Upcoming Ignite Michiana event aims to inspire positive changes

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Staff Writer

Courtesy of Ignite Michiana
Courtesy of Ignite Michiana

Sparks of creativity will ignite the minds of many as presenters share their ideas at the upcoming Ignite Michiana event, which will showcase a series of talks on sustainability and innovation.

According to Willow Wetherall, event organizer for Ignite Michiana, there will be up to 18 presenters speaking for five minutes each along with 20 rotating slides. The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. on March 28 inside the historic State Theatre on Michigan St. in South Bend.

IU South Bend alumni Myles Robertson and IUSB graduate student Sara Lowe are two of the evening’s presenters.

“I hope these talks impact people in a positive way,” said Roberston.

Robertson, who currently works as the interim program coordinator at the Office of Sustainability at the University of Notre Dame, will give a talk titled “Take back the tap.”

“It’s about how many have strayed away from tap water to bottled water and how expensive and environmentally problematic that can be.”

According to Robertson, environmental issues like this are tied to social issues that need to be considered—like changing consumption patterns and conserving energy.

Lowe plans to share her path on becoming a locavore during her talk. She described the term “locavore” as someone who is interested in eating only locally produced food.

Through her journey, she said she has rediscovered a hidden vitality in the South Bend community that needs to be shared with others and nurtured by the community.

“As a consumer, I can strengthen the community through my food choices,” Lowe said, adding that she hopes to encourage others to do the same.

Lowe, Robertson and the other presenters will offer the community a captivating evening to hear unique perspectives on sustainability, according to Wetherall.

“Seeing 18 fast-paced talks in one evening gives a much broader sense of the significant change that our area is undergoing,” Wetherall said. “We have designed the event as a celebration to inspire, educate and entertain.”

Krista Bailey, assistant director for IUSB’s Center for a Sustainable Future and an IUSB alumni, said that there will be an “exciting chance to mingle and network” after the event. She also said bringing people to the downtown area for this event could produce positive financial impact for the area.

Wetherall also sees the importance behind the location of the event–in the heart of downtown South Bend, in a venue that hasn’t been used for a long time.

“This is a chance to show that our city is very much alive.”

A building once abandoned is now being used in an effort to revitalize the community through these enlightening talks, according to Robertson.

Tickets are available for $10 and can be purchased at South Bend Brew Werks and Idle Hand Bookstore, both located next to the State Theatre. Wetherall recommends buying them early via the Ignite Michiana’s website, as she suspects it will be a sold out show.

“Attendees will definitely leave with new ideas and a renewed sense of what is possible in our city,” she said.

To buy tickets and learn how you can get involved visit Ignite Michiana online at http://www.ignitemichiana.com/ or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/?sk=welcome#!/pages/Ignite-Michiana/143050689181882?fref=ts

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