Hey, what was all that traffic on Main Street...
...on a sunny Tuesday night...
...making it hard to get to the counter at the coffee house?
Oh, just a bunch of people coming out to hear some visual aid speeches...
...at the best darn semi-self-organizing intellectual entertainment in the state!
IgniteSD #2 packed Mochavino here in Madison last night. Fifty-some people squeezed in, folks ranging in age from my own Divine Miss K (still in the single-digits) to my octogenarian neighbor and comrade Gerry Lange. People came from at least five counties (and some new friends, by more complicated life journeys, from Minnesota and New Hampshire!) for coffee, wine, conversation, and enlightenment.
IgniteSD's second program was filled with the Unexpected™:
- Jon Hunter spoke of his passion for sailing (ah ha! that Madison logo does speak to us!). I learned that sails work by Bernoulli's principle: it's not push, but sideways lift!
- Megan Nelson explained why she likes running marathons better than selling insurance.
- Heather Mangan told us how whittling your life down to two suitcases helps you see what matters (I prefer one frame pack myself—right, Toby?—but the idea stands).
- Chris Francis touted the upcoming first-in-the-nation White Night arts event, happening right here in Madison July 1.
- Joe Bartmann discussed the joys of worm ranching and compost tea... and offered free livestock!
- Kent Thompson shared bits of his experiences from eleven years of medical mission trips to Tanzania. He got back from his latest trip hardly 24 hours before speaking at IgniteSD #2.
- Jael Thorpe extolled the virtue of being one's own boss, running for office, and not wasting time waiting for things to happen.
I rhapsodized about the community-building value of Ignite events after the first IgniteSD in Brookings last month. I feel the same way tonight. At Ignite, anybody who wants to speak can speak. People want to come and listen, not because the speakers are famous or rich or powerful, but because they are us. Ignite brings South Dakotans together to say things that matter. We need more of that...
...and we'll get more! Organizer John Meyer says we can expect IgniteSD #3 to take place in Sioux Falls in June! He said he was thinking holding it at an outside venue... but last night's 40-mile-per-hour gusts reminded him that keeping this event indoors is just fine. Stay tuned to IgniteSD.com (and this very blog) for updates!
Update: IgniteSD #2 gets mention on KJAM as well.