By Jay Fidell
I wasn't sure it was going to be interesting, but I thought I'd go down there because I told them I'd be there tape it. I was prepared to leave, but five minutes after it started I knew it was going to be electric.
I'm talking about the “Ignite” event organized by Christine Koroki. Ignite presents speakers under a really provocative protocol where each speaker has 20 slides transitioned for 15 seconds, which allows them a rapid fire five minutes to talk about their subjects.
They aspire to be Ted quality speakers, and from what went on last Thursday night, they succeeded. If you want to see the speakers speaking, expletives deleted, stay tuned to thinktechhawaii.com. We’ll be posting them shortly.
The eight speakers were well-chosen. Their talent was tangible and their vitality was infectious. The protocol made things move at breakneck. The slides were funny, raucous and/or profound. The group loved it. There was a feeling in the air, of joining, of discovery, of joyfulness. You wished there were more than eight.
Here's the list: Daniel Leuck "The Software Developer of 2020: Exploring the Evolution of Software Design", CEO, Ikazyo; Danielle Scherman "Startup Weekend", Social Wahines; Austen Ito, "Geekology 101", A Maker at HI Capacity; Rechung Fujihira, "Tsune", CEO, Enzyme, The Box Jelly; Angelica Rabang, "Good Design", AIGA Honolulu President; John Garcia, “Going Viral: The Social Tsunami”, Co-Owner/CTO, Nonstop Honolulu; Peter Justeson, "How & Why to Make Games", IGDA Honolulu Co-founder; Yancey Unequivocally, "Most Presentations Stink", CEO, Empowered Presentations.
The venue was the Box Jelly on Kamani Street, a co-working space created by start up entrepreneurs Rechung Fujihira, Hasan Scott and Tony Stanford. There was food and what looked like about a hundred people there that night, networking up a storm and drawn headlong into the presentations.
Plus ca change, plus la meme. It had the feeling of Village beat from the 1960’s, reminiscent of the artsy basements and lofts on MacDougal Street, intense crowds packed shoulder to shoulder speaking their minds and pushing the envelope in the flower revolution that preceded the cynicism of Vietnam.
Maybe it’s time for a return to that energy, maybe even here. Ignite has come to town, and organizers like Christine Koroki should keep it going, draw lessons and support from it, and expand on it. ThinkTech is happy to tape these presentations because they’re better when taped; somehow, it enhances the phenomenon.
Ignite has legs. It lights up something in our youth, maybe older folks too, and makes us want to know more, engage more, reach out for ideas we haven’t heard before. It’s new to Honolulu, an awakening perhaps, and maybe we can make it ours.
I'm hoping it’ll happen at the Box Jelly again, and we'll all find out early enough to get seats. In the meantime, I plan to talk to Christine and suggest other speakers because, when you think about it, there are a lot of Ted quality speakers here who could jump in. It’s only five minutes, right?
If you see a notice or get a tweet about another Ignite night, act soon because the next time will make the crowd last week look small.