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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

IgniteSD #2 Lights up Madison Main Street

This one's for you, Officer.... I hope it was another quiet night shift.

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™:
  1. 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!
  2. Megan Nelson explained why she likes running marathons better than selling insurance.
  3. 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).
  4. Chris Francis touted the upcoming first-in-the-nation White Night arts event, happening right here in Madison July 1.
  5. Joe Bartmann discussed the joys of worm ranching and compost tea... and offered free livestock!
  6. 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.
  7. Jael Thorpe extolled the virtue of being one's own boss, running for office, and not wasting time waiting for things to happen.
I'd have snapped pix of the speakers, but I was busy emcee-ing... and enjoying every presentation!

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.


  1. Sounds like a cool place. Your note about Heather reminds me of a time only 10 years ago when I lived in Kona (Hawaii) and could put my entire life's possessions onto an airliner without exceeding the baggage limit. Not a bad existence at all! We could use a place like Mochavino here in Lead. Maybe when all those neutrino scientists come over from Europe ...

  2. Great event, great community gathering too, a lot of faces for sure, and even a few ears. If anyone wants an igniteSD event in their community, go to www.igniteSD.com, and feel free to beg, plead, otherwise shout, and make it happen!
    Cool things happen when people talk to people, over beer and latte especially, thanks go to Mochavinos for being the host too!

  3. I wish I could have made it, but with on-air shows, production and remembering I had to write a story for the Chamber newsletter about the VFW teener tournament, I simply didn't have enough time. But it sounds like it was a fun time.

    About the "White Night", I know it's been over 30 years, but the Jonestown colony of the People's Temple Cult used to have mass-suicide drills. They also called them "White Nights".

    Sorry, we history graduates tend to be drawn to the macabre every once in a while! ;)

  4. For all those waxing poetic about Ignite, you can enjoy it again! August 2nd in Sioux Falls at the Museum for Visual Arts at 7.30pm.


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