Late last year, I participated in Potluck 2.0 and quickly realized that I was unaware of an incredible underground Chicago scene. Potluck is a speaker series (see: Ignite) where people from very diverse backgrounds speak undisturbed for 6 minutes. After presenting about taking the leap into entrepreneurship, I listened to a group of amazing and eclectic poets, actors, writers, and comedians tell creative and unfiltered stories. I was blown away. And they referred to a Chicago scene that I had honestly had never heard of: live magazines, books & beer, design based speaker series, and much more.
When friends in other cities ask me about Chicago, I evangelize the beach, our college football Saturdays, how nice people are, and of course, our summers – none of which is novel. When asked about trying new things like Yoga or Farmers Markets, I say that I can’t touch my toes and can barely cook but that I experiment with Chicago by regularly attending start-up events and trying new restaurants. Being with such diverse group of people at Potluck made me realize that I had never left my comfort zone. Even when I worked in finance previously, I would volunteer on junior boards composed of other young finance professionals. My exploring of Chicago was tied to my profession and my palette.