If you were given 5 minutes to stand on a stage in front of an audience and the spotlight was on – what would you say? That is the question posed and the premise of Ignite_(insert city here) events. Last night, it was Raleigh’s turn and I was proud of our creative community and the evening’s presenters. While the common thread was social media – it was more about the conversations and the community and less about the medium. You’ll read all about the specifics on Twitter (if Twitter was working today) by following the hashtag #IgniteRaleigh and I’ll post the videos of some of my favorites here, too.
@ZachWard did a fantastic job as MC and Rhett and Link tickled everyone’s funny bones withtheir songs and style. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you’re missing out on some very entertaining local talent; they dub themselves Internetainers. The duo is NC’s own Flight of the Conchords.
The evening worked like a talent show but without an air guitar band act or a Wizard of Oz skit. There was nothing business about it – all fun, some inspiration and a lot of motivation. Ignite is about sharing and spreading ideas. I was blown away by photojournalist and cell phone photographer Shawn Rocco’s work – check it out at CellularObscura.com . James Avery had the best slide deck, IMHO and gave great ideas on how to bootstrap it through startup phase. What Would Jesus Tweet caught everyone’s attention and earned it – Derek’s delivery was exceptional and really funny. Ryan Allis, CEO of iContact got up and did his thing and shared really, the one idea of the evening that could change the world; working to end poverty globally. He lives his slide deck every day and did a terrific job of encouraging us to recognize our good fortune and to work to help others who are not as fortunate. I’m a ladyist and it was a real pleasure to have so many smart women represent for us all, all night! @Ruby kicked it off – check out her thought provoking work at OrangePolitics and Kristin Zaccheo made a strong case for getting science and research online and not just stuck in the laboratory.
While host Wayne Sutton’s presentation on Why The Triangle is Better Than The Silicon Valley was funny and he made some decent points… his envy was showing. ;o) Wayne, I think you have to at least go to the Valley before you make such claims. Full warning: you’ll be hard-pressed to leave my friend! I was.
But it’s nights like last night that make me proud to live where I do now and grateful to be a part of the intelligent, collaborative and creative community that we have found here in Raleigh.
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