I went to Ignite DC 6 this Thursday. Ignite is an event where speakers give 5-minute talks, accompanied by 20 Power Point slides that advance every 15 seconds. The topics were eclectic: a few about social media and startups in DC, some inspiring personal stories, and random talks on stress and hip hop.
My favorite was a talk called “Beauty Can Save Your Life” by Nina Tovish. She spoke about stopping during the day to observe the beautiful things around us, and sharing that beauty with others. By doing so, she said, we begin to see the world and its textures and colors differently, and we develop a desire to create beauty ourselves (she became a silk scarf designer). Her slides were mostly photos, of ornate benches and serene landscaping and pebbles. Her talk fit well with many of the things I’ve been reading lately about mindfulness and curiosity.
The format of Ignite is interesting, albeit a bit gimmicky. Five-minute talks are so short that you barely mind when you’re not interested in a topic, because the next speaker will be on before you know it. Without question and answer periods between talks, though, I found myself unable to properly digest the information. I wonder why the founders of Ignite chose this structure.