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WHAT IGNITES YOU ?
WILL IGNITE MANY OTHERS

Let’s continue our Ignite experience here,
harnessing the power of digital
to ignite our world.

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WHAT IGNITES YOU ?
WILL IGNITE MANY OTHERS

It is a question,
if honestly sought
will become a longing
will power your life
will be a force in the world
will be your greatest gift.

Trust us.
We see it again and again.

TO IGNITE IS TO SEEK
LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT
CONVERSATIONS

At times alone, at times in community
- so that from this core of
Who Am I? and Why Am I Here?
we will ignite more and more people
to do what they were born to do
and live a life bigger than oneself.

ABOVE ALL ELSE
COMPASSION
DRIVES
INNOVATION

(It’s not technology, stupid.)

We’ve funded millions of dollars
of innovation arising from
our Ignite conversations.

We’re talking venture capital
and strategic joint ventures
with publicly listed companies;
not charity or dole-outs.

WHAT IGNITES YOU
WILL IGNITE MANY OTHERS

It starts with these Ignite conversations
– so why not here, harnessing
the power of digital
to ignite our world.

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IGNITERS WHO SHARED

Ideas that
spur action

Ideas (projects, ventures, collaborations)
I encountered in Ignite that
I could actively pursue.

Add My Story

INSIGHTS THAT
NAG AND GNAW AT ME

What themes, stories, or questions
struck me most, or linger most,
from my Ignite experience?

Add My Story

MOMENTS THAT
BROKE THROUGH

Which segment/s or format/s
from my Ignite experience
were especially powerful?

Add My Story

People who
moved me

Igniters I met
who struck a chord.

Add My Story

This too
ignited me

Anything else I’d like to share.

Add My Story

IGNITE STORIES

Join Ignite Add Your Own
Andre Yap

Mea Culpa - Guilty!!!

On My Overall Ignite Experience

The team encouraged me to make this public, a message originally sent via our WhatsApp group uniting several entities in a brave new JV. This is my Mea Culpa.

Something I said yesterday has come back to bite me and I must correct it. I said it in half jest, but on reflection, it is both true...

The team encouraged me to make this public, a message originally sent via our WhatsApp group uniting several entities in a brave new JV. This is my Mea Culpa.

Something I said yesterday has come back to bite me and I must correct it. I said it in half jest, but on reflection, it is both true and wrong. And at its deep core, it is related to the success or failure of our vision.

I said that in my household I keep the lid absolutely quiet on things like MyKuya. Because if my staff ever hear about these types of opportunities it would be the end of life as I know it.

In other words, I prefer to keep personal, societal and structural norms of servitude and inequality because it is fucking cozy for me even if it means I am not doing what I can - I am not using the fullness of my Genius and Purpose - in order to make life better for those around me. This is wrong. Let's call it what it is: it is evil, part and parcel of our wicked problems.

I could keep this to myself if the only casualty was my conscience but on deeper reflection, this is precisely the kind of insidious (dangerous, yet commonplace and commonly accepted) attitude that perpetuates the misery of so many millions of Filipinos for generations - when we who have the capacity to help and uplift others SYSTEMATICALLY DO NOT DO SO BECAUSE IT IS AGAINST OUR NARROW-MINDED (STUPID!) CONCEPT OF SELF-INTEREST.

What does this have to do with our venture? Look up and down at the 3 stacks we've been talking about: the fuel that drives all of it is unleashing a brave new level of opportunity, a chance at a better life for all - for concierges, for wives and mothers, for families, for unemployed, for the millions we will employ and delpoy.

I've never believed in doing one thing in my private life and doing the contrary in my public and business life.

I am sorry for what I said and for all these years I have behaved like this, perpetuating in my own way the poverty of opportunity that betrays so many Filipinos, not least those in my home I touch everyday. It is not enough to be kind to them and pay them fair wages. It is not right to bind a fellow human being who deserves to take flight, whom I have the power to help take flight.

I will make amends, among other ways, through our ventures. Business has the capacity to make us better human beings. I hope you have learned something from my mea culpa.

