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Wednesday, 04 March 2009

The Upside of Fear


Photo by Ben Wood.

Last week, I had the tremendous opportunity to participate in Ignite Phoenix, an exceptionally fun, creative and energizing event, led by a fantastic team of volunteers here in Arizona.  The Ignite concept is explained from the Ignite.OReilly site:

What Is Ignite?

If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to show their answers.

Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then 100s of 5 minute talks have been given across the world. There are thriving Ignite communities in Seattle, Portland, Paris, and NYC.

We had a PACKED house in Phoenix, with about 350 people in the beautiful Tempe Center for the Arts, captured by TempleStark.


My buddy Jeff Moriarty, one of the organizers of the event, captures the vibe in the room particularly well in this photo by Sheila Dee.  It was one of the most open, positive and welcoming groups I have ever presented to.


My 5-minute topic was The Upside of Fear, my answer to the doom and gloom we are all living with today. Check out my presentation here, and please view the other 17 presentations on Blip TV.

I told Jeff that the event reminded me of a free, bootstrapped TED conference where local talent shared their passions with their peers.  If you have the opportunity to attend or present at an Ignite in your local area, I highly recommend it.  If you don't see one in your city, start one!

As I said in my talk, in times of fear, we connect.  It doesn't get much better than this.

See more photos from the event on Flickr, tag IgnitePhx


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Jeff Moriarty

An absolute pleasure hearing you speak at Ignite, and glad you enjoyed it. Your talk was quite timely with everything going on in the world lately. In fact, you should even consider... I dunno... putting some of what you said in a book! I bet it would be a big hit! :)

Word of mouth is still our only advertising, so many thanks for helping to spread the news.

linda m lopeke

Loved your presentation, Pam! Thanks for sharing it with us.

I watched it here and I also watched the previous video link to the Ignite event that you sent out earlier today.

It's obvious people were completely entranced by your preso; they were paying attention to every word! Great job.

The stories you told were great too -- fear is chasing us all -- and darn it, I'm going to get down that hill before it catches me too. :D

Linda M. Lopeke

Dave Kaiser

This is awesome, I want to do this in my town, near Chicago. Do you need permission or procedures or do you just DO IT?

Sand castings

Thanks for sharing your presentation..

David S.

Love the "goddamn it, get down that hill!" line. That's going to be a personal rally cry for me, I can tell. Thanks for the inspirational post.

Marsha Keeffer

What a pleasure to view something aggressively positive - thanks for a great post, Pam.


If this had been a TED bootcamp, I'd rate your presentation as "inspiring, courageous, funny, and persuasive". Since you only were given 5 minutes, I figure you get four rating categories... Thanks for sharing the presentation. Now, I'm going to go off and look at the longer video to see what the others had to say.


Well Ignite seems to be a total crazy event. I think I want to start one of my own.

Thomas Wolfe

Thank you very much for sharing your presentation. I'm sure you don't mind that I've been sharing it with a number of people. It's been great connecting with your blog. Keep up the wonderful work!

Thanks again.

Sean Carpenter

Pam - You rocked! I loved the presentation and really enjoyed the whole concept of Ignite. I will look forward to viewing all of the other presentations.

Thanks for sharing your ideas and wisdom. Maybe I can learn more about Ignite and start up a chapter here in Ohio? Is there an Ignite.com or some "Mother Ship"?

Mark Spieglan

Cool talk. Love your presence.

Thank for cluing us in to Ignite. I totally want to see one in the Chicago area.

For those who asked:

Pamela Slim

Hey everyone!

I am so glad you enjoyed the preso -- it was so much fun to deliver it.

My best recommendation if you are interested in starting an Ignite in your area is to follow the link Mark just sent, a How-To guide:


I hope we ignite (pun intended) a lot more creativity in the world by promoting this event!


Laura Jo  Richins

Pam, you did a great job. I didn't know about ignite until after the event but I have the next one on my calendar.

As I step out of my comfort zone with my work in an area that I feel passionate about, your message is inspiring. I will be sharing it with friends and family.



Great presentation, Pam.

Edith Russo

AWESOME!!! What a great perspective and advice about dealng with my "irrational" fears.

I'll have to check out the Seattle events.

Thanks Pam!

Kim Leatherdale


Way - too - much - fun !

Your presentation was great, and I love the idea of ignite. Thank you so much for sharing both.

I already am thinking of the people I need to gather to get one of these running in my area!



Even the gurus will agree with what is being said here. I am glad I found it.

Alex Redmond

Hi Pam
It would be great if these events were going on in the UK, do you know if there are any plans to do so because we are crying out for that sort of enthusiasm and passion. Bring it on!


Alex, if there is not an event, you should start one! Connect with my buddy @jeffmoriarty for tips - he is great.


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