Announcing Mindhatch: our new sponsor (design thinking and organizational improv)

The talks at Ignite Seattle are often about creativity and exploring ideas, which explains why we are excited to announce that Mindhatch is now on board as one of our sponsors.


Many organizations and teams struggle to find and develop new ideas into solutions, but if you work with Mindhatch, based in Seattle, they’ll show you the way.

Using their masterful blend of Design Thinking, Organizational Improv, and Innovation Facilitation, they help you solve complex business problems, boost customer value, and improve team performance, while having engaging and productive fun and the same time. Their customized experiences develop team skillsets and spur collective creativity, innovation, and actionable results.

Coonoor Behal, the founder and CEO of Mindhatch, will be at Ignite #39 (June 6, 2019) to help celebrate our new partnership. Her amazing background in both strategy and innovation consulting, combined with her experience as an improv performer and teacher, makes Mindhatch a stellar organization to help you grow and develop your organization. Watch a video of them in action here.

Announcing speakers and stories for Ignite Seattle #39 – June 6th at Town Hall Seattle

We are supremely pleased to announce our speaker lineup for Ignite Seattle #39. We had over 70 submissions of which we picked 12 fantastic talks (thanks to all who took the time to share their story with us). And we’re excited to return to Town Hall Seattle on Thursday, June 6th, now that their major renovations are finished.

Get your tickets now – just $10 at the early bird price, which ends tomorrow ($5 more after that).

  • The speakers are amazing. See the list below. 
  • We will sell out. We are currently over 55% sold. 
  • You save $5 now. Buy tickets before May 9 and you get Early Bird pricing.

Here is our excellent lineup (order is to be determined):

  • Cats, Rats, A.I., Oh My! –  Ben Hamm
  • I’m the weirdo who left the elevator note –  Sixta Morel
  • Design for Conflict –  Bonnie Toland
  • Oh, You’re a Mommy Who Wants to Work. How Sweet. –  Nancy Jensen
  • Fix Evy-thing –  Evy Haroldson
  • An Immigrant’s Battle –  Salome Munyaka
  • You can’t ask a choking man for instructions –  Christin Boyd
  • A transgender band walks into a rural Olympic Peninsula bar… –  Ginger Chien
  • Growing Up Un-Special –  Leah Scherschel
  • Forgive and Remember: How Forgiveness Really Works – Susan Fee
  • Retiring My “Best Idea” – Emoji Pillows –  Roberto Hoyos
  • Teaching the components of music to autistic people through multiple senses –  Kent Godfrey

What to expect at the show on Thursday, June 6th:

  • Doors open at 6:30pm – get a drink, snack and/or play a game
  • Show starts at 7:30pm – intermission in the middle
  • After party – celebrate the show with the speakers and organizers

$10 until Thursday – $15 after

We want your story: submit a talk for Ignite Seattle

If you had five minutes to talk to your city, what story would you tell? What lesson would you teach?

Ignite Seattle is our city’s “town square as an event” and gives ordinary folks the opportunity to share what they know, a story or an opinion, to a large audience of their fellow citizens (and the world, through our free internet livestream).

We believe everybody has a great story to share, and with good coaching (which we provide) and a great stage (Town Hall Seattle) they can make a difference in how people think and feel about almost anything. Ignite talks are 5 minutes long, with 20 slides that automate every 15 seconds, to create a vibrant and lively evening event.

To submit, all that’s required is a thoughtful talk title and description (read our advice), plus a commitment to attend the rehearsal and of course the event itself. For most events, we get about 80 submissions to fill 12 slots. We recommend you watch a few Ignite Seattle talks to get a sense for what they are like.

Go here to see the submission form and get started.

  • Submissions Due: April 25
  • Responses Sent: May 2
  • Coaching: May 20
  • Rehearsal: June 3
  • Ignite Seattle #39: June 6 (buy tickets here)

Learn Public Speaking From the Ignite Seattle Team (Mon. April 8th 6:30pm)

Ignite Seattle thrives on diverse ideas and challenging stories and we’ve coached hundreds of people how to share them live on stage. We know  everyone can be better at speaking in their daily lives and we’re hosting another workshop (last one sold out in a day) to help you do that.

