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.

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.

Ignite Seattle #39 Recap

We had an amazing evening back at the newly renovated Town Hall Seattle. If you were there, thanks for coming. And if you missed it, well, at least you are here now!

In this recap post you’ll find links to the videos for all of the evening’s talks, but first we have a few important things to share.

Our next event, Ignite #40, is on Thursday, October 3rd.

Buying your tickets. We’ve sold out many events in a row, and we expect this one to be no different. Reserve your seats before it’s too late and at the early bird price.

(NEW) Ignite Open Mic Night. If you’ve wanted to speak at our main stage event but have been rejected in the past, or were intimidated by the size of the event, this is for you. This is a much less formal, and likely more fun speaking experience, and you’re guaranteed a spot if you sign up early enough (starting Thursday, June 13). Event is Monday, July 8th. Details here.


Ignite Seattle #39 – Talk Lineup and Videos

Ignite Seattle #38 Recap

What to say about Ignite Seattle 38? We laughed, we cried… we cried some more. (There were a lot of emotional talks!) In the end this was another one for the history books.

Whether you attended in-person or online, thank you for joining us to hear so many of the wonderful stories Seattle has to offer.

Before we get to the list of talk videos, we wanted to remind you that Ignite Seattle #39 is only three months away! Please consider:

  • Submitting a talk. We want to hear your important, funny, or wonderful story on stage. Submissions close April 25.
  • Buying your tickets! Last Ignite sold out within hours of our speaker lineup announcement, and this one is selling even faster. We’re already more than 20% sold-out! Get a spot before it’s too late.

Ignite Seattle #38 – Talk Lineup and Videos

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