong and diverse team of about 10 people, you can take an idea for a game app, develop it, and release it in six weeks. In this lab, we got to see and hear the story of a one year old start-up housed at 1871, that translates smart developmental learning for 2-7 year olds into game apps for the ipad.

Education: New School, Presented by Chicago Tribune If we are going to fix our education system we need to embrace and update old practical ideas that still work like meaningful high school internships.

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