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I think the title says it all. Nebraska is one of the most underrated states in the US for travel. This presentation will make you want to book a vacation to Omaha and see the sights.

About Shannon: 30 something wannabe hipster mom who grew up in Nebraska, works in healthcare marketing and has a headful of useless knowledge to share.

When I reflect on the things that inspire me most, images of fine art, photography, poetry and great design race through my mind. Endless examples of great work that far surpass my own aspirations. These works' creators are unbelievably inspiring to me— individuals who have somehow tapped into a well of ingenuity that's seemingly bottomless. In digging deeper, to gain an understanding of what drives these people to do such astonishing work, I reflected on what I suspect are critical characteristics they possess. One rises to the top: conviction. Conviction as in "commitment, confidence, sincerity, passion and fervor." Without conviction, one loses the will to continue the arduous pursuit in bringing to life that impossible thing their inner being tells them they must create. Conviction, I believe, is at the core of every great artist, every great designer, every great creative. When I shift my reflection to bring to mind examples of people of great conviction, I'm surprised to find those who inspire me most work outside what are commonly considered creative endeavors. As creative persons, we have much to discover about true conviction from looking extrospectively.

About Paul: Paul Evers is president and creative director of branding agency, tbd, in Bend. Although, he's perhaps more known for being a husband, father, active community member and fly fisher.

Aural condensation of 6 months in SE Asia.

Verbal transference of learning through experience.

Mental binoculars.

About Paul: Best thing I ever did was marry a girl I met while tutoring her in math up in Bellingham, WA. Since college, we've enjoyed traveling and new experiences, like moving to Bend in 1996 for a job.
In 2003 we quit our jobs and took a real whinger of a trip. Drove to Alaska, flew to Europe, traveled through the interior of Mexico.
We were gone for a year and a half, and the highlight was 6 months spent in SE Asia. The extreme differences in culture blew apart our view of 'conventional wisdom' and reinforced our core beliefs about human kind. It was epic.
Upon our return to Bend in 2004, I got my job back, we've got 2 kids and a large mortgage. Yes, it's different, but don't worry!
We still find time to test our core beliefs and concerns about human kind.
Every day.

Try not to die. That's pretty much the best advice I can give you if you are thinking of doing a triathlon for the first time. Because nobody completes their first triathlon. They only survive it. But if you're like me, you're thinking: "Where do I sign up?" In this presentation I will introduce the audience to the sport of triathlon and take them through the basics of the race, with tips on training, equipment and race day tactics. I don't come at this from the view of a professional triathlete, but as relatively recent beginner—I've only completed four Olympic distance races, with my first in 2006, and I remember vividly the terror, intimidation and confusion at even the thought of the race. My goal is to throw light on what the beginner can expect to experience in their first race, demystifying one of the most difficult athletic undertakings in the world, and inspiring people to take up the challenge of the sport.

About Nick: Nick Reese is a professional copywriter, amateur triathlete, and apprentice adventurer. You can follow his travails in triathloning at

A humorous recount of my whirlwind college birdwatching trips ( 143 species in 4 days ) out near the Steens Mountain, my addiction to taking classes ending in "ology" and how it resulted in me becoming a walking vessel of useless trivia. Presentation would start with a history of my "ology" addiction, the professor at PSU who inspired me to become the person I am today ( he passed away years ago but is still a legend in the Oregon scientific community & the most humble man I have ever known ). Would lead into the strange world of birders, the "inside" humor of ornithologists and why we love birds so damn much. Presentation would then continue to discuss the Steens Mountain and the utter chaos that ensues when 30 people try to document 143 species of birds in 4 days.

About Michelle: Currently working as a teacher for Head Start. BS in Biology and Masters in Science Education - currently using neither. Grew up in the Bend area, left for 15 + years and recently moved back with my spouse and son. Skater for the Lava City Roller Dolls for the last 3 years. Avid bird watcher and fly fisher woman. Love to speak in public. :)

Narrated in a free verse style, my presentation will tell the story of a present day nomad through the pictures taken on her cell phone. From the plaintive views out airplane windows leaving home behind, to photos capturing the random acts of kindness of hotel housekeepers, I want to tell my story against the grainy backdrop of life-impacting moments captured on a disposal and undistinctive medium.

About Meri: I'm a lawyer who counsels start-up and growing technology companies. I moved to Bend during the Dot Com boom in the Silicon Valley so my kids could be raised outside of the fast-paced environment and grow up to be avid outdoorsmen. They lived in Bend, I remained a nomad, traveling outside of Oregon to work all over the United States so my kids could call Bend home.

Isn't life always better when there is a song in your head, even more so your heart? What if our lives were musicals? What if we could just break out in song during a stressful meeting about H1N1 flu, rebranding or our annual performance evaluation? What if we could tell our loved ones how we felt through a song or how much more poignant would that argument be if only we could drum up a chord or two? It is an experiment I would like to propose and for you to experience. So let's sing! Sing a song! Sing out loud! Sing out strong for a lifetime... or maybe just five minutes.

About Janette: I am often described in colorful terms, some more colorful than others. One friend describes me as, "Wild, yet grounded." Another says, "Joyful whirlwind." My close friends know, I love musicals and I love to sing. One thing is clear; I have a lot of energy and a lot to say. I work in media relations for Central Oregon's esteemed hospital system. I play in this lovely dichotomy we call life.

In 2009 I set a goal to see 100 different bands/artists perform live. I met that goal and was blessed to see some of the best and most elusive performances 2009 had to offer. I want to share with people what that experience was like... How live music can shape life... and just what went into reaching that goal. People always wish they had time to see more concerts... I want to inspire them to stop making excuses and buy a ticket!

About Ethan: I am a 32 year old music lover and Oregon native. Passionate about people and their own stories. Love to connect with groups of people at live music performances and share my knowledge of great music with everyone I meet. I work for Bend Memorial Clinic and explore Central Oregon and the Pacific Northwest any chance I get.

Sometimes we have to 'fake it 'til we make it', and learning to engage the spirituality of everyday life takes that kind of attitude. If we begin to look at everything that happens to us as if it is a 'wake up call' to pay attention, we begin to find all manner of synchronicities, connections, and delight. This talk is about a way of grounding our search for spiritual engagement in everyday, ordinary life, not some mountaintop ephiphany! As part of the presentation, we'll do a short experiential exercise that will show how simple and profound this work is.

About Beth: I have been a devoted seeker of spiritual wisdom since a child. I've worked 20+ years in hospice and other non-profits. The dying have taught me to live with at least one eye open! I've lived in Bend for over 5 years, and am delighted to call it home. I have a MA in Religious Studies and a BA in Elementary Education.

What is Ignite?

Ignite is a geek event in over 100 cities worldwide. At the events Ignite presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes.

Find an Ignite near you, start your own or watch a video.