Networking Presentation


Ignite is a tough format – 5 minutes, 20 slides, and the slides advance every 15 seconds. As such, the talks aren’t so much informative as inspiring and I really enjoyed the evening. First such event in Ottawa, but hopefully there will be more to come.

You can see the full line up here, however sadly some people couldn’t make it and so the line up was as follows:

Adele McAlear – Death and Digital Legacy

Jairus Pryor – How I Stole $15M from the Canadian Mint

Ian Graham – Coworking

Sue Murphy – Online Community

David Akin – Media and Technology

Kris Joseph – Shakespeare and Oral Culture

Scott Annan – You Inc.: We’re all freelancers now

Nick Charney – Public Service Renewal in 5 Minutes

Al Connors – Improv and Everyday Life

Death and Digital Legacy

This is actually something I’ve been thinking about lately and had actually sat down with my boyfriend, given him my passwords and told him that if anything happened to me I’d want him to let people know. I will probably blog about this properly soon. What I hadn’t thought about, and what this talk brought into focus for me is OK, so I die, my boyfriend lets people know – then what? Do I want my Facebook profile to be a memorial? What do I want to happen to my Twitter account, my blog, LinkedIn etc. I still haven’t come up with any answers to that.

Adele talked about Mac Tonnies who died recently. He had not planned his digital afterlife, as a result the problem of what to do with his archives is ongoing. His family apparently do not own a computer, and did not realize that he’d not just left a website, he’d left a tangible community and online ecosystem – an Amazon affiliate account where money is paid in, and also services that cost, such as hosting.

Before this talk I realized that we had to think about our digital afterlife. Now, I’m starting to realize how much thought needs to go into it. I have more thinking to do.

Shakespeare and Oral Culture

Apparently Shakespeare couldn’t spell. I always thought that was just how people wrote at the time – but apparently it was more than that! Interesting talk and perspective about how rules restrict creativity. Mashups have no rules, and that’s partly why they’re so exciting.


Fantastic quote from this – “The harder I work, the luckier I get” (originally by Samuel Goldwyn). This was a talk on entrepreneurship. He stressed the importance of small victories – celebrate them. Think you can change the world, because the people who do change the world are the people who think they can. Love what you do. Being an entrepreneur means you can choose who you work with.

Summary: Work hard, have fun, surround yourself with great people and eventually you will succeed.

Online Community

Susan talked a lot about “Superstars”. In the case of her work in a production company, these were the people in the trenches, people with full time jobs spending 18 hours a day working on productions. Everyone working there was a superstar – they finished each others sentances and raised each other up. Acheived the near impossible on a regular basis.

She started (URL not currently working for me). after noticing the lack of good arts and entertainment information in Ottawa when out with a friend. She thinks that building stronger communities means building the 3 elements of a community, which are: soul (passionate to come together and create), everyone needs to be a superstar, space to come together and share. Concludes – we spend so much time thinking about technology and tools, but it’s not what’s important.

You Inc.: We’re all freelancers now

Scott starts by urging us all to quit our jobs, today (even if we don’t tell our bosses). We used to trade our skills and time as an employee so the company would make a profit in return for security, however that security doesn’t exist any more. Hence – we are all freelancers now! In the new reality, we won’t get to retire at 65, and thus rather than trying to earn more money we should instead look at our career as a journey.In Canada, the opportunity to have your own business is better than ever before.

Focus on skill growth – broad, not deep as this means more industries open to you when you change jobs. Connect with people – social networking enables connections. Your social reputation is increasingly important. Because of connectivity, it’s possible to make a living in a niche market. Authenticity trumps brand. Don’t worry about what you put online, just get online and do something. Do something that’s big and important to you.

In sum:

  • Dream big.
  • Quit job.
  • Build skills.
  • Build network.

Recommends Network Hippo as a tool to help manage your personal network.

Public Service Renewal in 5 Minutes

Great quote (threat?) from this guy – “or I’ll retire on the job and collect my pay for the next 26 years“. Trying to encourage us to put pressure on the government to change, because it moves so slowly. Talks about how difficult his first year working for the government was, how he was in denial about being in the public service. However, through blogging and finding his personal voice (buried under bureaucratic bullshit) he was able to connect with “fallen comrades” and started to build respect – which he used to try and tear down walls. Finally he started to connect with the job, and now he’s excited to go to work every day. He uses social media technologies to try and make the government more effective but it’s a drop in the bucket. What we can achieve collectively is far greater than what we can do on our own, we need to try and envision new ways to do stuff.

The goal of his talk was to be a call to action – a demand that we step up our civic participation and get our hands dirty. If you work in the government, be willing to think and act in color in a system that’s black and white. If you’re not in the government, you need to help to change the game – more pressure from the public is needed in order for the government to become more open and transparent – come up with ideas! Public servants need to be more engaged, and make change faster.

Improv and Everyday Life

Improv is increasingly popular – businesses want it, although they’re not sure why. Thinking on your feet, being able to work off the cuff and have intelligent things to say is helpful, great skill for job interviews – as such, Al owes every job he ever had to improv, especially those that weren’t improv related.

Another word is “Yes” – positivity. Things happen when you say yes. If you say no, nothing goes everywhere. He thinks we’re at the start of a trend towards positivity, which will carry us through the next decade. It’s important to say yes because it makes stuff happen. Pessimists make great stand-up comics – but lousy improvs. Accept the challenge, move forward and defeat it. Yes it involves risks, but risks motivate. There’s the potential for failure, but celebrate your failures – if you’re celebrating, the audience is laughing with you. The wost thing to be on stage is boring.

Concludes: MacGyver was an improv – didn’t worry about what he was going to do, just went for it and it was great. Make more improv in your every day life

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