Leader Michele Weldon at Chicago Ideas Week

Michele Weldon and her CIW friends

Michele Weldon and her CIW friends

More than 100 interactive labs. More than 200 speakers. Scores of smaller dining events. A sold out lab for The OpEd Project for 50 participants. All of it added up to one week of high energy, innovation, and sparks of collaboration that was Chicago Ideas Week, Oct. 14-20.

At The OpEd Project’s hour-and-half interactive session during Chicago Ideas Week, a group that included lawyers, roller derby competitors, trainers, entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, and social media brand specialists played games and jumped into highly energetic discussions around credibility, expertise, relevance, and thought leadership.

Michele Weldon, professor emerita in service at the Medill School at Northwestern University and senior leader with The OpEd Project, walked the group through discussions about the lack of inclusion of diverse voices in media and the cost to society.

Participants arrived early and stayed late at Medill’s Chicago newsroom, where The OpEd Project core seminars are held quarterly.

One of the participants expressed her appreciation in an email:

“I left stoked to get started on my journey as a thought leader. I especially appreciated your encouragement to own my status as an expert or  resource through the exercise. But the way you put things in terms of integrity really drove home the importance of getting my ideas out in the world and has inspired me to expand my audience beyond the usual suspects.”



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