Ignite Seattle #38 is sold out! Here’s how you can still attend…

With two of the biggest days of ticket sales in our history, Ignite Seattle #38 has sold out only a day after publicly announcing our speakers. (Like I said yesterday: “WOW.”)

This is going to be one of our best shows yet, and if you missed your chance at a ticket, don’t despair. Here’s how to attend:


  1. Watch the event live online.
    For those of you who won’t be able to join us at the event, we’re working with Bootstrapper Studios to bring you the next best thing: a live-stream which makes you feel like you’re in the front row. Sign up now!
  2. Join the standby line.
    At 6pm on February 28, we’re setting up a line outside the Egyptian Theater for standby tickets. We’ll release any unclaimed seats shortly before the show starts.

(One last thing: if you’re an organization working with people traditionally underrepresented in public speaking – low-income, Black/Latinx, etc – we have a limited number of completely free tickets still available for you. Please drop us a line at diversity@igniteseattle.com.)

Speaker List: Ignite Seattle #38, February 28 at The Egyptian

WOW. With a record-breaking 82 submissions, selecting the speakers for Ignite Seattle #38 was more challenging than ever. (EDIT: Tickets sold faster than ever, too! Still want to attend? Register for the live-stream here.)

Today, we’re excited to publicly announce the lineup for Ignite Seattle #38, hosted on February 28 at The Egyptian:

  • Run, Forrest Stump, Run! — Nicole Ver Kuilen
  • Civil Disobedience: A Beginner’s View — Tae Phoenix
  • How to Make a Hyperbolic Paraboloid — Danielle Fague
  • How Parents Can Break the “Color Code” — Nayah Ndefru
  • Dating Tips From A Former Dominatrix — Miss Kaila Yi
  • Life After Death: An Instructional Guide — Heather Smith
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being… — Bruce Dawson
  • When My Husband Said, “I Don’t Want My Penis Anymore” — Kate Pond
  • Intersections: What Uber Has Taught Me About Humanity — Andrew Spink
  • Convincing People: An Attorney’s Guide to Negotiation — Alexander Theoharis
  • Speakeasies, Felons, and Prohibition Moonshine: A Family DNA Love Story — Tracy Romoser

Thank you wholeheartedly to everyone who submitted a talk. We had to make some very tough decisions for this one, and almost every rejected talk would have been great on the stage.

photo by: Brady Harvey

Seven Fun Ignite Ideas Which Need Your Help

Ignite Seattle is led by a fun, energetic, and all volunteer team. We’re just former attendees who raised their hands and said “I want to help.”

Today, we’d like to ask for your help, too. We’re hosting a potential volunteer info session on November 13 at 6:30pm (there’s free food)!

Not sure what volunteering for Ignite looks like? Below are just a few fun ideas to make Ignite better, which all need help from someone like you.


  1. Ignite Encore
    Arrange for conferences/events to host small Ignite sessions, with a handful of alumni giving encores of their talks. We’ve done this once or twice in the past, but what if it were a regular thing?

  2. Bring alumni speakers back together
    Over 500 people have spoken at Ignite Seattle. Where are they now? Whether it means hosting parties and happy hours, or working with them to run a pre-show activity, we’d love to keep in closer contact.

  3. Partner with the community
    Ignite is a place for Seattle to share and discuss diverse ideas, but that doesn’t have to end at the talks and the pre-show activity. Whether it’s sponsors, other organizations with a similar mission, or just community fixtures the audience should know about, there are so many opportunities to grow Ignite beyond the walls of our theater.

  4. Be Ignite’s social butterfly
    Sure, we have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but when it comes to our audience, most interaction happens at the show. How can we engage with our audience online? What should we post? Should we run contests? Oh, did we mention there is a budget to experiment with?

  5. Become our CEO… Chief Emailing Officer
    We have a growing list of Ignite Seattle fans, but we mostly email them about submissions and ticket sales. What else might our community care about? The latest crazy project from a speaker they heard from? Tips on telling their story? Something else? You also get to press a red button that instantly emails 2000 (and growing) fans of Ignite Seattle. Woah!

  6. Rethink the event, and bring crazy ideas to life
    Did you know Ignite Seattle never did a survey until 2018!? When we did, we learned the audience wanted a shorter show that started earlier. (It only took us 12 years to find out…)What if you were in charge of the 3 Rs: help us research, recommend, and realize crazy new ideas? Research could include surveys, observations, and plain old talking to people. Yes that is still a thing.
  7. Make fun videos
    If you have ever dreamed about being in the movie business this idea is for you. We are looking for new ways to explain Ignite to excite new speakers, new attendees and new volunteers. You would film behind the scenes at our events and create promo videos to share on the web.


These ideas (or your own ideas for Ignite) won’t happen without you. Are you ready to help? Sign up for our volunteer info session below or visit our volunteer page if you can’t make it.

Ignite Seattle Volunteer Info Session

November 13, 6:30pm

Downtown Seattle WeWork, 1411 4th Avenue

Exploring the 8th Continent – Cindy Wu – Ignite Seattle 37

With a title like “Exploring the 8th Continent,” the geographically-inclined among us are certain to be interested. There are, after all, only seven continents. Right?

Not so, according to Cindy Wu. Cindy says there’s a mysterious continent below all of our feet: caves.

Stepping into a cave, according to Cindy, is like being an astronaut stepping onto the moon for the first time. In her talk, Cindy tells the story of her first time exploring a cave, and how our audience can safely explore caves themselves.

(Interested in exploring a cave? Here’s the website Cindy mentioned.)

photo by: Brady Harvey

Physician, Speak Thyself – Sam Blackman – Ignite Seattle 37

Sam Blackman started his professional life as a philosophy major, but the fact that he spent his nights reading medical journals might have been a clue to where his career would end up.

The thing in those journals which fascinated Sam? The case studies — stories with the (often gory) details of the treatment of a patient, in a narrative format.

In his Ignite talk, Sam explains why this sort of storytelling makes medicine work, makes a case for the humanity of medicine, and urges us not to lose track of storytelling as medicine increases its reliance on technology.

photo by: Brady Harvey

What Military Peacekeeping Taught Me About Humility – Urs Koenig – Ignite Seattle 37

Twenty-two years after completing mandatory military service — and approaching the age of fifty — Urs Koenig decided to enlist in the military peacekeeping force KFOR in Kosovo.

Many readers may be wondering, “Why does Kosovo need a peacekeeping force at all?” By the time he deployed, Urs thought he knew the answer. Until he watched a school play which made him reconsider not only what he knew about the war, but also the role of peace-keepers.

In his Ignite Seattle talk, Urs explains how his time as a military peacekeeper taught him to ask better questions, and how that can make us all a little more humble.

photo by: Brady Harvey

A Survival Guide for Black Millennial Single Mothers Striving to Slay – Sydney Swonigan – Ignite Seattle 37

“So who in here has absolutely just fucked up before?” That’s the question Sydney Swonigan started off with during her Ignite Seattle talk. (Judging from the audience reaction, the answer was: a lot of us.)

In her talk, Sydney discusses the time she fucked up: accidentally becoming pregnant shortly after graduating college. (“#whoops-a-daisy”) After years of striving to overcome the stereotypes placed on young black women, she found herself worried about becoming stuck in a negative narrative of a single black mother. She didn’t want to just survive, she wanted to slay.

In her talk, Sydney talks about her experience deciding not to choose between being a mother and a leader, owning her own story, and why there’s no better time than today to fuck up.

photo by: Brady Harvey