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Ignite Charlotte 4 – Part 2 Recap

Ignite Charlotte 4 Press Corp – Part 2 Recap

During the intermission, everyone had a chance to meet and greet the speakers. There was also plenty of great networking taking place in a laidback environment. After intermission, Part 2 of Ignite Charlotte 4 kicked off and speakers took the stage for their time to shine.

J. Richard Byrd, delivered his talk “Lessons from My Grandfather”. He went over the four or five life lessons his grandfather taught him before passing; work hard, smile, keep singing and if you don’t know the words to the song, just say watermelon, watermelon, watermelon. We heard some enlightening and inspiring words, including “You have to pay your way, and you have to contribute.” His grandfather taught him that “you should contribute and make sure you’re doing something with your life.” The key message shared by Richard shows how we can turn the most trying times into golden opportunities. So, “get off the sidelines and jump in.”

Next we heard enlightening words from Raquel Vélez. Her talk was titled, “Engineering for the Masses”. “She helped us understand that engineering isn’t a science; it’s an art. It’s not a major; it’s a way of thinking and more importantly when you have an idea and need to get to a final solution, the Engineering Design Process (EDP) helps us get there in just a few easy steps that “anyone” can do.” It’s important to identify your problem, do your research, design, build, and then test. For encouraging words on how we could move forward with our own engineering endeavors, we heard “it’s impossible to fail unless you give up.”

Redvers Davies was the third speaker in Part 2 of Ignite Charlotte 4 and he offered some useful advice on “How to Build Everything”. An example given was of the ease required to build an Android smartphone in the 21st century. “Red” stressed that “the roadblocks to build something are in our heads not our hands. “If you can think it you can build it.” It was his call to arms to the inner creator inside us all. He went on to emphasize that “the technology is there for the taking. If you can’t build something then build something that will build it for you! It is time for you to step up, shake off the shackles of consumerism that the world has spent billions of dollars convincing you that you were destined for. It is time for you to create!”

Technology is only relevant when it’s personal. The next speaker, Antoine RJ Wright, expressed the idea that what’s in your hands is enough to create, similar to what the previous speaker stated. “The Big Wheel Effect of Digital Finger Painting was the title of his talk and one of the points he made was that “there’s more to tech than communications.” Antoine stressed the need to shift our way of thinking in order to bring more color and excitement back into our everyday life. One of the highlights of his talk was how he created designs using an iPad that expressed the colors of images he was surrounded by at the time. He observed how most people around him were living their lives with their heads down; looking at their computers, phones, books, and even cups of coffee. Inspiration came by way of finger painting what was around him. As he did this, he began to discover the world in a whole new palette of color. It was clear that he wanted us to slow down and live in the moment.

Moving into a controversial space, Dan Roselli offered an alternative to the status quo of politics. His talk, “Web 3.0 – The Coming Death of Political Parties”, was accompanied by plenty of stats showing the historical data of American politics. “Who’s in charge? We are.” Dan highlighted how ” The web would change EVERYTHING for the next 250 years of US democracy and how roots are forming from the ”Social Media” spark of the Arab Spring to the grass roots mobilization of US voters. There is a movement called the ”National Popular Vote” which is about to change the face of US elections by guaranteeing that everyone’s vote counts in every state.” Through a very well organized talk, Dan shared with us all the current evolution of American politics.

Our last speaker, Nick Breaux, inspired us to, “Give a Little”. He expressed how “your ability to serve others does not rely on sacrificing who you are. It means sharing yourself and your abilities to make things happen. As a leader and responsible members of society, it’s our responsibility to empower every person we meet to be the best they can be. Don’t serve others because you should. Do it because it brings joy.” He used a metaphor of a Sunflower and bumble bee as an example of how pollination and multiplicity go hand and hand. As YOU give a little, others will be inspired to give as well.

Everyone in attendance left feeling inspired to take on their world in a different way. The energy flowing through the Neighborhood Theatre throughout the evening was nothing short of magnificent. Thanks to the speakers, volunteers, and sponsors, Ignite Charlotte 4 was a huge success. Ignite Charlotte 5 is in 6 months, so get ready with your idea…NOW!