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Fiona Faulkner

Solitude & Companionship

On My Overall Ignite Experience

Last Friday’s Ignite 21 Retreat was to be my first since joining the Ignite team last July. The focus of last Friday’s Ignite 21 retreat was “Leading with your GPS; your Genius, Purpose, and Service”. Similar to other Ignite programs, Ignite 21 centered around the Ignite manifesto but with...

Last Friday’s Ignite 21 Retreat was to be my first since joining the Ignite team last July. The focus of last Friday’s Ignite 21 retreat was “Leading with your GPS; your Genius, Purpose, and Service”. Similar to other Ignite programs, Ignite 21 centered around the Ignite manifesto but with particular emphasis on the power of deep discernment. The priority of Ignite 21 was for those who attended to take the time to reflect on their individual Genius and Purpose, but more importantly for us to learn the lifelong process of discernment that will act as the framework to continuously help find your deeper truths.

We were joined by attendees hand-picked from the results of our algorithm. In attendance were Jojo Concepcion, CEO of CIC as well as 17 of his best and brightest employees. Roland Ros, founder of the new Filipino superapp, Kumu, was one of the only two only non-CIC members in attendance and we became fast friends.

La Veranda, atop the Antipolo Hills, provided a beautiful setting for the retreat. The tranquility and greenery of the venue set in contrast to Metro Manila’s skyline was conducive for my reflection. An oasis from the desert that is a metropolis blanketed in smog, La Veranda created a safe space for “life most important conversations”.

My most memorable segment of Ignite 21, was the “Hallmarks of Discernment”. Serving as our guide for the day, the page consisted of a list of keywords and phrases that aimed to spark our thoughts. The three major points of discussion that lead the conversations were; “Conversations about what?”, “Conversations How?” and “Conversations with who?”

As instructed, I first ‘discerned’ in solitude. The isolation was a chance to be honest with ourselves. What are the truths you observe of yourself? “Don’t be what the world wants you to be”. We touched on the importance of distinguishing between ‘Have not Have Nots’ and why when we dwell on what we don’t have - we create excuses and distractions for ourselves that take away from how we can maximize what we have. Afterwards, we reconvened with our group to discuss our answers. The exercise of discerning in solitude and with others have their own merits and each reveal their own truths. As important as it is to have your time to be alone, we are social beings with the need of companionship.

The culminating event was “the final discernment” that started with “Where is my GPS leading me?”. Perhaps the most honest and open segment of the program, Igniter after Igniter shared how the day’s activities reminded them to take time to reflect. The answers varied but the common theme was each person wanted to shift the focus back on themselves. “This may have been the first time I’ve spoken to myself in 40 years”, one Igniter had shared.

Maan, the day’s co-host, ended the evening with a series of questions to continue our discernment process and we invite you to reflect upon them as well; “Am I giving the best of who I am and what I have been given where I have been planted? What's preventing me/What's holding me back? What're my next 3 specific steps to move forward?”

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Pau Batan

INSIGHTS THAT NAG AND GNAW AT ME

On My Overall Ignite Experience

“Who am I betraying when I don’t make the most out of what I have?”

I don’t think this was his exact words but Andre said this (or something along these lines) in our Ignite Retreat today and it was one of the things that really struck me. Often we’re too busy with getting things done that we...

“Who am I betraying when I don’t make the most out of what I have?”

I don’t think this was his exact words but Andre said this (or something along these lines) in our Ignite Retreat today and it was one of the things that really struck me. Often we’re too busy with getting things done that we settle for putting out mediocre work. Or we don’t see our true genius and purpose that we don’t know that we have so much potential and can give so much more. We don’t realize that actually making the most of what we have and doing our best with it can benefit people other than ourselves — even those beyond our inner circles. It seems to be a simple question but it’s one that I think we always need to ask ourselves when discerning about our genius, purpose and overall journey.

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Timothy Galang

Realization

On My Overall Ignite Experience

Andre’s talk really opened my eyes when he mentioned that every person has thr power to uplift and give opportunity to those in need and that it is our responsibility to help one another and help fulfill each other’s needs and goals.

Andre’s talk really opened my eyes when he mentioned that every person has thr power to uplift and give opportunity to those in need and that it is our responsibility to help one another and help fulfill each other’s needs and goals.

