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VOL. 129 | NO. 222 | Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ignite Memphis Returns With More Rapid-Fire Ideas

By Andy Meek

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Ignite Memphis returns next week with what organizers say looks to be the biggest Ignite event ever, on track for another sellout.

“Audience members consistently remark that they had no idea so many people were working on so many interesting and important things.”

–Patrick Woods
a-m ventures director

The basic idea behind Ignite Memphis: Get a group of creative professionals and Memphians of all stripes, really, to take the stage and make a presentation. That’s pretty much it, other than a few parameters, such as the requirement that the presentations include slides and last a total of five minutes.

The group producing Ignite Memphis is Undercurrent, which holds regular events around the city to help people connect with fellow Memphians, and the latest Ignite happens Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at BRIDGES, 477 N. Fifth St. It will feature 12 Memphians making rapid-fire presentations of ideas and stories built around 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds.

The goal of the event, said a-m ventures director Patrick Woods, is to expose people to new ideas – and each other.

“Undercurrent produces Ignite to celebrate and highlight the big ideas that make Memphis an ideal place for creative thought and action,” Woods said. “We've had more than 150 speakers submit ideas for the three Ignites we've produced so far. That tells us there's plenty of momentum among the connected and thoughtful segment of our city.”

He added that organizers try and aim each time for a mix of Ignite veterans and a healthy dose of first-timers, all of which serves to build a platform for emerging leaders to tell their story to the city.

This time around, the range of ideas includes homelessness, cryptocurrency and lucid dreaming. There will also be presentations on video games and “black nerd power.”

The full list, with speakers and presentation titles, includes:

  • Katie Raines – “Homelessness in Memphis: how you can help end it”
  • Zachary Whitten – “Skinner-Box One: video games and addiction”
  • Brian Wentzloff – “Don’t be afraid of cryptocurrency”
  • Joseph Miner – “Everything you aren’t told about grief”
  • Jonathan McIntosh – “Hope is a dangerous thing”
  • Josh Horton – “Creative Works”
  • Rikki Boyce – “Pride and prejudice and Piltdown Man”
  • Malaika Salaam – “Black nerd power”
  • Katrina Coleman – “Girls aren’t funny?”
  • Laney Strange – “10 awesome things about having a food truck (and 3 things that suck)”
  • Gabe Martin – “I wanna tell you about the dream hound”
  • Claiborne Ferguson – “Defending criminals, defending liberty”

Woods said LaunchTN is the title sponsor, and Undercurrent is producing it in partnership with Start Co. and the New Memphis Institute. Tickets are $20 and include beer, wine and food.

Ticket information is available here.

“Ignite has become a platform for introducing emerging leaders to Memphis. Audience members consistently remark that they had no idea so many people were working on so many interesting and important things,” Woods said. “It often feels like Memphis is exploding with amazing people. Ignite connects those people to each other and to the city. It's the only event that brings together diverse ages, ethnicities and backgrounds to talk about big ideas.

“I've had people tell me they look forward to Ignite all year. At least one guy says it's worthy of date night. It turns out people would rather hear amazing ideas from fellow Memphians than, say, go see a movie. We've sold out every event so far, even though we increase capacity each time.”

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 64 151 1,493
MORTGAGES 45 105 1,152
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 14 204
BUILDING PERMITS 0 209 3,265
BANKRUPTCIES 35 119 872
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 23 352
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0