Rebecca A. Demarest – Why We Should Teach Kids to Write Fiction (Ignite Seattle #40)

As kids, many of us were told not to write fiction (whether explicitly or implictly) by our teachers or friends. Ignite speaker Rebecca A. Demarest thinks this is a mistake.

It’s not that Rebecca hates essays, it’s that writing fiction teaches kids important skills they don’t get elsewhere. To write fiction, you need to get inside the heads of your characters, something kids don’t do natively.

On October 3, Rebecca will speak to the Ignite Seattle crowd about her experiences teaching kids to write fiction, and how it helps them learn to relate to people who are different from them.

Tickets for Ignite Seattle #40 are on sale now.

Aeva Black – How To See Your Own Perception Bias (Ignite Seattle #40)

Just a few years ago, Aeva Black was a rising star in the tech industry, with a too many job offers to count, and invitations to speak at leading tech conferences. That changed when they changed their gender expression.

After Aeva transitioned, they experienced bias in a big way. Job offers suddenly turned into job rejections. With this sort of experience, you or I might have a negative reaction to the word “bias.” But not Aeva.

Aeva Black will join us at Ignite Seattle #40 to share a more optimistic message: we’re all biased, it’s the nature of our hormones and our biology, and that’s ok. What matters is whether we identify those biases, and what we do next.

Learn how to see your own perception biases with us on October 3 at Ignite Seattle. Tickets are on sale now.

Josh Jelin – Does This P-value Make my Lies Look Good? (Ignite Seattle #40)

A bad mathematical model can make a big difference to millions of people. To illustrate the point, Ignite speaker Josh Jelin points to “the Reinhart-Rogoff error”, which is when an economic model used by many countries to make major decisions turned out to be based on a minor typo in an Excel sheet.

Excel errors of that magnitude might be rare, but Josh will take the Ignite Seattle stage on October 3 to talk about an error which is more common, easier to make, and harder to spot in review.

If you’re not a statistician or a scientist, you might wonder what the titular “P-Value” means. Josh will answer that question, and tell you why it sometimes leads scientists to exactly the wrong conclusion, in his October 3 talk.

Tickets to Ignite Seattle on October 3 are on sale now!

Melissa Reaves – OCD is a Family Affair (Ignite Seattle #40)

Melissa Reaves knows what it’s like to feel helpless and hopeless from OCD: her OCD went undiagnosed until her early 20s. So when her daughter received a diagnosis, she could relate. Her daughter has access to something Melissa didn’t though: a promising new program to help those who suffer from OCD.

Melissa will be taking the Ignite Seattle stage on October 3rd to talk about taking her daughter to what she calls “OCD Camp,” a 3-hour-a-day, 4-day-a-week intensive program of Seattle Children’s.

Join us on October 3rd to learn more about her experience in this program, from learning to do the opposite of what OCD says, to riding with an “OCD detective.” Tickets are on sale now.

Karlos Dillard – Friend Of A Foster Child (Ignite Seattle #40)

With 24,000 kids aging out of the US foster care system every year, if you don’t already know someone who grew up in foster care, it’s highly likely you will soon.

In fact, if you attend Ignite Seattle #40, it’s practically guaranteed. Karlos Dillard was raised in three-dozen different foster homes, and he’s joining us on October 3rd to share his story.

When he graduated from high school, Karlos’s past as a foster child meant communication problems that made it hard to hold down a job. It’s not until a manager finally asked “why?” that things started to turn around.

Join us at Town Hall on October 3 where Karlos will teach us how to be a Friend of a Foster Child. Tickets are on sale now.

Ashley McGirt – Dying Black (Ignite Seattle #40)

I don’t have to do nothing
but eat, drink, stay black, and die.

Langston Hughes, “Necessity”

Ashley McGirt has heard this sentiment repeated by her family since she was a child. Her grandmother’s take, “All I got to do is stay black and die” is particularly ingrained in her mind.

People of color die younger and at a higher rate, largely due to heart attacks, high blood pressure, and other cardiac problems. As Ashley says, “we are not dying well, and black people especially are not dying well.”

Ashley has a unique view into this problem as a licensed mental health therapist, and on October 3, she’ll share what she’s learned about this inequity in death, and how to die well.

If you haven’t registered for Ignite Seattle #40 yet, get your ticket today.

Seven great reasons to come to Ignite Seattle #40 (Thurs Oct. 3rd)

We’re thrilled to bring you another edition of the best open submission public speaking event in the Northwest. We’re on a long stretch of sold out shows, so don’t wait to long to get your tickets.

Our shows are a great, fun, social experience, perfect for a date night, catching up with old friends or even just to hang out with coworkers after work. 

