We’re still here and we miss you: 2021 update

Greetings from the Ignite Seattle team and welcome to our latest year as a civilization on this planet. It’s been a rough ride for sure but we are happy you are here. 

We’ve been staying safe, wise and patient, waiting until it’s safe to do live events again (which we know will happen). But we miss you and hope you miss us, and we wanted to give you a warm hello as we roll into 2021. 

Watch: Re-Ignite Seattle 2020 

Last fall we did a new style of event, of particular interest if you want to learn more about storytelling craft and the behind the scenes view of how Ignite Seattle works.

Hosted by organizers Sumit Basu and Zac Cohn, watch some great talks and listen to our hosts’ expert commentary.  You can also see the chat room in (recorded) real-time, with many alumni and organizers joining in with comments. 

You can watch it here

Get your live storytelling fix

We’re wisely waiting the pandemic out for our next major event – but many other local groups have been charging ahead. If you miss live local storytelling, check these events out:

  • Fresh Ground Stories: stories of people who had your back, Thurs Jan. 21 7pm PST – This longstanding Seattle event does monthly open-mic style short form storytelling on a theme, live with no slides. Free and open to all.
  • Unexpected Productions – One of the oldest improv groups in Seattle, they offer a mix of live performances and classes weekly. They’re a great organization and can use your support this year. And improv is a fun way to improve your speaking skills (approved by former emcees and improv students Scott Berkun and Nicole Steinbok).  
  • Under the Rainbow: Storytelling for LGBTQ+ – Mon January 11th, 6pm PST. this bi-monthly event for teens and adults is open-mic. LGBTQIA+ tellers are prioritized; allies are welcome in the audience. No one is obligated to tell a story.
  • Class: Creating Stageworthy Stories Workshop, taught by Kent Whipple (of Unexpected Productions, an Ignite friend and one of our speaker coaches). This 6 class online workshop is a fantastic way to get direct coaching from one of the best coaches you will find – a great way to grow your storytelling skills. $200 for 6 classes, starting Sunday, Jan. 10th 3-5pm PST (and weekly thereafter). 

Favorite talks that will make you smile

We asked the team for a fun talk to recommend to you and here’s our list from Tyler, Zac and Nicole:

That should give you a solid boost of fun, creative and inspiring storytelling to get you through the week. 

Stay well and stay safe,
The Ignite Seattle Organizing Team

P.S. we don’t know when the next in-person Ignite Seattle event will be held however you can submit an idea whenever inspiration sparks

P.S.S If you have an idea for something we should do before live events return, get in touch. 

Two new partnerships to make this season better than ever

We’re excited to announce partnerships with two new organizations which will help us make Ignite Seattle better than ever this year!


We’re excited to announce our headlining sponsor for the 2018-19 Ignite Seattle season, WeWork!

WeWork is a global network of workspaces where companies and people grow together. We transform buildings into dynamic environments for creativity, focus, and connection. More than just the best place to work, though, this is a movement toward humanizing work. We believe that CEOs can help each other, offices can use the comforts of home, and we can all look forward to Monday if we find real meaning in what we do.

Even more exciting, WeWork is offering the Ignite audience one free week of coworking at their newest Seattle location, 1411 4th Ave. This offer is exclusive for the Ignite community! Learn more and get your free week.

The World is Fun

We’re also partnering with Seattle nonprofit The World is Fun to help us build a volunteer program and to allow us to accept tax-deductible contributions. This partnership means we’ll finally be able to get started on a lot of long-running ideas we’ve had for making the show more fun.

You might remember TWIF from founder Amy Faulkner’s talk at Ignite #34, where she described her mission to get Seattleites involved in their community through unique events and partnerships with more than 140 local nonprofits.

When asked why she was excited to work more closely with Ignite, Amy said “The World is Fun is a perfect partner for Ignite Seattle: We both share the goals of teaching Seattleites how unique, passionate, and connected they really are in an approachable and fun format.”

Ignite is thrilled to have the support of these two organizations, and this year’s shows will be better than ever!

Help Wanted: Our Team Needs You

Here at Ignite Seattle, our city’s largest open platform for citizens to share their stories, a small team of volunteer organizers makes our sold-out shows happen. Thanks to you, our fans, our events have become so popular now that we’re looking to grow our team.

If you’re not familiar with what our events are like, this short video explains it well.

We are growing our team and now have several roles we’re recruiting for:

1. Role: Event Producer for Ignite Seattle

The event producer for Ignite Seattle is the master of the back of the house at our events. They coordinate with our MC, volunteer wrangler and other organizers to plan each show, and then work directly with our venue to ensure everything goes smoothly. During the evening they are the primary showrunner (with help as needed from the MC and other organizers), to make sure people, equipment and fun are in the right place at the right time. They need to excel at planning, communication and real-time project management, and also have a love for live cultural and civic events.

As part of the organizing team, the producer may collaborate with the team (using Slack) between events to find speakers, improve our relationships with other organizations and help improve the quality and thoughtfulness of all our creations (website, videos and other media).

We do three events a year and all of our events are in the evening (usually Thursday night).

2. Role: Design-Master (Web and visual design)

As one of the premier live events in Seattle we need a web and digital presence that captures the fun, challenging and community building energy of our shows. As design master you’d lead the way in designing and building a web experience that enables visitors to easily find interesting talks from our past events and that helps sell tickets for upcoming ones. You’d also refine our brand and visual style, improve or create designs for our logos, t-shirts, slides and other digital and print materials. You’d get high-autonomy, clear goals, a fun team to work with, and a way to use your significant talents for good.

