Hi Ignite fans! This week we had our first coaching session with our Ignite #39 speakers. Our favorite part of the session was when the speakers – with little prep work – stood up and gave a rough practice run of their talk. They did an incredible job. There was a lot of smiling, laughing, clapping and just a couple of tears this time. You will not want to miss the June 6th show.
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
Multisensory Music and Autism – Kent Godfrey
New Guest MC: Nicole Steinbok
Nicole Steinbok, Ignite Seattle organizer and multi-time alumni, will be MC’ing Ignite Seattle #39. She will be fabulous and like our speakers, she is very excited and a bit nervous. Come be a part of one of the best audiences in Seattle and cheer on Nicole and our speakers as they entertain, enlighten and channel their excitement into a great show.
New Sponsor: Mindhatch
The talks at Ignite Seattle are often about creativity and exploring ideas, which explains why we are excited to announce that Mindhatch, with their masterful blend of Design Thinking, Organizational Improv, and Innovation Facilitation, is now on board as one of our sponsors.
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.
Ignite Seattle Community – you rock, you rock so hard. Your submissions were off-the-charts amazing! We had a record breaking 82 submissions, and from those submissions, we selected 12 talks. The organizers pictured above spent 2.5 hours and consumed 24,568 calories selecting the talks. It was so much fun discussing the talks and so challenging narrowing it down.
If you submitted an idea and didn’t get selected, please know that we appreciate you, encourage you to submit again, and we would love for you to attend Ignite Seattle on Feb 28.
So where is this amazing speaker list? We are giving an exclusive, sneak peek to our super fans on our mailing list so they can decide if they want to buy tickets to Ignite Seattle 38 (spoiler alert: the answer will be yes).
2018 was a fantastic year for Ignite Seattle! Thanks to our 37 speakers who took to our stage and shared their story with us. And thank you to the folks who submitted a talk that was not accepted this year. We read and consider every submission and even if you’re not chosen you do influence how we think about each event. So please do keep submitting – and we’ll keep our minds open.
The Top Talks have been selected by the Ignite Seattle organizers. Ignite Seattle is not a competition, there are no formal judging criteria, but we wanted to honor some of our favorites this year and we thoughtfully put this together for the first time.
So without further ado here are the Top Ignite Seattle Talks of 2018, in no particular order:
How to Mouse with Your Toes – Elizabeth Nelson. We all know sitting at desks all day staring at screens isn’t great for our bodies, and we were delighted by this entertaining and unusual concept for a better way to interact with your computer.
How to Not be the Least Secure Gazelle – Zachary Cohn. Everyone worries about their security online, but there’s so much confusion over what to do about it. Ignite Seattle alumni and organizer Zachary Cohn brings us to the animal kingdom for a killer (literally) metaphor to use for understanding security and what specific actions you should take.
So, You’re Black in Tech – Rovina Broomfield. Diversity in the working world, specifically in the tech sector, still has so many challenges, and Rovina eloquently takes them all on, including a glorious riff on the abuse of the term ‘unicorn’.
Pooing in Public – Jason Preston. The design of everyday things matters, and perhaps there is no better example of this than the locking mechanisms of public bathrooms. Ignite Seattle alumni Preston deftly examines the user experience problems found in bar and restaurant restrooms, with advice for owners and customers on how to avoid getting yourself into embarrassing kinds of trouble.
Getting Naked for Feminism – Katrina Hamilton. How brave are you about taking risks? What ideas do you believe in enough to act on them in public? Katrina explains, with a flair for the serious and the comical, takes her feminist ideals out into the world through the costumes she makes that challenge our culture’s fundamental assumptions about power, control, and gender roles.
Mystery Ignite (improvised Ignite talk on Bitcoin) – Kinzie Shaw. All of our speakers are brave, but we love when someone pushes the limits. Kinzie agreed to take our stage to present to an Ignite slide deck she had never seen before (on the topic of bitcoin). It’s hysterical, it’s amazing and it puts into relief any fears of public speaking you might have, as what she did is so much braver and harder than what most of us do.
The Seattle Superman – Jonathan Belle. Photographer and artist Jonathan Belle shares his unusual and surprisingly moving story of why he regularly wears a Superman costume. We can all learn something from his honest intensity and the challenge he’s taken on to define how he treats others in the world.
Did we miss the one you loved the most this year? Leave a comment and give that talk the love it deserves.
And if you can’t remember them all, or the name of your favorite, these links will help you:
Struggling to find a gift for the Ignite Seattle fan (or soon to be fan)? Maybe you’d like to support the speakers you’ve seen this year? You’re in luck! Many of this year’s speakers have the perfect gift to put a little bit of Ignite cheer under the tree and remind you of the amazing talks we had in 2018.
For many of us, the holidays means giving tech support to those who need it the most: our families. Zac Cohn’s talk showed us how not to be the least secure gazelle by using the same password over and over again. The (somewhat ironically named) password manager 1Password is what he (and I) recommend for creating and managing passwords. They have apps for Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS to keep your passwords secure and in sync. 1Password is $36 a year for individuals and $60 for families of 5 or fewer.
Volunteers: 10 new volunteers are helping us make this show better. More on this later.
Donations: We have received our first community donation! Yes: you can donate to Ignite Seattle. More on this later too or if you can’t wait, email us. Thank you so much for your donation Jeremy Kayes. It will help run Ignite Seattle and it was a huge inspiration to us that you believe in Ignite Seattle so much. Jeremy is an Ignite Seattle Alum and a super fan. Check out his fabulous talks here and here.
Talk submissions: We have a few great ones already, but we would love more. Specifically, we want to hear YOUR talk idea. Tell us a story, teach us a skill, or try a serious crazy talk idea (inspiration).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.