Ignite Houston at Intersections 2016 Speakers, Organizers, and Host
Last week’s return of Ignite Houston teamed up with Intersections, an annual two day conference that focuses on the cross-sections of culture, sustainability, prosperity, health, and social justice in Houston. For those that are unfamiliar, Ignite Houston is an event that started in 2010 as a platform for speakers to share ideas with an audience of business people, entrepreneurs, and students. But there’s a catch: each presenter only has 5 minutes to present their idea over 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. The spirit of the event and the presenters themselves can best be summed up by Ignite Houston co-organizer Daniel J. Cohen, “Everyone who is doing this speech tonight is brave.”
“Everyone who is doing this speech tonight is brave” – Daniel J. Cohen
Magdalena Francois Thurin, the second speaker of the night, dove deeper into the idea of using art for social change. She began with a strong, simple claim, “Art is not accessible to all and this is a social issue; there’s a direct link to quality of education, access to art, and poverty.” Magdalena held a magnifying glass up to this link by expertly stitching together historical, nonscientific, and sociopolitical facts. In five minutes, she kept her audiences’ minds and hearts engaged as she reminded us what art does for the human soul: “Art is essential to human expression, and by robbing children of that it robs them of a voice when they grow older, which is especially dangerous for already underprivileged youth.”
Magdalena Francois Thurin
Community Business Hour host John Whaley AKA Jony Profit broke down the different roles we all play in an economic system, how those roles relate to the exchange of resources in our economy, the emotional catalysts that drive economic decisions, and what those considerations mean for our culture. “If we understand each other, we can work together,” said Whaley. “I believe if we do that, we can go far, and fast, thanks to technology and social mobility”.
John Whaley AKA Jony Profit
January Advisors founder Jeff Reichman taught us how we can use data to tell a story; his example used a map of Houston that showed a concentrated amount of low level marijuana arrests in low-income neighborhoods. His speech hit close to home; UHD is surrounded by bail bonds operations and is a stone’s throw from the Houston courthouse in downtown.
If you’re interested in attending or speaking at the next Ignite Event, like the Ignite Houston on Facebook and contact the organization.
Attendees and speakers socializing, networking, and discussing ideas after the night’s speeches.