Contributor: Lewis Banks (@lbanksvo), Ignite Charlotte 4 Volunteer

Ignite Charlotte 4 – Part 1 Recap

Ignite Charlotte 4 Press Corp – Part 1 Recap

Ignite Charlotte took over the Neighborhood Theatre for a 4th round of talks ranging from understanding the Geek language to the awesome Justin Bieber. Each of the speakers had great topics and connectors into spectrums that either we have pondered or yet never thought of. Here’s a quick rundown of Part 1 from an amazing night at Ignite Charlotte 4!

First up, we had Phillip (PhillyMac) Zannini who wanted everyone to know “How to Speak to Your Geek” We’re all Geeks. Yes, even you. But with the push and pull of our everyday lives we often forget about our inner geek. With everyone being a geek within their own right, there are different levels and types of Geeks.

PhillyMac unlocked the Geek language with three key points; how to identify what type of geek you’re speaking with, the best ways to speak to the different geeks and how the geek language applies in both business and the rest of your life. He also gave insight into the types of geeks there are: Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, and Melancholy. At the end of the talk, the heart of the matter is to focus on who they are rather than what type of geek they are!

Next, we had an interesting talk simply titled “Fat, Lazy and Awkward”.  Colby Foster connected how motivation is a two-way street and is crafted by how parents develop work ethic within children. Mentally, we are becoming fatter due to taking in so much information, yet becoming very lazy. One of the main points that Foster emphasized was “Challenge Us!” He went on to say, “throw away the video games and get in touch with your children. Give them more information than Xbox!” The line “Stop making life easy. Trust us with projects you think are too big for us…we will get them done” echoed among this talk.

The third speaker, Addy Kapur, encouraged us to “Follow your Dream, But Have a Plan”. “It’s perfectly OK to dream about starting a company while holding a corporate job (a lot of people do). It’s all about balance! Having a plan on how to bring your dream from a mental state to reality will give it a greater chance of manifestation. The road has many ups and downs. The undertone of Kapur’s talk was, “It requires a lot of hard work with no guaranteed payoff. Brace yourself for a long ride.” Then motivated the audience to “Quit Your Job” and put that dream to action!

“Ways to Live Like a King, on the Budget of a Peasant” talk came from one of the greatest resources – a college student! Who else would know about living large on a small budget, effortlessly?! The fourth speaker, Kaitlyn Tokay, gave tips on how to be resourceful and have fun with it! “Money does grow on trees, but it actually doesn’t. So it comes from a job! You don’t have money and more than likely will be eating McDoubles for the rest of your life.” Being her own greatest resource helped her build this excellent and insightful talk.

Have ambitions to run or get back into shape?

The fifth speaker, P.J. Smith, transformed from IT Engineer to Running Coach during his talk: “Couch to 13.1: How an Out-of-Shape Nerd Completed a Half Marathon”. Keys to his success included choosing proper running shoes, training for 19 weeks and using a vision board with images of his goal to motivate himself to cross the finish line with a time of 2:52:38. P.J. felt that if he could finish a half-marathon ANYONE can.

“If You Hate Justin Bieber, Patriarchy Wins”, the title alone made the crowd more interested in what was yet to come. Dr. Robin James, the sixth speaker in Part 1, gave a unique spin on patriarchy and how it is more threatened by pop music than actual people. “One primary way patriarchy subordinates women: Men ”exchange” women, using women as the means to establish relationships among men. Teen idol fan cultures reverse this exchange: women use men as the means to establish relationships among themselves as women. This reverses patriarchy’s main way of subordinating women. Thus, patriarchy is severely threatened by teen idol music. It only allows teen pop to exist on the condition that it, and its female fans, are thoroughly devalued. If we don’t want to devalue women, we need to reflect on our distaste for teen idol music.”

The audience enjoyed Part 1 and headed to the lobby to meet and greet the speakers during intermission. Part 2 of Ignite Charlotte 4 is up next. Stay tuned!

Contibutor: Nadia Vanderhall (NcVanderhall) Ignite Charlotte 4 Volunteer