Ignite Philly II

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I had a great time Tuesday night at Johnny Brenda’s for Ignite Philly II. The event opened with Josh Kopelman’s talk on entrepreneurship (including some timely remarks about the relative security of working as an entrepreneur vs. an I-Banker these days). It continued with a diverse lineup of speakers covering topics spanning green building, education, open source in government, the arts, and perhaps my favorite, trans-species animal training:

Kiki Bolender: Park(ing) Day in Philadelphia
Chris Lehmann: The Schools we Need
Jameson Detweiler: The Drexel Smart House
Adam Turkelson: A Practitioner’s Guide to Neural Networks
Stu Hankin and Will Robinson: Innovation at Ideablob
Steve Welch: Startup Change vs. Evolution
Mark Yim: Engineering Education and the GRASP Lab
Beth Van Why: Design Philadelphia
Far McKon: Aerogami
Jen Yuan: Hacking Cats into Dogs (Loved this!)
Howard Blumenthal: Mind TV
Jim Stogdill (yours truly): Open Source in Defense: Unleash a Culture Virus
Jason Allum: Indy Hall Labs (video)
Kristin Groenveld: ArtSphere
Harris Romanoff and Dana Schloss: Make:Philly
Geoff DiMasi and Paul Wright: Declare Philly an Open Source City

I really enjoyed the talks on education by Chris Lehman and Mark Yim. I think it was the way they unexpectedly complemented each other. Also, I guess I’m enough of a geek that I really enjoyed Adam Turkelson’s talk on neural networks, especially since I just finished reading a biography about Norbert Wiener and the birth of cybernetics.

Of course, what evening would be complete without an 8-bit chip music concert at intermission? Don Miller of NO CARRIER put together a great show that included Brana V. of The Hactory, Paul Levering, Animal Style (Joey Mariano) and Cheap Dinosaurs (Dino Lionetti).

Yep, that’s a Game Boy he’s playing as the video opens.

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