Communities / Events

Ten years later, same mission: Ignite Philly 21

Get tickets to Ignite Philly 21, the lightning-talk series that's still going strong.

At Ignite Philly 19, in March of 2017. (Courtesy photo)

We had to crank up the Wayback Machine to find it, but this 2008 review of the first-ever Ignite Philly — penned by’s own Brian James Kirk for Philebrity (RIP) — is telling of how consistent the mission of the event has remained through the years.

“The fundamental takeaway from IgnitePhilly is that that the ability to change the world is more real than ever,” Kirk wrote. “It’s because of small, niche groups that are emerging as a result of increased connectivity that changing the world is becoming a realistic challenge.”

Highlighting the impact of the work Philadelphians do — what they’re passionate about and what they know — is key to the essence of Ignite, a biannual lightning talk series which will host its 21st iteration on Oct. 25 at Fishtown’s Johnny Brenda’s.

(Each year, the topic of the five-minute talks range widely: from accessibility to democracy, from work/life balance to animal genitalia.)

“The spirit of the event is for people people to come and be inspired by people who they may or may not know,” organizer Geoff DiMasi told “One of the goals has been to bring together people from all walks of life to celebrate Philly.”

To get there, the team of organizers — which also includes Girl Develop It’s Corinne Warnshuis, Indy Hall’s Adam Teterus, Interactive Mechanics’ Jos Duncan and University City Science Center’s David Clayton — turn to guest curators. This time around it’s speaker and writer Uva Coles, of Peirce College.

Get tickets ($5-$25)

“One of the reasons this is so important is that the speakers bring their own crowd,” said DiMasi. “Every time we invite someone with a different outlook, they’ll bring three or four other friends.”

Companies: Ignite Philly / Johnny Brenda’s

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