Top 10 Ignite Seattle Talks of 2019

2019 was a fantastic year for Ignite Seattle! Here are a few highlights:

  • The event moved back into our old home at the beautifully renovated Town Hall Seattle.
  • We added new volunteers to the team.
  • We started a podcast.
  • We had our first open mic.
  • We had two new guest emcees.
  • We became a 501(c)(3) organization!

Thanks to the 35 amazing speakers who shared their stories on our stage and made 2019 an amazing year for Ignite Seattle. We had 226 talk submissions in 2019 and from that list we chose 35 of those speakers.

From that list, I give you our favorite talks of 2019:

I Like Your Shoes, Wanna Be Friends? – Nadine Khoury
Making friends later in life can be tough, especially when you’ve moved to a new place (and maybe doubly so if that place is Seattle). Nadine gives some great tips on making friends.

Saving the Planet With Your Fork – Mary Purdy
Mary is a licensed nutritionist and she gives great tips for eating better for the planet’s sake (and for your own). Spoiler: you don’t have to give up bacon.

Does This p-value Make My Lies Look Good? – Josh Jelin
Josh’s cleverly titled talk shows us how others lie with numbers and how you can too! NOTE: one of those statements is false.

I’m the Weirdo Who Left the Elevator Note – Sixta Morel
Sixta moved to Seattle from the Dominican Republic and found Seattleites a little, um, different than people in her home country. The Seattle freeze is real and Sixta shares how we can melt it a little more.

Cats, Rats, A.I., Oh My! – Ben Hamm
Ben’s talk was one of the most viewed talks in Ignite Seattle’s history. You’ll see why when he shows you how he built his smart cat door using off-the-shelf parts and a little cloud based machine learning know how.

A Transgender Band Walks Into A Rural Olympic Peninsula Bar… – Ginger Chien
I’m pretty sure that their wasn’t a dry eye in the room for Ginger’s talk about her journey to (what she thought would be) an unwelcoming place.

An Immigrant’s Battle – Salome Munyaka
What’s in a name? Kenyan-born Salome Munyaka’s light hearted talk details her challenges moving to the United States and teaches ways that you can make an immigrant’s life a little bit easier.

Convincing People: An Attorney’s Guide to Negotiation — Alexander Theoharis
Isn’t your way the best way? Alexander Theoharis outlines 3 methods of always getting your way (without the other side losing).

The Unbearable Lightness of Being… – Bruce Dawson
Do you ever get tired of going the same way to work every day? Ignite Seattle alum, Bruce Dawson got carried away answering that question by getting other people to do all the heavy lifting 😉

OCD is a Family Affair – Melissa Reaves
Melissa delivers an intense personal story about what it’s like living with OCD both as person who has it and parenting a child that is learning to manage it.

Dating Tips from a Former Dominatrix – Miss Kaila Yi
What do a dungeon and the dating world have in common? Veteran dominatrix, Miss Kaila Yi outlines what she’s learned from her career and how it applies to having more fulfilling relationships.

Whew… what a year 🙂

We’re looking forward to a fantastic 2020 and our next event is February 27th at Town Hall Seattle. Buy your tickets now.

Announcing Guest Host Sumit Basu – for Ignite Seattle #41

At our last event, we had our second guest host Rovina Broomield. We’ve done this twice now (first was organizer Nicole Steinbok), and it’s been so much fun and they’ve done so well, we’re having one more.

This time, we’re very excited to announce it’s Ignite Seattle alum Sumit Basu. He’ll be the host (formerly called MC) for the evening, introducing the audience to the Ignite format and inviting our speakers to the stage.

Tickets are on sale now (early bird price of $10) and as usual, we expect to sell out, so don’t wait. And talk submissions are currently open, if you have a story or lesson you’d like to share with your city (and the world).

Sumit spoke at Ignite Seattle #37 at the Egyptian about “De-Mystifying The Instant Pot” which you can (and should) watch below.

