Ignite Cardiff Deluxe 

When we're not busy working on a new website design, we love to get out of the office for a good event. Normally, if you so much as whisper the words “food and wine” to us, you can pretty much guarantee that our names will be at the top of the guest list! But at last night’s Ignite Cardiff Deluxe, we took away far more than a doggy bag of food and a crippling hangover.

Thought provoking questions, passionate presentations, insightful talks, unrelenting wit, a sense of poignancy and even a surprise marriage proposal from one of the presenters; it’s fair to say that last night’s Ignite Cardiff Deluxe managed to capture a bizarre blend of emotions and turn it into a seamless series of events that lead to a damn near perfect night. But what is Ignite Cardiff?

If you had five minutes to captivate Cardiff, what would you say?

In a nutshell, Ignite aims to inspire and enlighten audiences. The idea is to get 12 passionate speakers who'll each talk for five minutes on a subject of their choice. It goes without saying that speakers must have a passion for their subject matter, but self-promotion isn't allowed. This isn't a platform to promote businesses or to sell a product. It's an opportunity to share personal life experiences and knowledge.

Whilst there were lessons to be taken away from each talk, it’d probably be a bit too much if I wrote about each and every one. Plus, you’ll be able to watch the talks for yourself on the Ignite website soon which I highly recommend doing. Instead, I asked our designer, Shelle, and our social media executive, Rachael, to write about their favourite talks.

Richard Parks – Our Mountains 

“I really enjoyed Richard Parks’ talk. Before the night started, I was already looking forward to hearing what he had to say but it blew all expectations away which is impressive for a short, five-minute presentation! He’s done some incredible things but it was particularly interesting to hear how he perceived his own life. 

The fact that he didn’t think he was that successful in his job truly fascinated me. As somebody who seems overtly successful, it was interesting to see that he shares the same fears that we do. It was insightful to hear about how he trained for the fear when he was doing the peak/poles challenge so that he was always prepared for the worst.” Shelle - Graphic Designer

Mike Jordan – Why I Love the Elderly

“I thought Mike Jordan’s talk on attitudes towards the elderly was hugely insightful. Instead of treating older people with the respect that they deserve, too many people are often ‘too busy’ or they don’t value the older generation's contribution to society as much as they should. 

As Mike said, these people have lived through wars, the great depression and the technology evolution – they have stories and insights that we simply can’t get from anywhere else. We should want to invest time in listening to their stories as they have so much wisdom to share. Their thoughts and life experience should help guide and inform today’s decisions and thoughts. And I'm not just saying this because my office nickname is Grandma!" Rachael - Social Media Executive 

Matt Callanan – I Blame George Clooney

As for myself, you ask? It was Matt’s talk that really resonated with me. For those who don't know, Matt started We Make Good Happen, an initiative to get people partaking in random acts of kindness. I love that Matt's story is borne out of a positive experience. More often that not, the idea of helping others stems from a sense of empathy or duty, which is also great. But I really like that Matt simply had a positive day in which he met his heroes (George Clooney and Bill Murray), so he challenged the universe to make the day better and ended up winning £20 on a scratchcard; it was this experience that made him want to share joy and positivity with the world. He spent the £20 taking a homeless man to a supermarket and paying for his food shop. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The sheer scale of what Matt’s achieved already is astounding. Yet, it's such an attainable goal for us all to make somebody else's day just a little brighter; it's about being an everyday hero. The art of kindness is so simple yet so scarce these days. I love that Matt is going out of his way to leave behind this legacy of helping others in the simplest way possible. Whilst Matt has inevitably put his heart and soul into We Make Good Happen, it’s a concept that anyone can easily get involved with. I find it truly inspiring to think that we can each make such a big difference by partaking in small, random acts of kindness. Matt has a real energy that makes people want to make a difference.

What’s this have to do with marketing?

In a word: nothing. But events like this are the cornerstone of creativity. Five minutes on a subject is long enough to get your own brain ticking whilst being short enough to ensure that you’re not overwhelmed with information. The topics covered are so vast and unrelated to one and other that it really helps to get your brain whirring. For the entire drive home, I thought deeply about things that wouldn’t normally enter my head. And for someone that works in the creative industry, that’s quite the admission. 

From laugh out loud moments during a talk about sperm to shedding a tear or two after a thought provoking talk on the death penalty, my mind was left racing with ideas and thoughts whilst my body grabbled to get a grip on the mixture of emotions. And that’s exactly why these events matter. Ignite gets people thinking outside the box. As the name itself suggests, it ignites passion and sparks important conversations.

So, I’ll ask you again…. If you had five minutes to captivate Cardiff, what would you say?

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