Talk Submission Closing on Monday

If you would like to speak at the next Ignite (Sunday, August 18th), you’ve got a little bit less than a week to submit your talks. The talk submission form will be closing at 11:59pm on Monday, July 8th. That should give you plenty of time over the holiday weekend to finish up your best talk proposal.

This is our annual outdoor Ignite, and we’d love to make use of the outdoor space. If you have any suggestions for somebody you might like to see on-stage (acrobatic, fire eater, etc), the please fill out the nominations form.

Announcing the Ignite Seattle 20 Talks

We’re excited to announce the lineup for Ignite Seattle 20 on May 16th. Join us at Town Hall, talks start promptly at 8pm. Get your tickets here.

Madeline Puckette – 7 Things You Never Knew About the Most Expensive Wines of the World
Wine is no longer just a drink, it has become a commodity like stock. Learn seven of the more interesting facts about the most expensive wines in the world and what ties them together. Never drink wine the same again.

Diana Vergis Vinh – My Life of Poo
Learning kale recipes that don’t make my family gag, thinking my goat was pregnant when she was just plain fat and being surrounded by endless piles of poo – who knew that backyard urban farming could be so darned engaging? Hear from a long time urban farmer the ups and the downs of this manic pursuit.

Jeffrey Hicks – Welcome to the Psych Ward
This is a talk about what it actually feels like to lose your mind. It is an insiders look into madness and recovery.

Nathan Kaiser – From Bits to Booze and Not Quite Back Again
What I learned going from bits to booze and what I hope to bring back with me.

Nicole Steinbok – Everyday Pitches
Learn how to get people to like and trust you, give you time, do boring shit, reply to an email, provide great feedback, buy into plans, hire you and much more!

Sally James – Small words
Why keeping it short, even using shorter words, may help people understand you.

Theresa Harris – I want to teach your child to fail
Kids become less creative as they grow and Theresa Harris, founder of Thrive Art School, says this is due to how they experience failure. She’s on a mission to teach kids to fail enthusiastically.

Dave Zucker – Sir Mix-a-Bot, the Robot Bartender
In October of 2002, I picked up a surplus PUMA robot arm from a local university. I was sad to discover it didn’t work, and have spent the past 10 years bringing it back to life and transforming it into a robot bartender, dubbed Sir Mix-a-Bot.

Whitney Mongé – Busking in Pike Place Market
My talk will be about the basic know how’s of street performing in Pike Place Market. It will also be a short but detailed outline of how to be successful at busking virtually anywhere.

Jack Bennetto – The Moral Clarity of Killing Ivy
In a world of ambiguity and complexity, we can find moral clarity in killing English ivy and other invasive plants. Jack Bennetto outlines his journey as an anti-invasivist and explains how you can achieve peace and happiness through wanton destruction leading to restoration and rebirth.

Nancy White – S#*!, is it time to think about a legacy?
What happens when you wake up and realize you are a certain age,a grandparent, your husband is retiring and people start calling you an “elder” in your field? When you can’t even DESCRIBE your field? Come peer with me over this deliciously scary edge of considering my future. Regardless of our ages, is it time to think about our legacies?

Joe Ludwig – The second coming of Virtual Reality
Back in the early nineties everybody thought that virtual reality would be the next big thing. Now, twenty years later, that might actually be true.

Frank Rogan – How Are You Not Dead?
Everyone has a superpower, and apparently mine is “not getting killed.” I’ve escaped embarrassing death and painful dismemberment several times. It all makes for a great story, and it’s your stories that make you human.

Randy Stewart – How to Pitch Ignite Seattle
After reading and voting on hundreds of Ignite proposals, I can tell you about the ins and outs of what will get you considered before anyone else. I reveal the inner most workings of the secret machinations of the Ignite selection committee.

Carmen Hudson – I Stalk Strangers Online
Software engineers and other highly sought-after talent: you can run, but you can’t hide. Employers will go to great lengths to find in-demand talent; that’s where I come in. Armed with a few search engine commands, tenacity and a telephone, I can find anyone. People like me — known as “sourcers” — use the internet to find contact information, hobbies and interests, and other personal data in order to silver tongue our way into the lives of top talent. I’ll show you how we do it.

Gina Phillips – The Ultimate Mistake
Gina has competed at the highest levels of ultimate frisbee, including US Nationals 7 times. In a talk that has turned into a very different talk than the one she set out to give, she shares a look at identity, shame, and self-worth.

Submit a talk for Ignite OSCON in Portland

From time to time we like to collaborate with other Ignites and help with promotion and sharing talks. In July, O’Reilly is running their Open Source Convention in Portland Oregon, with an Ignite on the first night to kick things off.