3. Role: Money-Master (Bookkeeper)

We excel at making the most out of our events, working mostly with volunteers to make everything happen. Yet we do have basic accounting tasks, including paying bills, collecting ticket revenue (from our venue partners) covering expenses, and doing non-profit accounting and planning, things most of us have only minor experience with.

We need an experienced bookkeeper to track our income and expenses, help us make sure we pay our vendors on time, and improve our financial planning and basic accounting.

4. Role: Sponsor-Master

For  years we’ve filled Town Hall Seattle, and now, The Egyptian theater, with sold out shows that provide a great platform for the amazing stories, projects and ideas Seattle citizens are working on.

We want to extend that platform to include a handful of select sponsors, trading resources we can use to improve our shows, for premier exposure to our audience and community.

The role would be to define our sponsorship program, recruit sponsors and manage ongoing relationships with them.

Minimum time commitment: a couple of hours a week between events, with spikes of 5-10 hours a week leading up to and during the events (3 times a year).

Rewards:  You’ll be part of a fun, smart and loyal team of volunteer organizers, well connected in the Seattle tech and arts community. You will meet many interesting and amazing people, work with a great team, and share in thrills at each live event. You’ll get to use skills you already have to do good in the arts community in Seattle. Ignite Seattle will likely be one of the most rewarding things you contribute to regularly.

How we work: We are mostly virtual (Slack), with monthly in-person meetings, and more as needed or when we get closer to the next event. We are all volunteers and happily wear many hats. You may get your hands dirty often, and have fun doing it, as we are a small, lean team.

How To Apply: 

  1. Give us a brief rundown on your past experience (link to resume or LinkedIn is fine)
  2. Tell us what you love about Ignite Seattle, and/or why you want to join the team?
  3. Email the above to pr@scottberkun.com

What is Ignite Seattle: in 60 seconds

The live experience of attending our events is a special thing. We know that people who come, and even speakers, can have a hard time explaining what Ignite Seattle is. It’s more than presentations. It’s more than storytelling and community. It’s more than a fun night. It’s…. MANY GOOD THINGS.

To help solve the problem, we’ve made a short video that tells the story. We hope you like it enough to share it! Kudos to Bryan Zug for putting this together.


Help Wanted: Ignite Seattle Marketing/ Media Champion (P/T)

Here at Ignite Seattle a small team of volunteer organizers works behind the scenes to make everything happen. Thanks to you, our fans, our events have become so popular now that we’re looking to grow our team. Here’s what we are looking for:

Marketing/Media Champion (P/T)

Ignite Seattle needs someone who can lead the way for our kind of storytelling on the interwebs. You will use your proven social media talents to transform our nascent marketing efforts before, during and after our events into a glorious wave of tweets, posts and shares, spreading the ideas of our speakers far and wide. Perks include working with a high fun / high trust team, your fill of good bourbon and wine and the joy of using your talents for the altruistic goodness of the Seattle creative community.

Minimum time commitment: a couple of hours a week between events, 5-10 hours a week, or more, leading up to and during the event (3 to 4 times a year).

The role: you’d lead our social media and other marketing efforts. This includes working with other organizers to define strategy and also leading the work to implement tactics. We all support each other, but we’d look to you as our marketing expert.

Rewards: none of us organizers are paid – this role is something you should do because you like Ignite Seattle, you love doing pr/marketing for cool projects, and you want to volunteer to be part of an important community (of ideas). You will meet many interesting and amazing people, as they (our speakers and audience) are the stars of each event – Ignite Seattle might be one of the most rewarding things you contribute to regularly. You’ll know much more about your city and what great things are happening.

How we work: We are mostly virtual (Slack), with monthly in person meetings related to the events and our speakers. We are all volunteers and happily wear many hats. You will get your hands dirty often as we are a small, lean team.

How To Apply: 

  1. Study the marketing/media efforts Ignite Seattle already has. What two things would you improve first and how? (You won’t hurt out feelings)
  2. Give us a brief rundown on your past marketing/media experience (link to resume or LinkedIn is fine)
  3. Email the above to pr@scottberkun.com


Why Submit a Talk for Ignite?

The talk submission deadline is just a few days away – next Monday, October 1st. We are still looking for talk submissions.

The fantastic organizers at Ignite Phoenix put together a video that summarizes what Ignite is all about. If you’ve been to an Ignite, you know about the 5-minute, 20-slide format. But the people of Phoenix share about the passion and excitement and geekery that seems to bind all Ignites together.

So what are you passionate about? What do you have to share with the rest of Seattle and the world? Tell us your story, and share your passion with us. Submit a talk today, and then join us at Town Hall on November 8th.

How to Register for the Ignite Newsletter

We’ve heard stories from people who want to come to an Ignite event, but miss out simply because they simply didn’t hear about it in time. With Ignite Seattle 12 less than a week away, this seems like the perfect time to sign up for the Ignite Seattle Email Newsletter! No need to miss an event just because you forgot to check the Ignite Seattle website, we’ll remind you!

In addition to reminding you about upcoming events, we’ll be sending out pictures, videos, and other extras in the days after the event!

So register now, and then swing by the King cat Theatre on December 7th at 7:00pm for Ignite Seattle 12!