Frequently Asked Questions



How do I volunteer?

Visit to complete the Contact Form.

When do I volunteer?

Volunteer shifts range from three to five hours long and take place during Chicago Ideas Week 2020 (October 2020). You decide which Talk(s), Conversation(s), Lab(s), and/or Special Engagement(s) you will volunteer at.

Can I pick my volunteer role?

You will be assigned to your role upon arrival to your shift and your preferences will be taken into consideration. For Volunteer Role Descriptions click here or scroll down.

Will I be trained?

Yes. When you schedule your shifts online you will be provided with electronic training materials.

What incentives do volunteers receive?

The probability of sitting/standing in on each program you volunteer for; snacks and water during most volunteer shifts; a CI Volunteer T-Shirt; a discount code for 10% off tickets to all Chicago Ideas Week 2020 public Talks, Conversations, and Labs; an invitation to the Volunteer Thank You Soiree; and the opportunity to join our amazing Community of Curiosity!

Can someone I know volunteer too?

Absolutely! Send them to

Will there be a 2020 Volunteer Thank You Soiree?

Yes! Information will be provided in September 2020.

What if I have other questions?

Contact us at or (312) 725-2879. We’re happy to help!

Volunteer Role Descriptions:

Activities Station

  • Personable, multi-tasker, and comfortable relaying information
  • Facilitate guests’ participation in various activities in the lobby/reception area

Line Coordinator

  • Vocal, calm, collected, and charismatic
  • Maintain crowd control, line formation, and flow inside and/or outside the venue

Menlo Lounge Usher

  • Direct, personable, alert, calm
  • Ensure that only guests with Menlo Passes are admitted into Menlo Lounge

Theater Usher

  • Direct, personable, and quickly able to calculate numbers
  • Strategically direct guests to their seats and/or distribute event programs
  • Setup reserved seating for Speakers, Press, Sponsors, Members, and YOU(th) prior to theater doors opening

Ticket Scanner

  • Alert, calm, collected, and tech savvy
  • Keep event running smoothly by quickly scanning and/or distributing all guests’ tickets upon entry to the theater