Ignite Seattle #40 Recap + Videos

Thanks to all of you who joined us for another stupendously fun, inspiring and challenging evening of short presentations, lively conversations and interactive experiences. Here is our recap of everything from that wonderful night.

Thanks to our sponsors Punch Drunk, Mindhatch, 4Culture and Reel Grrrls for our on-air livestream entertainment.

Our next event, Ignite #41, is on Thursday, February 27th 2020 and submissions are open.

And tickets are on sale at early bird price ($10). We’ve sold out 9 of our last 10 shows – get your seats now. Invite your friends or people you’d like to make into your friends.


Ignite Seattle #40 – Talk Lineup & Videos

Get tickets NOW for Ignite #41, February 27th, 2020.

Photos from Ignite Seattle #40

Full gallery can be found here. Thanks to Brady Harvey and Randy Stewart, our official photographers.

Rovina Broomfield - Ignite Seattle 40
Ignite Seattle 40 Speakers
Ignite40_HiRes-3760.jpg
Ignite Seattle 40
Karlos Dillard - Ignite Seattle 40
Melissa Reaves - Ignite Seattle 40
Josh Jelin - Ignite Seattle 40
Angela Barrus - Ignite Seattle 40
Ignite Seattle 40

Our next event, Ignite #41, is on Thursday, February 27th 2020 and submissions are open.

Mary Purdy – Saving the Planet with your Fork (Ignite Seattle #40)

You’re probably not going to be surprised to hear this: we need to cut back our carbon emissions. Here’s something that may surprise you: 1/4 of our carbon emissions come from our food system!

Ignite Seattle speaker Mary Purdy is well-aware of the potential to cut carbon emissions by eating better, and this Thursday October 3rd, she’s taking to the stage to share a few ways our audience can make a difference with their forks.

From food waste to plant proteins, there are many ways to cut your carbon emissions (no, you don’t have to become a vegan!), and while not everyone is in the position to make a change in the way they eat, most of us are.

Join us on October 3 to hear Mary and 11 other funny, wonderful, and amazing speakers. Tickets are on sale now.

Simon Okelo – Turning Orphanages Into Creative Hubs (Ignite Seattle 40)

In terms of dollars spent on foreign aid, the US is one of the most generous nations in the world. But in terms of damage done to overseas communities? We’re pretty high up there too.

Coming from Kenya, Ignite speaker Simon Okelo knows this well! When we think “how can we help,” we spend our money on what we think they need. So communities end up with an orphanage, when what they really needed was a place to bring their community together.

Join us on October 3 to hear about how Simon has made it his mission to turn disused buildings into creative hubs across Kenya. Tickets are on sale now!

Understanding Israel – Urban Wildlife Gardening (Ignite Seattle #40)

This Thursday, October 3, Ignite speaker Understanding Israel invites us all to learn more about what Seattle’s maritime climate grows best: a cult!

Understanding spent 26 years in an “alternative urban/rural community” in Queen Anne, in what she at-the-time called a commune. (“Like: ‘Far out and pass the bong.'”)

She’s taking the stage at Ignite this Thursday to share her experience through photos, stories, and a special surprise midway through. As Understanding tells us, “You will feel better about your life after listening to how I screwed up mine”.

Get your tickets for Ignite Seattle today! Thursday, October 3 is only a few days away!

Angela Barrus – Confessions of an International Smuggler (Ignite Seattle #40)

Ignite Seattle speaker Angela Barrus was probably expecting a little hassle when returning to the US from her visit to Canada. (Who wouldn’t expect a little hassle at the border?)

She wasn’t expecting alarms, drawn guns, whiplash, concussion, threats of a $15,000 fine, and finally leaving with bloody hands. Then again, she didn’t realize she had unwittingly become an international smuggler!

What was Angela smuggling, and how did she end up in such a crazy situation? (In her own words: “If it hadn’t happened to me, quite frankly, I’d question the sanity of the storyteller.”)

Join us at Ignite Seattle #40 this Thursday, October 3, to find out!