Andrew Dominguez

Advocating for a Modern Multi-Cultural Philippines

On My Overall Ignite Experience

As somewhat of an outsider in the Philippine social entrepreneurship and technology scene, these Ignite events were great introductions to many great ideas, challenging problems, and thoughtful people. Networking in Manila can be a challenge, especially in the less traditional fields of work. ...

As somewhat of an outsider in the Philippine social entrepreneurship and technology scene, these Ignite events were great introductions to many great ideas, challenging problems, and thoughtful people. Networking in Manila can be a challenge, especially in the less traditional fields of work. Ignite bridged that gap.

As a filmmaker and economist, I am interested in the stories we tell ourselves and each other, and the stories we have told to us, and how that shapes our understanding of the state of the country and the world. In the Philippines, what specifically intrigues me is the mental gap between appreciating our multi-cultural populace and the top-down, exclusive, mono-cultural, limited definition of what it means to be a modern Filipino.

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Clara Day Herrera

The Power of Knowing Your WHY

On My Overall Ignite Experience

What is the common denominator of successful people?According to a former monk and modern thought leader, Jay Shetty, it is the meaning and compelling purpose that they have in anything they do.

Before attending my first ignite circle, I have been on a journey that made me realize my WHY. ...

What is the common denominator of successful people?According to a former monk and modern thought leader, Jay Shetty, it is the meaning and compelling purpose that they have in anything they do.

Before attending my first ignite circle, I have been on a journey that made me realize my WHY. It is not only to motivate people but to help them take action so they may achieve their goals and visions in life. I believe that we deserve more than what society has conditioned us to become since we were born - study, work, pay bills and die.

Each human being has a potential so great that none of the norms that we got used to living with can measure. I believe it is my purpose to tap that potential so we may all live a life on our own terms.

Ignites's mission to solve the wicked problems of society including unemployment, aligned with my personal WHY which I continuously refine everyday.
The network of people that I have met have goals and visions that resonate with mine and that opportunity alone is powerful.

You may click or copy paste in your browser the youtube link below which is about my story and my mission.

Looking forward to changing the world by solving one wicked problem at a time with all igniters. Cheers!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnYIdo-HXFU

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Queenie Uy

People who moved me

On My Overall Ignite Experience

It was my first Ignite event and I never thought I could still meet people with like minds and ideas on improving a community. No thoughts were considered small or silly--everyone just pitched in and contributed their ideas on how we can involve the community towards its progress. It was really...

It was my first Ignite event and I never thought I could still meet people with like minds and ideas on improving a community. No thoughts were considered small or silly--everyone just pitched in and contributed their ideas on how we can involve the community towards its progress. It was really awesome!

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Joana Regina Alberto

INSIGHTS THAT NAG AND GNAW AT ME

On My Overall Ignite Experience

Five years ago, the only way I knew how to create an impact on the lives of the poor, the abused, and the lonely was by doing an outreach once, twice or thrice a year. Fast forward to 2017, after attending Circle 5, I discovered a more sustainable route in solving this wicked problem — through...

Five years ago, the only way I knew how to create an impact on the lives of the poor, the abused, and the lonely was by doing an outreach once, twice or thrice a year. Fast forward to 2017, after attending Circle 5, I discovered a more sustainable route in solving this wicked problem — through innovation. And to innovate, I need to go through a journey starting from my genuine desire to use my innate gifts to do what I am aching to do.

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Marianne Mencias

A Heart Ignited is Never the Same

On My Overall Ignite Experience

The very first time my friend Riva sent me the invite for Ignite, I already felt a divine alignment. The exact words written on it were similar to the words I wrote in my book What’s Your Life’s Masterpiece? You know when they say we all have a different heartbeat? When I heard Andre, its...

The very first time my friend Riva sent me the invite for Ignite, I already felt a divine alignment. The exact words written on it were similar to the words I wrote in my book What’s Your Life’s Masterpiece? You know when they say we all have a different heartbeat? When I heard Andre, its founder, speak during the event, I felt God must have placed some similar heartbeats in us because what he said was exactly the pain I also want to address in this world.

