IBM Connect 2013 is nearly  upon us and our Spark Ideas are ready to go.  We have some fantastic talks again this year and really hope to see you in Swan Mockingbird 1 & 2 on Tuesday morning at 11.15am.

Our host will be Francie Tanner.  Thank you to everyone who submitted, in the end it came down to having as broad a range of talks as possible but please submit again, we’ll be repeating this event at user groups all year.   Here are the topics – I think you’ll agree we’re covering a lot of ground and a lot of great ideas.

All our Sparks speakers get only 1 slide , 6 minutes and a microphone so they are walking out on a ledge, please show them some support

Susan Bulloch
Why I believe…. I never met Sally Ride

Susan Bulloch of the IBM Support Team has achieved a lot in her career, including being one of the first women engineers in 1980 at the country’s largest power company.  She will share  her idea that believing in something is the key to making it happen.  and how not believing stopped her from meeting Dr Sally Ride


Graham  Acres
Why I Ride My Bike

I have participated in the British Columbia Ride to Conquer Cancer for the past three years.  I’d like to do it another 22 times.  My wife has joined me on the last two rides.  The ride happens in June, over two days, starting in Vancouver and ending in Seattle.  We ride 250 km, or 150 miles over those two days.  Approximately 3,000 people participate in our ride alone.  There are similar rides all over the world.  Anyone may ride, but must raise a minimum of $2,500 each year.  My wife and I have raised $31,000 over the past three years.  Those who have cancer or have beaten it ride with a yellow flag on their bike.  We see lots of yellow flags along the way.   Without thinking about it in advance, my first ride became a healing journey, for both me and my family.  It also came with a side benefit of improved health and a smaller waist size!  The ride continues to be an inspiration for me and my family and I’d like to share a brief glimpse of it with you.


Andy Donaldson
Finding your camera

Work, home, sleep.  Work, home, sleep.  Work, home, sleep.  Oh ya, in between that, feed the kids, do the laundry, pay some bills.  Rinse repeat.  That was how my life had been going.  But then, something amazing happened.  A love from my earlier years came back to me and in the process, I found my quality of life increased and my outlook on the world changed for the best.  


Kathy Brown
How Twitter Helped Me Share My Voice

I was the only developer at my company in New Hampshire.  I didn’t know a soul in the Lotus/IBM community.    So how did I go from attending my first Lotusphere in 2008 to speaking at Lotusphere in 2010?  I discovered Twitter and through that met lots of people in our Community virtually.  By discovering social networks, I found a way to share my voice. From there I gained the confidence in my own skills and knowledge to share that knowledge on the stage.  I did and so can you.


Jenn Priske
Don’t Judge!

Before I had kids of my own when I saw an unruly, screaming child in a grocery store, I rolled my eyes and, frankly, judged the parents.  Clearly they were doing it all wrong!  Then I became a parent.  That in itself gave me more compassion.  Then about 5 years in, we discovered that our precious little angel had Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).   Although she appeared to be a ‘normal’ happy, healthy little girl, when faced with demands she couldn’t handle, our whole family’s world got turned upside down.  Join me as I tell the story of how we learned the lesson we thought we already knew.


Tim Clark
Why would you work for free?

I volunteered for the London 2012 Olympics and I had a great time doing a job that I would never have dreamt of doing normally. But it’s not the only thing I volunteer for. I play drums in my local church, I help with youth groups and I also teach judo. But why do I do it? There’s no money in it for me. It costs me a whole bunch of money, time and explaining to the good Mrs Clark why I’m not going to be there, again, for X, Y or Z. Come and find out what inspires someone to work for free.


Tim Davis
Don’t Be Afraid Of Big Ideas

Many people are intimidated by big ideas but we really shouldn’t be. Any seemingly difficult concept can be explained simply, allowing you to build from that simple explanation to more complex ideas. As an example, in this quick talk Tim will explain one of the biggest ideas of the twentieth century: Einstein’s special relativity.


Carl Tyler
There’s more to flying than $100 burgers.

Flying is often seen as a Rich mans hobby, but it may be more accessible than you think, and getting started may take nothing more than a phone call.  Hear about learning to fly and how to find the inspiration for your first flight.


Gabriella Davis
Jacuzzi Time

What is Jacuzzi time? Everyone should have their own version but it’s the pocket of time when you are too isolated, too disconnected, too exhausted to give your brain work to do.  Jacuzzi time is when your brain gets to recharge to stretch its legs and to do its best work. We spend a lot of time and money looking after our physical self and our outer image but many of us take our brain for granted, assuming it will cope with whatever we ask of it.  In our permanently connected, global and social world, what happens when you forget to give your brain any time off .