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Presenter: Michael Wassermann

Biography: I am a senior at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. I am pursuing concurrent degrees in English Literature and Sociology and will graduate in May of this year. My interests are in the humanities and the social impact of literature.

Description: As a system of education, higher academia is failing. Instead of instructing students to think critically, reason complexly, and write effectively, universities across the United States are conferring degrees on students who have little understanding of the merits that their diploma should represent. This talk will address the impact of the humanities in the 21st century and why our population should have a vested interest in the liberal arts in an increasingly scientifically and technologically oriented society.

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Presenter: Martha Schulzinger

Biography: During the day I am a Marketing and Communications Manager for a nonprofit in Scottsdale. But in the evening and on weekends, I am a rugby player. A woman rugby player. Aside from that I am a wife, writer, blogger, dancer, flexitarian and Siberian Husky owner.

Description: I want to share my passion for this not so well-known game. I would discuss how I love:
- The looks I get when people learn I play rugby.
- The joy of tackling and then enjoying a social with the other team.
- The game itself is a blast.

*About the title: A "hooker" is the player who hooks the ball out of the scrum to win our team possession.

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Presenter: Angela Leavitt

Biography: Marketer by day, singer/songwriter/guitar & piano player by night. I knew as a child I wanted to pursue music, but because of my fear and self-doubt, I never really did until about a year ago. And now that I have, my life has changed dramatically and I'm happier and more fulfilled than I have ever been. I'm finally living the life I was meant to.

Description: A year ago, I never dreamed I would ever get paid to do music. Mostly because I sucked at it. But through infusing hard work, persistence and passion into that dream, I made it happen in 12 months. I'd like to tell you how. I now have 2 weekly paid music gigs in Scottsdale and many more opportunities on the horizon. I've also traveled to LA to meet with a very successful record producer, and I'm quickly becoming part of his network of developing artists.

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Presenter: Michael Witham

Biography: Build community wealth... interested in human service, entrepreneurship, disruption and changing paradigms.

Description: I'm a felon, spend 11 months in jail, 4 in solitary in the psych unit. Completed 6 month rehab. worked at the rehab for 2 years. I'm bipolar. sober for 5 years.

Seen lots of people, believe in second chances and helping people get them.

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Presenter: Ben Morin

Biography: I'm a PhD candidate in the Applied Math for the Life and Social Sciences program at ASU, a father and a rabid fan of mathematical modeling. I spend my research time on the boundary of the ivory tower of mathematics and epidemiology, culture formation and ecological behavior models. I spend my free time watching Dora and drinking coffee.

Description: Most people hate math. I think this is because it is taught as drills and memorization. My talk will detail how math, tempered with imagination, is the pure science, and really neat. I want to tell people everywhere that math isn't a homework problem but a way of conceptualizing the world, breaking it apart, and finding out why it comes together.

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Presenter: Susana Martinez-Conde

Biography: Dr. Martinez-Conde is a laboratory director at the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) in Phoenix, where he studies various aspects of visual, sensory and cognitive neuroscience.

He is a member of the Academy of Magical Arts (aka The Magic Castle in Hollywood), the Magic Circle (UK), the Society of American Magicians, and the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Description: By understanding how magicians hack our brains, we can better understand how the same cognitive tricks are at work in advertising strategy, business negotiations, and all varieties of interpersonal relations. For instance, if you've ever bought an expensive item you'd sworn you'd never buy, the salesperson was probably a master at creating the "illusion of choice," a core technique of magic. The implications of neuromagic go beyond illuminating our behavior; early research points to new approaches for everything from the diagnosis of neurorehabilitation to marketing techniques and education.

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Presenter: Lori Baker

BiographyL: I run a company called The Barter Group, a Scottsdale-based business founded by my parents in 1978. I spend my days connecting local business owners to one another to help them save money, support one another and in turn, help sustain our local economy and community.

Description: What can a dozen cupcakes get you? What can an hour of time get you? The world of barter lets you trade what you do for what you want. Not restricted by direct trading, barter helps local businesses save cash, helps them succeed and makes a positive difference in our community. An age old tradition, barter is now an $8 billion industry worldwide.

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Presenter: Robert Hoekman, Jr

Biography: Robert Hoekman, Jr, is a prolific writer, web strategy consultant, and public speaker. In three years of living in downtown Phoenix, he has saved 18 stray dogs, fostered and found homes for many of them, and kept two. Almost all of them are still alive today.

Description: It happened again yesterday: another stray dog, starving & scared, was almost hit by a car on the streets of your neighborhood. You want to help. You want to protect the dog, your neighbors, & yourself from harm. But how do you catch him? Where do you take him? If he's caught by Animal Control, will he be killed? What can you do? Get the answers!

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Presenter: Shauna Stacy

Biography: I'm a single woman who knows a thing or two about dating and believes that Shaun of the Dead is the greatest romantic comedy of all time.

Description: Modern dating can make even a really great guy feel eaten alive. This presentation talks about how to attract a woman who makes surviving the end of days worthwhile.

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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.