Night of Ideas



The Field Museum and the Consulate General of France in Chicago are thrilled to present Chicago’s first ever Night of Ideas on January 30, 2020. Free and open to the public, this global celebration of thought will welcome bright minds from academic, artistic, scientific, and civic communities for a six-hour marathon of ideas on this year’s theme “Alive!”.

Explore the museum after hours while engaging in intellectual talks, panels, and workshops on topics like climate change and biodiversity, urban sustainability, humans and technology, sex positivity, disability leadership and more.

The Night of Ideas program convenes a range of inspiring voices, including Franco-Congolese novelist Alain Mabanckou; economist and former advisor under President Obama, Michael Greenstone; visual artist Amanda Williams; WBEZ’s South Side reporter Natalie Moore; philosopher and member of the Institut Universitaire de France, Barbara Stiegler; and French anthropologist Joëlle Vailly.

It will also feature thinkers and specialists from the University of Chicago, a proud thought partner for Chicago’s Night of Ideas.

Throughout the evening, museum spaces will also come to life with pop-up performances by French juggler Jérôme Thomas, Chicago’s ERA Footwork Crew, French harpist Isabelle Olivier and American guitarist Rez Abbasi, and interactive happenings including live music, poetry, motion capture, tai chi, yoga, and meditation classes, a philosophy corner led by students, and more.

Diverse voices and talents from University of Illinois, Northwestern University, Indiana University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Purdue University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Fermilab, Argonne Laboratory, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, Black Thread Agency, Science Riot, WBEZ, ADA25 Advancing Leadership, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Core Power Yoga, Poems While You Wait, and more will be present.

Food and beverage will be available for purchase at the Field Bistro. All guests are invited to use code ALIVE2020 for a 25% discount on Lyft rides to and from the Field Museum for the Night of Ideas.

This event is free and open to the public but registration is required.


Last modified on 13/01/2020

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