Ignite Portland Constitution

These are meant to be the  criteria, values, and guidelines that Ignite Portland will follow. Without them, the “core things we care about”, it could and will likely become just another tech conference/event. Let’s make it something unique, or we may as well not do it. Of course, these are subject to debate and change – what you’re about to read right now is my take on this, as of today.

Open and Community Based

Anyone who wants to can participate. No cost to present or attend. As long as you have something interesting, and stick to the format (20 slides for 15 seconds each), you’re good. if you don’t like something about the way Ignite works, and want to change it, let us know. We’ll listen to you. But we’re not going to accommodate every request to change the way Ignite Portland works. Very sorry. If that’s not OK with you, you should probably find another event to attend or present at. We’re not the perfect match for everyone.

Interesting Ãœber Alles

When and if it becomes necessary to pick and choose who gets to present, we want to judge ideas and presentations on how interesting they are, and not much else. That is, we want to avoid any other subjective criteria, like how well an idea fits with the “theme” or “feel” of the event, or of Portland itself. Putting up subjective barriers, even if couched in a positive way (like trying to “focus” the presentations) is a surefire way to kill this event. We, the organizers, are not smart enough to know what will end up being interesting and valuable to people who attend, and what will not. We cannot read people’s minds, and cannot see the future. So we won’t try. If your idea fits the format, and is interesting to at least one person (e.g., you), you’re in. If we get more people who want to present than we can handle, well, we’ll figure out a fair way to deal with that problem.

No Keynotes

This isn’t your father’s tech event. All presentations will be given equal standing/billing. Let them differentiate themselves on their own merit and interestingness. We don’t want to have “featured” presenters, keynotes, or special slots for presenters. Is there someone/some company that you really want to see present at Ignite Portland? Great! Get them to present. Nothing in your way. But we don’t hold special spots.


Since we’re not charging money to presenters or attendees, we need sponsors to pay for or otherwise provide the necessities of the event. Like a place to have it. Extras, like food, drinks, badges, and schwag are totally fine, if someone wants to sponsor them. If you sponsor something (and we can certainly find something you can sponsor, if you’re interested, no matter what your budget!), we’ll happily thank you for it – no “anti-commercialism” here – we love sponsors! And that leads us to…


We want Ignite to be about promoting and sharing burning ideas. If those ideas happen to take the form of the company you work for, the startup you’re trying to get funded, or any other self-serving commercial interest, then so be it. We’re fine with it, really. But whatever you present had better be interesting, because that’s what it’s going to be judged on in people’s minds. if you’re going to market to people at Ignite Portland, you’d better be smart about it. Because if you’re not, it’s likely to blow up in your face, and end up making people hate you. Don’t say we never warned you.

The Rest of the Rules

I guess there have to be some “real” rules in here, somewhere. So, here they are. Don’t do anything that’s going to get you or us in trouble. Nothing blatantly illegal (I’m not talking about “how to rip a DVD”, I’m talking about “how to make meth in your kitchen” or “how to make a car bomb”). In short, I guess the only “real” rule is “Don’t Be Stupid”. That seems to cover pretty much everything, doesn’t it? 😉