So when is IgniteBainbridge IV?

We started the year with every intention of proceeding as usual with a May 2015 Ignite Bainbridge performance. Then it became clear that the organizers from the past few years (primarily Leslie and Jason from OfficeXpats, and Linna from The Callaham Group) could not commit again to the time needed. We approached another organization and proposed our participation and support if they would take on general management, but it didn’t work out. So the short answer to “When is Ignite Bainbridge IV?” is “we don’t know; we’re skipping it for 2015.”

Then Elizabeth (Beth) Robson called. For context, Beth was THE ONE who brought the idea of Ignite to Bainbridge, at a brainstorm meeting at OfficeXpats. She knew the creator of the Ignite format and had participated in an Ignite Seattle. She was our first Emcee.

EarthArt Bainbridge logoNow Beth has a new idea that Ignite Bainbridge could support, or that could reinvent Ignite Bainbridge, if we choose it. Her vision is EarthArt Bainbridge, a program to explore how art inspires us to understand our impact on the natural world and encourage us to take action on climate change. Announced on Earth Day 2015, EarthArt Bainbridge will engage with partners to plan and produce a full month of coordinated community-wide events celebrating Earth Day 2016. Think “art workshops, displays, performances, guest presenters” and community discussions about all that.

(By the way, the first public EarthArt event is happening on June 4th, 2015, 6:30pm, at OfficeXpats. We are gathering to watch some videos on “geo-engineering” as a response to climate change.) Read the rest of this entry »

Get set for Ignite Bainbridge III

It’s near the end of January of 2014, and that means it’s time to start revving our engines for Ignite Bainbridge 3! A quick update: We are still a loose coalition of passionate volunteers and alumni speakers evangelizing “big ideas in 5 minutes = fun on Bainbridge Island.” May 6th is our performance date.

Linna Callaham has stepped forward to offer her organizational talents as lead Igniter, to support prospective speakers and plan the event, so don’t hesitate to contact her (please also sign up on the website to volunteer or consider being a speaker).  Linna can be reached at (206) 842-1707, or [email protected]. Also, as the ongoing “Community and Communications” lead, I’m still deeply committed to keeping this “tradition” alive on Bainbridge. (Can we claim “tradition” with only 24 months since our introduction to Ignite?).

Goals for Ignite Bainbridge 3: Each of the past two years we have built important processes and relationships that make the next year more successful.  Here are some new goals…

  • We will sell out this year! We got pretty close last year.
  • We are considering donating excess proceeds to—or adding a fundraiser for—the new Community Radio station on Bainbridge Island (link to Inside Bainbridge article). Note that we do not know yet about winning an FM license, but plans for an Internet radio station are moving forward regardless. Lots of future collaborations can be imagined for Ignite talks being podcasted, and Ignite speakers being interviewed. What do you think?
  • Last year we had a very talented high school senior, Chiara Patricio, do a talk that was one of my personal favorites, and a goal this year is to recruit/encourage 2-3 equally passionate and high performing students to participate. If you know a student with an important story to tell, encourage him or her to get involved.

Thinking of being a speaker? Don’t put off contacting us if you have an idea for a talk. It is likely that the roster will fill up moderately fast, and it will be by the people who get prepared first. More to come on the selection process, but fundamentally “first prepared, first assured a spot on the roster.” so please submit your interest as soon as possible.

 Speakers’ Workshops: One workshop a month (held at OfficeXpats) will take both novice and experienced speakers through the essential steps, and we encourage alumni to attend and offer mentoring. Attending the workshops is not mandatory but highly recommended. It’s the best way to stay informed on the process and get feedback on the talk you are planning, at any stage.

In addition to scheduled topics (see below), each of the three workshops will offer time for you—as a prospective speaker—to get feedback from alumni on your idea, script, or completed presentation, and reminders for how to become an accepted presenter.

If you can’t make any of the workshops due to a repeating conflict, be in touch with us and we will figure out a way for you to get the information and/or support that you need.

