Sparking Ideas with Chicago Ideas Week

How do you keep your creative edge sharp? Maybe you take a creative writing class or attend a marketing seminar. Maybe you find unique ways to give back to your community or attend talks by motivational speakers. The answer for Kindle, and many other Chicago creatives, is all the above and more. Luckily, there is one week each year that we can experience it all at once—Chicago Ideas Week.

Kindlers scattered across Chicago not only to engage in our industry, but in our city. How often do we have a Creative Director learning the ins and outs of print pieces and darkroom development at Printlab in Humboldt Park? When else can a Producer find the time to develop partnerships with an up-and-coming pharmaceutical company at the MATTER offices in the Merchandise Mart? This parallel is what keeps us innovative—continually learning from each other’s experiences, and that’s what makes events like Chicago Ideas Week so valuable.

Take a local workshop for example—Customer Obsession and Mobile Innovation with the Marketing Store, a global customer engagement agency located in the Loop. This workshop covered a key valued topic within Kindle, presented to us by a renowned customer engagement agency. We sent Kindlers in as the audience to experience tangible engagement including hands-on design work, timed problem-solving, and breaking down customer personas with fellow attendees. These are practices we are consistently innovating and bringing to our clients, and we were given the opportunity to grasp new creative ways of executing these tactics.

After countless workshops, lectures, and labs, the week culminated with Ideas Day—an 8-hour lineup of speakers including local CEOs, Senior Writers at Rolling Stone, Community Leaders, Emmy Winning Producers, and even a US Senator. The content centered around the notion “Tomorrow Can Change If We Act Today.” The speakers touched on how to initiate this change and how to manage the fear associated with it. A common thread heard by the audience was perceived risk vs. actual risk—most fears can be rationalized as merely a perceived risk. The actual risk associated with your fear is usually non-existent. This idea shows us how important it is to be prepared for your fears. Rather than suppressing fear, we need to communicate it and recognize how best to overcome each concern. This idea resonates within Kindle. How are we balancing risking too much and too little? Are we communicating our fears and learning from our failures? These questions are essential pillars for growth and success, and can be weaved into every experience we had at Chicago Ideas Week.

So, when we are asked—how do you keep your creative edge sharp? In a city like Chicago, the answer can be found all around us. Chicago Ideas Week provides the platform for innovative conversations, experiences and partnerships, but is really just the beginning, a jumping off point. Now becomes the time to put that innovation into action. Getting the most out of this week sparks our innovation, what are you doing to spark yours?