What If Chicago could get illegal guns off the streets?

October 8, 2012 (CHICAGO)

@WhatIfChicago, falls in conjunction with Chicago Ideas Week, an event that focuses on the "sharing of ideas, inspiring action, and igniting change to positively impact our world," chicagoideas.com. Through the Twitter experiment, the city is gathering ideas from residents to be discussed Thursday by an expert panel.

@WhatIfChicago is already getting Twitter response, including

  • @VanguardArmnt: #WhatIfChicago As Dr. Malek, my economics teacher once said to me, "By increasing the amount of legal carry, you increase the cost of crime"
  • @MarxMarks: #whatifchicago legalized marijuana? Half the drug trade would vanish. @whatifchicago
  • ?@VigintiSeptem: #WhatIfChicago became a center for interfaith worship to counteract the segregation of our communities?

Read more suggestions and submit your own ideas at https://twitter.com/WhatIfChicago

These and other ideas will be brought before the panel of Frank Main, reporter; Michael Skolnik, globalgrind.com; Garry McCarthy, CPD superintendent; Annette Nance-Holt, Chicago Fire Department; Nina Vinik, Joyce Foundation; and David Hemenway, Harvard School of Public Health.

The goal is to bring different people together to inspire action and ignite change.

What have become some recognizable Chicago sites in Millennium Park began with an idea to do something with the space east of Michigan Avenue over the rail yard that would change the image of Chicago.

"This was going to be something new and different. You had to be confident. I knew this was going to be something special," said former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Daley led a tour of the park Monday for some participants of Ideas Week. The conference brings together people from many disciplines to encourage innovation and problem solving.

"They range from social entrepreneurship, where we are today, to democracy, to criminal justice, to water, to music, to creative process, to health, to fashion. We really try to focus every single focus area," said Jessica Malkin, Ideas Week.

Step into Cave 2 at UIC, a 3-D environment created by students and faculty helps solve complicated problems for businesses.

"A visualization environment like this allows you to use your brain power to its maximum capacity," said Jason Leigh, UIC computer scientist.

Some big brainstorming is expected on healthcare.

"Putting minds together to think about what you might do creatively and innovatively around healthcare. I think is a really interesting thing to come out of Chicago," said Michael Brady, medical and technology consultant.

And Ideas Week is highlighting social media problem solving, like the What If Chicago experiment to address illegal guns in the city that will include a panel discussion:

"Ideas don't just come from the top or come from people who can afford to be at the table," said Malkin.

"I hope there's a really good mix of people mothers and fathers and I hope that there are young people there, too," said Lynn Furge, digital media creative director.

In other activities featured as part of the start of Ideas Week, Colin Powell joined Tom Brokaw and Time Magazine's political editors Monday to discuss the effectiveness of democracy on a local level.

Elle Macpherson and Edward Norton are among the presenters for future talks.

For more information visit https://twitter.com/WhatIfChicago

Chicago Ideas Week schedule, talks:

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