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.
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).