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