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

Chicago Ideas Week is coming up soon (Oct 12-17—that’s only 38 days) and our Members are already well into saving their spots—and fast.

One of the most exciting perks that our Members take advantage of each year is early access to Chicago Ideas Week tickets and our always quick-selling Labs. 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.

A little over a week into the Member pre-sale and the electricity is still 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: Design a Community Engagement Plan for Your Organization with Slalom

Don’t just volunteer—engage. In this Lab, you can pick up a handful of tactile tools as you work with the experts at Slalom to put together a community engagement plan that effectively bridges between your organization and the communities it serves. Be ready to leave with a clear plan and route forward! Get tickets.

Lab: How AI Will Revolutionize the Fast Food Experience

One day, McDonald’s kiosks will be able to tell you what you want for breakfast before you know yourself. This Lab with the Marketing Store and McDonald’s will show you how. Get tickets.

Lab: Manufacturing in the Digital Age with USG

Channel your inner Bill Nye and get in the lab with the manufacturing experts at USG Chicago as we dive into how this 117-year-old company is evolving with technologies like augmented reality, drones, and building information modeling to impact the manufacturing industry. Get tickets.

Lab: An Exploration of Chicago Streetwear & Screen Printing Workshop

Nothing exemplifies Chicago’s cultural zeitgeist quite like its streetwear scene. Delta Fashion Global and Runway Addicts will give you a designer-led, behind-the-scenes tour of a streetwear installation—then hand over the reins for you to take a stab and creating a piece of your own. Get tickets.

Lab: Intro to Sustainability: The Urban Food Cycle

Your food’s footprint goes far beyond your table. This Lab will show you how to turn your urban kitchen into a sustainable space for growing, preparing, and disposing of food. Go for the greens. Get tickets.

Lab: Financial Wellness Incubation with Fintech

Financial wellness is a little different for entrepreneurs. Envestnet wants to show you how. This Lab will teach you entrepreneurial financial literacy with a mock “Start-Up Weekend,” teaching you how to keep the books balanced (and bursting) from pitch to partners. 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: A Look at Neurodiversity driving innovation at EY

A growing body of research has shown that individuals with autism, ADHD, and dyslexia, often have skills and talents that top companies crave. EY is developing a talent-driven innovation ecosystem in which neurodiverse individuals thrive and disrupt the status quo in high tech industries. Come see how. Get tickets.

Lab: Urban Farming as Community Care

This Lab is all about getting your hands dirty and tending to your heart and soul. Growing Home wants to show you how urban farming is about making more than just food—it’s about cultivating community along the way. Get tickets.

But it doesn’t end here. With more than 65 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.

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