Save these dates! 

  • February 20, 6pm (Thursday): Be prepared… the Ignite format… 5 minutes, 20 slides, a big idea. How to get started, planning your talk.
  • March 18, 6pm (Tuesday):  Be concise… the script for your talk, what makes a good story, even in 5 minutes.
  • April 22, 6pm (Tuesday): Be visual…  the rules and restrictions for building your slides, tips for big impact, submitting your slides.

Want to help build our Ignite success?  We need volunteers NOW to help us get the word out in news media and on social sites, and to attract speakers with passion for a great idea. Please contact Linna if you have ideas or connections for stories that we can place, or if you are able to pass the word at an organization you belong to. More volunteer opportunities coming soon as well.


Leslie Schneider
Ignite Community Lead (on behalf of OfficeXpats, the organizing sponsor)

We are prepared, concise, and visual. We are Ignite Bainbridge.

After months of prep and hours of what felt like near-chaos, the performance Tuesday night was pure relief and delight. It was the second time our Bainbridge community had put on our own local flavor of the international trend called “Ignite”—a high-energy evening listening to many inspirational 5-minute talks, each accompanied by 20 slides. Ignite speakers need to be prepared, concise, and visual with their presentation, but not necessarily experienced or comfortable in their role. That’s what I love about Ignite—it’s a big challenge, but achievable if we care enough about what we want to share.

Leigh Calvez at Ignite Bainbridge 2

So who is Ignite Bainbridge? How does it get done? How is it changing? Our first Ignite a year ago was inspired by Beth Robson, who introduced the idea, guided the volunteers, and was our first emcee. It was amazing: 14 presentations, 150+ attendees, some essential sponsorships that kept costs down, an enthusiastic crowd at the mixers before and after the event, and videos on YouTube for each speaker by island filmmaker Steve Stolee.

For this year, we wanted to lock in a culture of community support for return performances. I think we made progress! Over 210 attendees, 16 presentations, new volunteers and sponsors, and stories in the local papers to promote the event. Alex Sanso set the tone with some beautiful updated designs for our materials. Lynn Smith, Karen Hallis, and Leigh Calvez were three volunteers who came to so many weekly meetings in the past couple months to manage promotion, food, ticketing and more. Bhama Roget, a dangerously funny frequent flier with the Edge Improv hosted the stage as our Emcee. Read the rest of this entry »

Get out of your comfort zone with Free Trait Theory

by Tom Leurquin, Ignite Bainbridge 2012 alumnus “Clean out your garage

Do personality differences affect a person’s ability to give an Ignite presentation? The simple answer is “No.” The general perception is that extroverts just get up in front of an audience and start talking and are perfectly comfortable being on stage, and introverts simply wouldn’t do it or aren’t capable of doing such a thing. The truth is a bit more complex than that. Both introverts and extroverts are more than capable of getting in front of a group of people and talking about a passion they have. Read the rest of this entry »

Alumni Speakers Series: Christine Castigliano

May 2012 was the first ever Ignite Bainbridge, and 14 brave souls pioneered the way for this inspiring event. But what were their motivations and why did they do it? What did they learn and what advice do they have for future Igniters? Those questions and others were asked of these three Ignite Bainbridge first-timers: Alex Sanso, Tom Leurquin, and Christine Castigliano.

This post is a compilation of Christine’s answers. Christine is a writer, singer and teacher of Sparkology, which is her term for the process of awakening and uncovering the divine essence within, and welcoming the many facets of our wholeness. She may be reached at 360-598-3846 and

Why did you participate in Ignite Bainbridge? Christine: Ignite Bainbridge is about stories, passion and community, and I love all three. I’d been working with my personal story to fuel a midlife career transition. Turning 50, I woke up to the fact that I don’t have forever. What matters most? What am I here for? What are my gifts, my challenges? How can I make a difference, help the world become a better place? Read the rest of this entry »