This summer I was hugely impacted by the “Yes & Yes Yes” unconference I attended in Palm Springs. 450 or so extraordinary, passionate polymaths gathered together to enjoy each other’s company and cross-pollinate ideas, interests and knowledge in an environment of celebration and spontaneity.

On one evening I had my introduction to Ignite talks: Presenters have 5 minutes to present a topic of interest using 20 slides with exactly 15 seconds per slide. These back to back talks were inspiring and provided marvelous fuel for conversations.

One of the things I’ve been prioritizing this year is making my time with friends meaningful, and I decided to experiment with this format. I’ve begun bringing together small groups (6 – 12 people) where everyone presents in Ignite-ish format and we then have ample time afterwards to hang out and discuss whatever people want to afterwards.

The first one was delicious – with 5 presenters and two observers, it was a delight to see people who inspire me coming together, sharing their passions and making connections with one another. Our second one is almost filled now, and it looks like there’ll be more to come.

One thing that it’s definitely confirmed for me is that I’m not the only person I know who’s hungry for opportunities to hang out with interesting people and go deep into conversation!

I’ll be hosting more “Ignite-Ish” events, and hope to be branching out into a few other events geared towards deep connection, play, and collaboration, and will be posting versions of some of the presentations once I get my process sorted for creating the videos.

The original Ignite:

More on Yes & Yes Yes: