May 20, 2014 Riana

Joining the Chicago Ideas Week Co-Op

As a part of the 2014 Co-Op Class for Chicago Ideas Week I have the opportunity to share my journey and ideas on how to make Chicago a better city on the world stage. It is exciting to bring diversity in ideas and roots to such an amazing group.


The CIW Co-op

28What is the Co-op?

The Co-op is a group of highly motivated, community-driven individuals breaking down silos and sparking connections across Chicago. Aligned with CIW’s mission of nurturing great ideas and bolstering actionable initiatives, the Co-op is our distinctive community, our collection of great ambitions, profound ideas and stellar relationships.

CIW is saying goodbye to the old days of networking by designing unique experiences and conversations that lead to deeper, more meaningful dialogue and action within the city of Chicago. This is the new-age social chamber of commerce – where nonprofits meet tech junkies, artists meet business leaders and North Side meets South Side. Bottom line, this is a social ecosystem of deeply driven, boldly active individuals coming together to make things happen.

Our Mission

To be a social chamber of commerce made up of motivated, diverse leaders designed to create a better connected, more activated Chicago.

CIW Co-op Member Benefits:

  • Access to support system of 75 leading Chicago individuals in nonprofit, government, business, arts, tech and much more.
  • Invites to three (3) core Co-op events, as well as opportunities for select invites to supplementary group meet-ups and intimate gatherings throughout the year.
  • Opportunity to attend intimate events throughout the year. Featuring a small group of Co-op members, micro events are programmed by CIW or a host member and surround a topic or activity related to his/her work.
  • Invitations to VIP events during CIW, including the Edison Talks
  • Early access to CIW ticket registration and discounted tickets
  • Showcases the organization’s commitment to furthering the culture of ideas and innovation in Chicago.
  • Social capital derived from association with the strong presence of CIW, as well as connections made within the highly diverse program.
  • CIW Lab hosting opportunities


  • 75 members
  • Diverse collection of local leaders, business pros, innovators and social pioneers
  • Handpicked by CIW team to ensure mutual benefit and variation: Members have many backgrounds, skills, experiences and ideas to share with a new group
  • Collective desire to be engaged in the local community
  • Collective interest in being involved in CIW at a deeper level through attendance, support and (potential) supplementary program hosting
  • Collectively challenges the status quo related to their own ventures and driven to use connections and platform to better serve the community in innovative, creative and collaborative ways

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