DePaul programs take center stage at Chicago Ideas Week

David Wellman
David Wellman, director of DePaul’s Grace School of Applied Diplomacy, introduces panelists during the Chicago Ideas Week panel: "Are Borders Really the Problem?" (DePaul University/Randall Spriggs)
DePaul’s sponsorship of Chicago Ideas Week 2019 connected our community to thought leaders from around the world and gave dozens of faculty, staff and students a front row seat to topics and conversations that are important to them. The sponsorship also provided an opportunity to showcase the School of Cinematic Arts’ unique program offerings at Cinespace Chicago and connected the new Grace School of Applied Diplomacy to an important conversation on border security and the refugee crisis.

Organized by the nonprofit Chicago Ideas, the week of programming is billed as "the world's most accessible ideas festival" for its nominal cost to attend. Each year, Chicago Ideas attracts nearly 30,000 attendees and 200 speakers who are engaged and passionate about the future of Chicago. Each of the 150 events that happened Oct. 12-17, provided a platform to educate, inspire creativity and allow for new ideas to be discovered.

Approximately 150 students and 60 faculty and staff used DePaul’s 15 percent-off discount to attend Chicago Ideas events with influential speakers such as Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, author JD Vance, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow, actress Jessica Lange, journalist Gretchen Carlson and many more. In addition, faculty, staff and students also attended events through ticket giveaways organized by Student Affairs and University Marketing and Communications.

On Monday morning, DePaul hosted a sold-out Chicago Ideas Week lab – a unique behind-the-scenes experience – at Cinespace Chicago to showcase the exclusive program offerings the School of Cinematic Arts offers its students through the alliance with the film studio. David Miller, dean of the College of Computing and Digital Media, welcomed attendees with background about the university’s partnership with Cinespace and how the programs have grown exponentially over the years. Afterward, the attendees embarked on a tour of DePaul’s stages and sets led by John Corba, director of DePaul’s Cinespace Studios. With the help of students and faculty, attendees learned about the various aspects of a set, how to capture the perfect angle on camera and the importance of lighting. They also participated as actors in a scene and as part of the crew.

Later that day, DePaul sponsored a Chicago Ideas panel discussion on the refugee crisis titled “Are borders really the problem?” In introducing the panel, David Wellman, director of the new Grace School of Applied Diplomacy, explained how diplomacy plays an important part in the conversation and reaffirmed the university’s commitment to preparing students to build bridges across multiple borders, both real and perceived. The panel featured Harvard Law professor Martha Minow; Pulitzer Prize-Winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas; New York Times White House correspondent Michael Shear; New York Times Congressional correspondent Julie Hirschfeld Davis; Sidley senior counselor Newton Minow; and Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith as moderator.  

Although Chicago Ideas Week ended on Thursday, the nonprofit hosts events throughout the year. Check the Chicago Ideas website​ to sign up for updates. 

View a photo gallery of the lab and stage program.​