Last Thursday, hundreds of people packed the Boulder Theater to attend the 27th installment of IgniteBoulder. What is Ignite and how does it work? Once every few months, a group of everyday people – not professional speakers – come together to give a series of five minute talks about whatever their “geeky passions” may be, with only a slideshow of images to accompany them. The audience has no idea what the talks will be about, and once the slides start, they don’t stop; it’s a truly energetic experience where there’s a chance you’ll laugh and cry by the night’s end.
We loved every minute of the show, and while all the speakers were great, here’s our top three:
1. Michelle Archuleta Ph.D., Broad Institute
Michelle asked the crowd “Why can’t we use mathematics to cure the problem of cancer?” A data scientist, she passionately shared the story of her grandmother’s battle with colon cancer and how it inspired her to use her mathematical background to contribute valuable research to the bioinformatics, cancer biology and medical fields.
2. Anand Sharma, Huggy Bear Clown
Anand was the first, and only, speaker to go on stage with a red clown nose. He greeted the crowd by singing a silly song which we can only presume is called “There’s a hold under my nose,” which made much more sense once he went on to explain that he volunteers as a clown at hospitals for children and seniors. He helps people by making them smile, including the audience from the event.
3. Kevin Hotaling, Rooster Mkt
Property rights: sounds like a dry subject, right? Well Kevin managed to captivate the audience, noting how “no two countries who have a McDonald’s have ever waged war with one another.” When the talk was finished, the audience found a new respect for property rights – and McDonald’s.
To all those in the Boulder area, we encourage you to check out the next Ignite event! You’re bound to learn something and have fun in the process.