O’Reilly is looking for submissions to speak at the Ignite event. If your talk is accepted, you’ll get a free pass to the conference on Tuesday (the day after Ignite), and a 50% discount if you wish to attend the rest of the conference.

This is a great opportunity to do a more technical talk that wouldn’t be suited for the usual Ignite Seattle crowd. Talk submissions are due by May 2nd. Follow the link to submit your talk idea.

Challenge: Picture Phone

We like to start every Ignite off with a game or a challenge – something to get attendees up out of their seats and interacting a little bit. Tonight we’re playing a variation of the party game “Telephone”.

We’ll start by handing out small notepads and markers. On the front page of the notepad will be a drawing. Your first step will be to guess what that drawing is. Write that at the bottom of the drawing. Then you’ll flip to the next page and copy the drawing (to the best of your ability). After about 30 seconds, you’ll hand your drawing on to
the next person. They will try to guess your drawing and copy it, etc. Once everyone is done, we’ll leave all the notebooks out front so people can come down and look at them.

Doors for Ignite open at 6:30, and we’ll start the game in the main hall around 7:00. Head upstairs, grab a seat and join us.

Need 4 Volunteers for Tomorrow’s Ignite

We are looking for 4 people to volunteer as “runners” for Ignite Seattle 19. No specific skills needed, just people to help with the various odd jobs. You’ll get free entry to the event and you’ll get fed dinner beforehand.

If you can be at Town Hall tomorrow from 5:30 until the end of the event (10:30ish), then please fill out the I’d Like to Help form. One of us will be in touch to coordinate. Thanks!

Announcing the Ignite Seattle 19 Talks

Tae Phoenix (@TaePhoenix) How to Write a Song

Have you ever wondered how songwriters create the music you listen to on Pandora or Spotify? In this talk, local singer-songwriter Tae Phoenix will give you a peek into how she makes it happen – from choosing which chord progressions go with a particular vocal phrase, to refining lyrics, to arranging, recording, mixing, mastering and releasing a finished product.

And yes, there will be singing.

Wendy Hinman We’re Gonna Die!

Imagine spending 24 hours a day with your spouse in 31 not-so-square feet . . . for years; crossing the Pacific Ocean on two gallons of fuel; and tossing spaghetti marinara around your living room, then cleaning it up while bouncing like ice in a martini shaker. My husband and I paid off our mortgage and set sail aboard a 31-foot boat that fit our budget better than it fit my husband’s large frame. We never imagined we’d be gone for seven years or have so many “character-building” and near-death encounters. But we felt truly alive. We chucked a conventional life to pursue our dreams and would do it all over again. At the end of our lives we won’t remember the safe moments, but instead the times when we pushed through our fears to follow our dreams. Don’t wait. You need to follow yours, wherever they may lead.

Jonathon Colman (@jcolman) Surviving as an Introvert in an Extroverted World

What exactly *is* introversion? It’s commonly misunderstood as shyness or a misanthropic desire to be left alone. Many extroverts mistakenly assume that introverts hate them. And that’s simply not true (well, most of the time). And many introverts think that there’s something wrong with themselves, something broken that they can’t seem to fix. And that’s not true, either.

We can do better. In this Ignite Seattle talk, we’ll learn what introversion is, what it isn’t, and specific tactics to hack ourselves and our interactions with others in order to survive in our extroverted world.

Sara Kiesler (@sarakseattle) How to Give Up Cheese

Ever wondered how vegans give up on cheese, ice cream, and all those other melty, creamy delights even vegetarians have a hard time parting with? Sara Kiesler tells you how in this inspiring, informative talk that’s anything but cheesy.

Hillel Cooperman (@hillel) How I got seriously hurt at summer camp, and ended up meeting Donnie and Marie instead.

The summer after 9th grade I got into a serious accident at summer camp that landed me in the hospital for a week. Against all odds, I wasn’t permanently damaged. Additionally, I ended up meeting Donny and Marie.

Lindsay Sharma What do Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and the United States have in common?

The United States is one of four nations in the world that does not mandate paid time off for parents to care for their newborns. Here, only certain populations are offered paid parental leave through their employers. Paid family leave should be guaranteed, not a privilege. The first 1,000 days of life are critical for a person’s lifelong health, as much as half of our health is programmed during this brief window of time.

Why should I care, you ask? I get great benefits through Microsoft, Google, or Amazon. We all suffer by depriving all parents the ability to take paid time away from work to bond and care for their children at this short but critical stage of life. The health of our nation is declining compared to others and it will only continue in this direction until we enact policies and programs that help the disadvantaged as well as the privileged. Paid Family Leave should be available to all because no one is protected from the potential negative consequences that arise when a person’s early life is compromised. Remember this the next time there is a school shooting.

Jessika Satori So you want to make an indie movie!

