Ignite (event)

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The general Ignite logo, which is usually adapted for use in different locales

Ignite is the name for a particular type of event that is held throughout the world—organized by volunteers—at which participants speak about their ideas and personal or professional passions according to a specific format. The event holds the motto, “Enlighten us, but make it quick!” Anyone can throw an Ignite event. The presentations are meant to "ignite" the audience on a subject, whereby awareness, thought, and action are generated on the subjects presented. The largest Ignite event to date is Ignite Boulder 11, which attracted 1,350 attendees on June 24, 2010.[1]


Ignite is a presentation format that’s shorter than the Pecha Kucha format, a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each, but longer than lightning talks, short presentations between five to ten minutes long. In Ignite each speaker gets 5 minutes, and must use 20 slides with each slide advancing automatically after 15 seconds, forcing speakers to keep a rapid pace in presenting.

Ignite’s motto, ‘enlighten us, but make it quick,’ is a reference to the rapid style of its presentation format. Ignite speakers get five minutes and 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Speaking at a just-comprehensible clip of 160 words a minute, you get about 40 words per slide for a total of 800 words.

Presenters are screened, which keeps the quality high enough to draw a “geeky-creative-techy-designer-startup kind of crowd”.[citation needed]


The first Ignite was held in 2006 in Seattle, Washington, United States (US), and was the brainchild of Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. It was sponsored by O'Reilly Media and MAKE magazine[citation needed] and they continue to be the main sponsors. The event mirrors the open-minded attitude of its founders Pettis and Forrest, although O’Reilly Media has since taken responsibility over the operation.

Ignite has held over 50 events since its creation in 2006, many of which were supported by O’Reilly Media. O’Reilly even held an Ignite event at a company Open Source Convention in 2009.

Each Ignite is independently organized at the local level. Ignite events are often free to attend and may be supported financially by sponsorship

The end of the fifth Ignite Portland

Ignite is not only supported by major initial contributors but also by free sponsorship organized at the local level.


  1. ^ "Free Case of Beer to Best iPhone 4 Video about Ignite Boulder 11". The Denver Egotist. 23 June 2010.  Self proclaimed as a “fast-paced geek event,” Ignite events began in Seattle, WA in 2006 and have continued to grow into international gatherings both online and offline.

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