Ignition! Philly Ignite event leading all other cities in charity donations

Brian McTear of Weathervane Music. photo | Kevin Monko

Thursday marked the seventh installment of the highly successful Ignite Philly series at Johnny Brenda's.

If you worried in the past that Ignite Philly was too techie for your tastes, you shouldn't anymore. The themes of the night hewed more to civic engagement and urban farming than venture capital or 8-bit music. As always, presenters were allotted 5 minutes each to speak through 20 auto-rotating slides.

There was still some science fun, with Danny Gerber from the Urban Nutrition Initiative creating smoothies on stage from mangoes, fruit juice and pedal power. He uses the demonstration in local schools to get students excited about a healthy diet.

There were several other excellent green presentations. Joe Forkin and Sarah Thorp from the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation encouraged people to "ingest the Kool-Aid" and get excited about the upcoming Race Street Pier (a waterfront park scheduled to open in May); Kristen Taylor and Patrick Dunn talked about the cooperation between the art space Little Berlin and the adjoining Emerald Street Urban Farm.

Nic Darling, known as a leading green developer for his efforts at 100k House and PostGreen, gave a hilarious talk about a fictional consulting agency (Suck Less Consulting) to help stars form entourages, featuring hand-drawn cartoony characters with nameslike "interim girlfriend" and "the mule."

Philadelphia was one of 70 cities to hold Ignites this week as part of Global Ignite Week. As such, attendees in all participating cities were encouraged to donate money to a deserving local charity through donorschoose.org.

At the time of this writing, attendees at Ignite Philly had donated more money than attendees at any other Ignite. A generous and proud community: another reason why I love Philly.