Many people pitch story ideas to me “you should makes this movie, it would be a great hit!” Maybe they have an inkling of what ALL has to happen in the crucible to get the thing made!
I’m a writer/director who has made give short films and have worked with the best–screenwriter Stewart Stern (Rebel Without A Cause, Sybil) Director of Photography Dan Kneece, who has collaborated with David Lynch for 20 plus years and Ron Vidor, who started the Society of Camera Operators, and logged in such films as Stand By Me, Romancing the Stone and Five Easy Pieces. My films have been screened at Ojai Film Festival, Trail Dance FF (yes it was a Western) and Poppy Jasper FF.

James Davenport (@jradavenport) Mapping the United States of Starbucks
We’ve all heard it: there’s a Starbucks on every corner, especially in Seattle! Recently I studied the distribution of Starbucks locations throughout the United States. Using math and visualization, and matching the Starbucks data to the US 2010 Census, I found some interesting results about Starbucks, and our society’s relationship to the caffeinated giant.

Adam Philipp (@mypatents) NETWORKING, the RPG

Are you a geek? An Introvert? Afraid of the crowds? Not sure what they will make of you? But you still want to connect with people? Then you want to play: NETWORKING, The Role Playing Game

On your very first dungeon/networking event you can go out and:

– slay kobolds (meet technical recruiters)
– fend off orcs (accountants and lawyers)
– drink healing/mana/attribute potions (wine/beer/whiskey)
– collect loot (contact information!)
– equip your character (get dressed up and ad props)
– form parties (agree to meet up with someone again)

and even:

– level up (move on to talking with speakers or higher level dungeons)

Hey, you already have some idea of what class you are, not let’s see what kind of alignment you goes with it!

If you apply all the skills you honed with years of playing: D&D, GammaWorld, Top Secret, etc., you will find the networking is just another great RPG except the characters are really well developed and the GameMaster is not so scary. Let’s go out and play!

Bruce Ryan (@brucery) Nothing is Impossible

The picture says a LOT.

I’ve lost 140 pounds and my wife has lost nearly 70 pounds in less than a year. I’m 50, she’s over 40. Neither of us had surgery or used any drugs to do it. I used common sense and a few modern-day tricks (iPhone app, wireless headphones, mutant tortillas, and more). We followed the same overall principle, but our actual execution methods were very different (there is no ONE best way for everyone). Also, why you don’t need a personal trainer or a fad diet or live like a hermit to lose a lot of weight.

My friends and my wife’s friends keep asking us how we did this, so the Ignite audience might be curious, too.

Kate Bergstrom (@DatesWithKate) Online Dating Tips I Have Learned After Meeting Over 100 Men

After ending a long relationship over 4 years ago, I jumped into the world of online dating. Since then, I have gone on dates with over 100 men. I learned so much and had so many…experiences, that I launched my own website,, detailing my dating adventures, one man at a time. I also started a podcast so I could share my wisdom with veterans of the dating wars along with those that are just dipping their toes into the online waters. My blog has been featured on and I have been a guest on a couple of local radio programs. I love Ignite and I think I could give a entertaining and informative talk about the perils of online dating.

Geraldine DeRuiter (@Everywhereist) Sharing Personal News Online.

We’re constantly sharing stories from our personal lives online, but what happens when the news we have to share isn’t all that good? I blogged about my brain tumor and impending surgery, and my personal stories don’t just belong to me…

Forest Gibson (@ForestGibson)How to make a viral video (and why it’s not easy)

In today’s world of viral hits and memes, it can be easy to get lost in the seemingly randomness of it all. However, there is a formula for certain types of viral content, albeit a complicated one. Following this formula can yield extremely positive results, garnering millions of views. How do I know this? Well, I have done it time and time again. With 30 million viral views under my belt, I understand what it takes to get videos seen, and why most of you don’t want to bother…

Latest Ignite Seattle Videos are Posted

We’ve been working hard over the last few months to get the most recent Ignite Seattle videos up on YouTube. You can see videos from both Ignite 17 and Ignite 18 over at our YouTube channel.

In the coming weeks, as we get closer to Ignite Seattle 19 (Feb. 20th @ Town Hall), we’ll be posting some of the highlights from the last two events.

Also, don’t forget to submit your talk ideas. The submission deadline is early January, so get your ideas in now.

Happy Holidays from everyone at Ignite Seattle!

Thank you for Ignite Seattle 18!

Thank you to everyone that showed up for Ignite Seattle 18 – the volunteers, the speakers, and of course the audience. We were all extremely proud of the event, and feel it is one of the best Ignites in recent memory. Also, of course, thank you to Monica Guzman for being a wonderful MC and to Town Hall for hosting us. We are all looking forward to the next Ignite Seattle on February 20th.