Join us to learn:

  • How to tell better stories at work or in life (and do it fast!)
  • The 6 most common mistakes speakers make and how to avoid them
  • The science behind fears about speaking and how to manage them
  • How to get a talk proposal accepted at events like Ignite Seattle, TEDx, etc.
  • Plus a few volunteers who bring 60 seconds of a talk they have will get an expert critique

You don’t need to have a talk idea or submit to Ignite to attend. 

Your coach will be professional speaker and Ignite Seattle emcee Scott Berkun from SpeakHQ. In addition to giving 20 to 30 lectures and keynotes each year, he wrote the bestselling guide to public speaking, Confessions of a Public Speaker.

Have fun at TWIF’s Innovators Auction

One of our favorite partners is The World Is Fun, a local non-profit that connects people with great Seattle community events and organizations. They’re having their annual fundraising auction this week and it’s going to be a great evening. You should be there. All proceeds go to support the great work they do.

General admission is $35 (cocktails and appetizers) and they’re auctioning off all kinds of great prizes, like Ken Jennings (of Jeopardy fame) joining your trivia team, get your own flavor of ice-cream on the menu at Full Tilt, behind the scenes tours of the Woodland Park Zoo, DJ for a day on 92.5, and many more.

  • Event Begins 7:30pm
  • Cocktails & Silent Auction: 7:30pm
  • Live Auction: 9:00pm
  • Get tickets here

How To Be Less Racist & Support a Good Cause

One of our highlights from Ignite #36 earlier this year was Maryam Hosseini’s inspiring talk about her Iranian heritage.

She’s also an active member of SISCA, a group that works here in Seattle to “reverse hostility between the United States and Iranian governments by developing people-to-people relationships.”

Next month, In partnership with famed local chef Tom Douglas, they’re doing a dinner fundraiser on Thursday, November 1st at the Palace Ballroom, with the proceeds going to SISCAs programs and local events.

If you haven’t seen it, watch this wonderful talk. And then see about having a tasty dinner that supports a good cause.


How to get standby tickets

If we are sold out again for an Ignite Seattle event, do not fear. We have a standby ticket system, thanks to the folks at Town Hall Seattle. Here’s how it works:

  1. Note: we can’t 100% promise there will be tickets – it depends on no-shows and other factors we don’t control. 
  2. But there probably will be some! We often have 10 or more available, but we can’t promise exactly how many.
  3. At 6:00pm a line will be set up outside the Egyptian theater (our venue). Doors open at 6:30pm for ticket holders, show starts at 7:30pm.
  4. You show up and get in line. Tickets will be given away first come, first served, one per person and you can’t buy for folks not in line with you.
  5. At 7:15pm venue staff will make the call and release tickets in batches.

If you want to be notified when tickets go on sale for the next Ignite (so you can avoid waiting in the standby line), hop on our mailing list.  Thanks and have a nice day or two.

How To Promote Your Ignite Talk

If you’re speaking at the next Ignite Seattle, make the most of your amazing opportunity! Here’s how:

Before the event:

  1. Invite your friends and family to be in the audience. We’d love to have them in the audience to support you. Tickets are inexpensive and it’s a great night. You can use this video to help explain what Ignite Seattle is like.
  2. On Facebook, go to our event page for Ignite Seattle #39, mark yourself as “going” and then share it out to your network. You can directly invite people to attend and you should!
  3. If you are on Twitter, Facebook or have your own blog, here’s a simple announcement you can copy and paste

Big news: my talk on “<Insert your amazing talk title here>” will be part of the next Ignite Seattle event on Thursday June 6th at Town Hall Seattle. It’s an evening of great short talks on interesting topics and you should come to cheer me on!

You can buy tickets now, and act fast as they usually sell out. Hope to see you there.

After the event:

We capture and publish videos of all talks and post them online in just a few days. We want to help you to get your message out as best we can.

  1. You’ll receive an email a few days after the event with links to all of the talks, including yours.
  2. Find your video and post it everywhere, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, your neighborhood newsletter – your friends and family want to see it.
  3. We will also post photos from our staff photographers that you can share with your friends and social networks.

