Sebastopol, CA—At the second annual Global Ignite Week, upwards of 10,000 knowledge-seekers around the world participated in 63 Ignite events in cities such as Amsterdam, Bangkok, Dublin, Frankfurt, Lansing, Lisbon, London, Manila, New York, Seattle, Sofia, Sydney, Toronto, Warsaw, and Wellington. The action started Monday, February 7, and lasted late into Friday evening, February 11, 2011.
"We're seeing a lot of new faces showing up to participate in Global Ignite Week," said co-founder and O'Reilly Media Technical Evangelist Brady Forrest. "Roughly half of all participating cities are first-timers. It's really exciting to see Ignite take off in new areas."
Global Ignite Week saw a wide range of speakers—entrepreneurs, technologists, DIYers, artists, farmers, and creative professionals—present innovative ideas and solutions before enthusiastic and often standing-room-only crowds in pubs, theaters, airplane hangars, and even boats. In five minutes, using 20 slides that auto-advanced every 15 seconds, they lived up to the Ignite motto: "Enlighten us, but make it quick." Topics ranged from DIY 3D printers to "Saving a 6000 Year Old Culture" to knife juggling.
So what makes Global Ignite Week wildly successful? The New York Times described one Ignite NYC this way: "This new type of party mashes together Silicon Alley 1.0's camaraderie and optimism, meetup.com's spontaneity and informality, Burning Man's home-brewed creativity, and a technology conference's devotion to unveiling ideas."
This year, with the help of Global Ignite Week sponsor REDU (a Bing project) and the Ignite community, participating Ignites donated directly to over 300 local classroom projects of their choice through DonorsChoose.org.
Local Ignite organizers are uploading an abundance of new videos from their GIW events to igniteshow.com, adding to the current selection of over 1,800 videos from past Ignite events. Each five-minute Ignite video offers a passionate, personal view of the world.
Highlights from Global Ignite Week 2011:
Ignite got its start in Seattle in December 2006, as a personal project of O'Reilly's Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. They dreamed up an event where people could share their ideas over beer, and sent word out through their network. On December 7, two hundred Seattle geeks looking for "a fun night of geekery and networking" squeezed into a bar on Capitol Hill. They found beer, but so much more. First up, a friendly but intense competition to build the sturdiest popsicle-stick bridge. Then 25 intrepid locals took a turn on the stage for their five-minute Ignite talks. The consensus was that it was a blast. Word got out, and other communities wanted Ignite in their cities. Brady and Bre turned the event over to O'Reilly, and nearly 200 Ignites have been held, about half of them in the past year. O'Reilly launched Global Ignite Week in 2010 to both celebrate and amplify the Ignite phenomenon.
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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