Chicago Ideas Week 2011: MUDD TV Next Episode

 Lights, camera, and the co-founder of Groupon? That’s right. Mudd TV’s next episode will showcase interviews with VIPs from Chicago Ideas Week—among them, the conference’s founder, Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell.

This past Monday night the Mudd Team and I were super pumped to be at the Ford Center Oriental Theatre when Chicago Ideas Week kicked off the first Megatalk of the week.

Before the event, the Mudd team in Chicago stationed ourselves behind ticket readers to make sure every one of 1500 event attendees received a free Square in a Mudd Advertising bag.  The responses from attendees ranged from, “Oh, cool! They’re Squares!” to “What is it?” and “Do I need this?”

“It’s a Square!” we’d reply. “You can take credit cards on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.”

The thin white plastic attachment, measuring just one-square inch across in each direction, is easy to use and great for small businesses. In other words, it’s great for the people who come up with the ideas that change the world—the people attending this conference and the IDEA Award winners that the conference honored on Monday night.

Once the last of the late-comers had filed in the doors and up to the balcony, fellow Mudd veteran, Ron Armour and I snuck up to the red velvet balcony. Moderator Thomas Friedman has just begun a rallying discussion with Rahm Emmanuel, Michael Bloomberg, and Kasim Reed. Speaking to local and federal issues such as the decentralization of power, and—perhaps more importantly—of funding, Bloomberg and Emmanuel showed a similar knack for answering loaded questions with a tactful amount of substance—but never too much.  Kasim Reed, who’s much less popular in his own city of Atlanta than either Bloomberg or Emmanuel is within their respective constituencies, charmed the Chicago audience with his straight answers and calm cool.

After the event, Mudd TV captured reactions from the crowd and visions from the visionaries themselves. We were so grateful to be at Chicago Ideas Week in such a grand venue with a lineup of truly spectacular people. When I pictured moving into Chicago to work for a mid-size marketing firm, this was the grandeur I had only dreamed of. TIME Magazine on one side of the event and us on the other. To see interviews with some of the most innovative minds in the US today, check back soon for the release of the next Mudd TV episode!

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