CIW’s Chris Taylor Shares the Events That Put CIW at the Top of Our Game

In The CIW 5, we ask you to tell us the five CIW events that blew your mind. Today’s subject: CIW Intern Chris Taylor, who couldn’t get enough of the probing, complex Conversations we put on stage this year.

1. The Conversation You Skipped Work to See (Well, Sort of)
Chris Taylor_edited

Chris Taylor is ready to start his own business, after CIW’s Top of Their Game: Entrepreneurs & Their Startup Stories and Executives Uncensored.

Heroin: A National Epidemic
I can’t say I exactly skipped work. Took a break? OK. Either way I’m glad I was able to be a part of the dynamic conversation about the effects of heroin and what our country is doing and not doing to address the issue. By far, the most engaging Conversation I saw. Passion flared among the panelists and the audience over solutions and methods for tackling the increase in heroin abuses. We all left this Conversation more informed and inspired to do something about drug abuse.

2. The Evening Talk You Invited All of Your Friends To

Top of Their Game: Entrepreneurs & Their Startup Stories
What an awesome opportunity to hear from so many business leaders that are trailblazers in their fields. Kay Koplovitz talked about building her media business before media was global and ready for cable. Her most inspiring anecdotes were about the work she’s done to support budding entrepreneurs and give them the opportunity to grow their businesses. Each of these speakers inspired us all to be innovative.

3. The Conversation You Were Glad You Participated In

The State of Mental Health in America
It was thrilling to hear from Cook County Corrections’ Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia. Her insight on our criminal justice system and the apparent need for early interventions to treat mental illness helped influence the conversation. Patrick Kennedy’s passionate call to action motivated me and others in the audience to join the voices of those willing to demand equitable health care treatment plans for those with mental illnesses.

4. The Speaker Whose Ideas Absolutely Fascinate You

Marc Lamont Hill brings a passion and intellect to politics and social justice that is unrivaled in popular culture. His ability to splice rhetoric from fact and engage in meaningful dialogue always brings clarity to my own thinking, even when we don’t agree. He certainly challenged Chicago with his ideas and added to several meaningful conversations on the CIW stage.

5. The Conversation That Left You Speechless

Executives Uncensored
Wow! It was fascinating to see CEOs exchange ideas with each other about their real corporate problems for all to see. I did not expect the Conversation to be so candid and for the speakers to speak in such a raw nature. Onlookers got a peek inside three very different businesses and learned the delicate nature of decision-making on both the corporate and the startup level. My major take-a-way? Transparency and open conversation with clients and customers are the keys to business success.

Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

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