If you’ve never come before, or have missed a few, this is a great one. Here are seven reasons to come to Ignite 40:

  1. Know Anyone with OCD? Melissa Reaves will talk about the profound effects on her family of having a child with the condition and how they’ve learned to cope and grow. 
  2. Wonder what the impact of what you eat really is? Mary Purdy will explain how you can save the world, just by what you put under  your fork.
  3. Did you know there are almost 450,000 foster children in the U.S.? Karlos Dillard, a foster adult, will teach us how they see life differently, something we should know as some people in our lives were likely once in the foster system. 
  4.  Rovina Broomfield, Ignite Seattle alum (So you’re Black in Tech), will be our fantastic Guest MC for the entire evening. 
  5. Have you been arrested for a serious crime you didn’t even know you were commtting? Angela Barris’ surprising story involves a children’s toy, drawn guns, a concussion and bloody hands! Come to hear they whole wild tale.  
  6. Easily beat the traffic and grab a pre-show snack or drink in the neighborhood near Town Hall Seattle with our recommendations.
  7. Plus eight more talks on a wide array of challenging, fun and entertaining subjects.

You will hate yourself if you don’t come. I mean, it’s Thursday night – shouldn’t you start your weekend a day early? We think you deserve it.

Doors open at 6:30pm (as does the cash bar). Talks start at 7:30pm, with an  intermission. Full list of speakers and topics.

Announcing Guest MC: Rovina Broomfield – for Ignite Seattle #40

At our #39th event, it worked out so well to have Nicole Steinbok as a guest MC, we’re doing it again for #40.

This time it’s Ignite Seattle alum Rovina Broomfield. She’ll be the master of ceremonies (thats what MC, or emcee, means after all) introducing the audience to the Ignite format and inviting our great lineup of speakers to the stage.

Tickets are on sale now (early bird price of $10) and as usual, we expect to sell out, so don’t wait.

She spoke at #37 at the Egyptian about “So You’re Black In Tech”.

Announcing speakers and stories for Ignite Seattle #40 – Oct. 3rd at Town Hall Seattle

We are excited to announce our speaker lineup for Ignite Seattle #40. We had over 60 submissions from which we picked our lineup of fantastic talks (thanks to all who took time to share their story with us).

Get your tickets now – just $10 at the early bird price, which ends soon. ($5 more after that).

  • The speakers and topics are fantastic. See the list below. 
  • We will sell out.
  • You save $5 now. Buy tickets before 9/19 and you get Early Bird pricing.

Here are our evening’s stories and storytellers (order is to be determined):

  • Saving the Planet with your Fork, Mary Purdy
  • Friend Of A Foster Child, Karlos Dillard
  • Urban Wildlife Gardening, Understanding Israel
  • How To See Your Own Perception Bias, Aeva Black
  • Turning orphanages into Creative Hubs, Simon Okelo
  • Does This P-value Make my Lies Look Good?, Josh Jelin
  • Why We Should Teach Kids to Write Fiction, Rebecca A. Demarest
  • Dying Black, Ashley McGirt
  • Confessions of an International Smuggler, Angela Barrus
  • How Religion Shaped me as a Scientist, FoSheng Hsu
  • OCD is a Family Affair, Melissa Reaves
  • I Like Your Shoes, Wanna Be Friends?, Nadine Khoury

What to expect at the show on Thursday, Oct 3rd:

  • Doors open at 6:30pm – get a drink, a snack, and play a game
  • Show starts at 7:30pm – with an intermission in the middle
  • After party at 9:30pm – celebrate the show with the speakers and organizers

$10 until Sept 19 – $15 after

5 Reasons To Submit a Talk Idea To Ignite Seattle

UPDATE: Submissions are now closed. Thank you to all who submitted.

Submissions are currently open for our next main stage event, Ignite Seattle #40, on Thursday, Oct. 3rd at Town Hall Seattle (Tix $10). If you’ve thought about proposing a talk in the past, now is a great time. Here are 5 reasons why you should do it:

  1. It’s Seattle’s best live audience. We fill the great hall at Town Hall Seattle with almost 1000 of the most curious and supportive people you will ever speak in front of. They’ll cheer you on, laugh at your jokes and appreciate the effort you put in.
  2. You get to think about what you really care about. Submitting a talk is a forcing function: it gets you to think about your life experiences and knowledge and what you most wish to share, or want people to understand. Even if you don’t get in, you’ll better understand yourself (or realize you might need some more adventure in your life to make for new stories!)
  3. Receive free expert speaker coaching. We do everything we can to help our speakers, including two practice sessions with expert speaker coach Scott Berkun.
  4. You’ll become part of the Ignite Seattle family. For more than ten years we’ve put some of the most interesting people in our city on our stage, and you’ll be invited to our alum events to meet and get to know many of them.
  5. We give you great advice on what we’re looking for. Read our handy little guide that explains the common mistakes people make, how submissions get chosen, and what kinds of topics and ideas are most likely to get accepted.

Submissions close on August 22. Don’t wait! Go here to see the form and get started.