Photo: Twenty20 / @chevanon

This month, the best and the brightest innovators, creators, and thought-leaders gather in the Windy City for Chicago Ideas Week, an idea-inspiring festival unlike any other,. No challenge is too great when we share our ideas with one another. This week, The Idea Forge will be covering some of the festival’s broader topics that affect not just the city of Chicago, but our country and overseas as well.

If you’re looking for a leader of innovative environmental initiatives, look no further than Chicago. From Chicago Climate Action Plan’s bold leadership to the city’s investments in energy efficiency programs and organizations, the Windy City is steadily integrating a greener lifestyle for citizens where they work, live and play.

Photo: Twenty20 / @addie2354

Photo: Twenty20 / @addie2354

Of course, creating a green, sustainable city takes a lot of hard work, cooperation and commitment from not only local government, but every individual who cares about the future of our city. Many of Chicago companies have made great efforts to provide greener alternatives for citizens and offering eco-friendly products or services. Companies like Goby Inc., SiNode Systems, Enablon, LuminAID and Invenergy have all made great strides in the green movement.

Each year we put off sustainability is another year we potentially put our environment in harm’s way for our future. This is one of the most important issues of our time, and we need all the ideas that we can get. If you want to hear some of those ideas, check out these Chicago Idea Week talks:

Behind-the-Scenes at the Chicago Botanic Garden

With 27 gardens, 385 acres, and thousands of plants, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a botanist’s utopia. For the past 44 years, the Glencoe Institution has promoted awareness for the understanding of nature, science-based education and career opportunities for both youth and adults, and more sustainable habits for future generations. On Monday, October 17th, from 4:00-6:00 p.m., attendees will go behind-the-scenes and learn about the important impact that nature has on our world.

How the Military Is Solving the Energy Crisis

The U.S. military is not where you’d expect to hear about alternative energy innovations, but since the Department of Defense is our biggest consumer of energy, the military has become a leader in the field. Their innovative solutions could potentially speed up the country’s transition from fossil fuels to greener technologies. Check out this talk on Friday, October 21st, from 8:00-9:15 a.m.

That’s not all that’s going on at Chicago Ideas Week. There are events covering every topic from community development to health and fitness. Everyone has an idea, and CIW is the perfect place for you to share that idea with everyone else. Take your idea and make it a reality at this one-of-a-kind festival.