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

How To Be Less Racist & Support a Good Cause

One of our highlights from Ignite #36 earlier this year was Maryam Hosseini’s inspiring talk about her Iranian heritage.

She’s also an active member of SISCA, a group that works here in Seattle to “reverse hostility between the United States and Iranian governments by developing people-to-people relationships.”

Next month, In partnership with famed local chef Tom Douglas, they’re doing a dinner fundraiser on Thursday, November 1st at the Palace Ballroom, with the proceeds going to SISCAs programs and local events.

If you haven’t seen it, watch this wonderful talk. And then see about having a tasty dinner that supports a good cause.

 

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

A Survival Guide for Black Millennial Single Mothers Striving to Slay – Sydney Swonigan – Ignite Seattle 37

“So who in here has absolutely just fucked up before?” That’s the question Sydney Swonigan started off with during her Ignite Seattle talk. (Judging from the audience reaction, the answer was: a lot of us.)

In her talk, Sydney discusses the time she fucked up: accidentally becoming pregnant shortly after graduating college. (“#whoops-a-daisy”) After years of striving to overcome the stereotypes placed on young black women, she found herself worried about becoming stuck in a negative narrative of a single black mother. She didn’t want to just survive, she wanted to slay.

In her talk, Sydney talks about her experience deciding not to choose between being a mother and a leader, owning her own story, and why there’s no better time than today to fuck up.

photo by: Brady Harvey

Juliet Wasn’t Dumb – Emma Broback – Ignite Seattle 37

With a single statement, “Juliet wasn’t dumb.” you know who Emma Broback is talking about. Her talk challenges popular misconceptions about one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters.

Far from the passive, reckless, dumb teenager we’re taught she was, Emma shows how Juliet was a strong, independent woman who was an intellectual equal – if not superior – to the other characters in the play.

Juliet had agency. She had wit. And if it wasn’t for Italy’s favorite “golden retriever of a boy”, Romeo, she would have had the world.

photo by: Brady Harvey

Translating Earth’s History: Microscopic Shells Tells Us About Our Past & Future – Elisa Bonnin – Ignite Seattle 37

Some people need crystal balls to see into the past or predict the future – but not Elisa Bonnin. She just needs seashells. Well, seashells and an almost-PhD.

Elisa expertly explains to an audience of non-PhDs how she uses microscopic seashells from animals called Foraminifera to uncover the history of ocean acidification, temperature change, sea level rise, and ice ages for the last million years.

It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since your last chemistry class – if you want to learn about some science, Elisa is ready to teach you.