Also See:

Help Wanted: Our Team Needs You

Here at Ignite Seattle, our city’s largest open platform for citizens to share their stories, a small team of volunteer organizers makes our sold-out shows happen. Thanks to you, our fans, our events have become so popular now that we’re looking to grow our team.

If you’re not familiar with what our events are like, this short video explains it well.

We are growing our team and now have several roles we’re recruiting for:

1. Role: Event Producer for Ignite Seattle

The event producer for Ignite Seattle is the master of the back of the house at our events. They coordinate with our MC, volunteer wrangler and other organizers to plan each show, and then work directly with our venue to ensure everything goes smoothly. During the evening they are the primary showrunner (with help as needed from the MC and other organizers), to make sure people, equipment and fun are in the right place at the right time. They need to excel at planning, communication and real-time project management, and also have a love for live cultural and civic events.

As part of the organizing team, the producer may collaborate with the team (using Slack) between events to find speakers, improve our relationships with other organizations and help improve the quality and thoughtfulness of all our creations (website, videos and other media).

We do three events a year and all of our events are in the evening (usually Thursday night).

2. Role: Design-Master (Web and visual design)

As one of the premier live events in Seattle we need a web and digital presence that captures the fun, challenging and community building energy of our shows. As design master you’d lead the way in designing and building a web experience that enables visitors to easily find interesting talks from our past events and that helps sell tickets for upcoming ones. You’d also refine our brand and visual style, improve or create designs for our logos, t-shirts, slides and other digital and print materials. You’d get high-autonomy, clear goals, a fun team to work with, and a way to use your significant talents for good.

3. Role: Money-Master (Bookkeeper)

We excel at making the most out of our events, working mostly with volunteers to make everything happen. Yet we do have basic accounting tasks, including paying bills, collecting ticket revenue (from our venue partners) covering expenses, and doing non-profit accounting and planning, things most of us have only minor experience with.

We need an experienced bookkeeper to track our income and expenses, help us make sure we pay our vendors on time, and improve our financial planning and basic accounting.

4. Role: Sponsor-Master

For  years we’ve filled Town Hall Seattle, and now, The Egyptian theater, with sold out shows that provide a great platform for the amazing stories, projects and ideas Seattle citizens are working on.

We want to extend that platform to include a handful of select sponsors, trading resources we can use to improve our shows, for premier exposure to our audience and community.

The role would be to define our sponsorship program, recruit sponsors and manage ongoing relationships with them.

Minimum time commitment: a couple of hours a week between events, with spikes of 5-10 hours a week leading up to and during the events (3 times a year).

Rewards:  You’ll be part of a fun, smart and loyal team of volunteer organizers, well connected in the Seattle tech and arts community. You will meet many interesting and amazing people, work with a great team, and share in thrills at each live event. You’ll get to use skills you already have to do good in the arts community in Seattle. Ignite Seattle will likely be one of the most rewarding things you contribute to regularly.

How we work: We are mostly virtual (Slack), with monthly in-person meetings, and more as needed or when we get closer to the next event. We are all volunteers and happily wear many hats. You may get your hands dirty often, and have fun doing it, as we are a small, lean team.

How To Apply: 

  1. Give us a brief rundown on your past experience (link to resume or LinkedIn is fine)
  2. Tell us what you love about Ignite Seattle, and/or why you want to join the team?
  3. Email the above to

Prepare: how to find royalty free images

If you present at Ignite Seattle, your talk, and your slides, will be seen by hundreds of people, and even more online. It’s important that you use only images that you have permission to use: you wouldn’t want someone to use your work with out permission, would you?

To help, there are several ways to find images that are rights and royalty free, the easiest is Google.

Your own images

If you have images you have taken yourself that do not include intellectual property owned by others, you can of course use your own photos.

Google Images

  1. Go to Google Images Search
  2. Search for something (e.g. “people playing dodge ball”)
  3. Click on the Tools option, on the right
  4. Click on Usage rights


  1. Select Labeled for reuse or the level of license you need


You can also set other options for the images you want (high size equals higher quality).

Other sources of royalty-free images