The 5 Most Memorable Quotes from Chicago Ideas on Monday

Chicago Ideas Week got into an inspiring start on Monday. Whether it was connecting with people on the other side of the world via our “Portals” exhibit or digging into some of the world’s most universally pressing challenges, the day was filled with events and ideas that are sure to spark action. The day was filled with amazing Talks, Conversations and Labs—here are the five most memorable quotes we heard from all of them.

“Really? I can just walk in there?”


A man walking by the “Portals” exhibit in Daley Plaza on Monday morning was taken aback at the fact that could connect with teenagers in Gaza City in a full body, live conversation.

“This is quite a day to be having this conversation”


Chicago Ideas Week’s opening on-stage program, After the Arab Spring: The United States’ Middle East Strategy & What’s Next could hardly have come at a better time. The Conversation’s host Rachel Bronson pointed out Iraqi forces began marching on Mosul on Monday, which has become a stronghold for ISIS.

“At the turn of the century, Chicago was the center for bicycle innovation in the United States. There were 30 to 40 bike manufacturers in the West Loop alone.”


Tim Smith, Vice President of Engineering & Design at SRAM, pointed out that the company’s new headquarters (designed be renowned architecture firm Perkins + Will) has more than a century of history behind it. Situated at 1000 W. Fulton Market, it’s carrying on a long tradition of bicycle manufacturing in Chicago while ushering in a level of innovation that the world has never seen.

“Every advancement in technology is both an opportunity for the bad guys and for the good guys.”


At the Future of National Security Conversation, Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell pointed out the never-ending struggle for U.S. intelligence organizations to keep the country safe from cyberterrorism.

“I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me that I’m an American.”

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17: Questioning everything in life is an innate part of the human condition. Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder & CEO, Define American, has devoted his life to elevating the discussion around some of the most universally pressing challenges. He was interviewed by Anne-Marie Slaughter at the Cadillac Palace Theatre (Photo by Lois Bernstein/Chicago Ideas Week).

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas dug into what truly defines American and looked into the barriers that will continue to be broken at Monday night’s marquee Life’s Big Questions Talk.

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