Sin comes from an Ancient Greek Word taken from the sport of archery which literally means “to miss the mark”. So many people are missing the mark, not fulfilling their divine call, and therefore resort to all sorts of escape which lead to an even more miserable and empty life. When majority of your time is spent doing something you disdain, something that doesn’t engage all of you, then what happens to the rest of the time you have? You either escape, complain or latch it out on other people around and then you go back to work, deliver mediocre results because it is not aligned to your core gifts and passions. It is totally unhealthy and a lot of potential, energy, and time are wasted.

I am so excited with how Ignite will stop this cycle and slowly transform this through bravely navigating through difficult, important, and interesting questions every single person must ask in this journey about their purpose and direction. Just last week, we had a session with Tony Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga, and this man has a profound love for the poor and has expressed it in powerful tangible ways, and this is a key element in addressing the wicked problems of our society. I also feel very strongly about my conversation with him that the real solution to the root of the problem is to have a real men revolution so that there will be real fatherhood and people will grow up to be more healthy and whole when this is in place. Tito Tony has also started with this revolution and there is a proof of concept. I am amazed at the young people working with him, who used to suffer in their community and are now happy, thriving and making wiser decisions for their lives. My own contribution to this is writing a book (Why is My Forever Taking Forever?) for single women to own their worth, to know how precious they are, to be reminded that they have an important mission and that they should not allow themselves to be distracted by boys, but only reserve their yes to worthy men who will make them shine more and not fizzle out their light.

I love talking about passion, life, purpose, dreams, visions and I am so blessed to have found the Ignite community where these kinds of topics are the norm. There is much hope for the Philippines and in the world, knowing there are a group of people, talented in different ways, having varied personalities, passionate about different things, yet carry the same heart of moving the world upwards by uplifting humanity again and reminding people their inherent worth, their divine purpose, which will lead them to maximize their potential, and give their unique contribution that this world badly needs. I know that when people are doing what they’re called to do, it brings a different kind of energy that inspires, transforms and ripples in ways unimaginable. There is much, much hope. And a lot of work to be done. So help us God. <3

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Stephen Concepcion

How did the Ignite activity affect you?

On My Overall Ignite Experience

Hello everyone, Just throwing out a question to everyone. Since My first Ignite I’ve been thinking what was the end goal of the activity or how the activity affected everyone else? Aside from coming out with ideas.

What have those ideas communicate into?

I believe the experience was...

Hello everyone, Just throwing out a question to everyone. Since My first Ignite I’ve been thinking what was the end goal of the activity or how the activity affected everyone else? Aside from coming out with ideas.

What have those ideas communicate into?

I believe the experience was different for everyone, and for me sharing from my Ignite story.

I do not have any defined ideas to share, but the activity got me thinking of how I could start defining some ideas like the other people I met in the activuty. So what is everyone else’s ignite idea out of curiosity?

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Karla Doniza

INSIGHTS THAT NAG AND GNAW AT ME

On My Overall Ignite Experience

I am happy to be part of the Ignite VIII. I enjoyed the breakout session with the people I met for the first time. It helps me to see a big picture of what the world is going through.

I am happy to be part of the Ignite VIII. I enjoyed the breakout session with the people I met for the first time. It helps me to see a big picture of what the world is going through.

Heinz Henry Alvarez Jr.

When Geniuses and Purpose Mean Solution

On My Overall Ignite Experience

It was a time well spent showing up to be part of Ignite Circle 8. The event helped me to dig further and to know what my “Geniuses” really are. At the same time, Ignite re-assured me that what I think to be my “Purpose” is indeed true!

Ignite did an amazing job in making me realize that I...

It was a time well spent showing up to be part of Ignite Circle 8. The event helped me to dig further and to know what my “Geniuses” really are. At the same time, Ignite re-assured me that what I think to be my “Purpose” is indeed true!

Ignite did an amazing job in making me realize that I can create a powerful energy if I will intentionally utilize my geniuses for my purpose.

There was an activity where participants were grouped together, and it was great to be part of a group where members do share common geniuses and purpose. In our group, all of us have the advocacy that is to help other people in ways we individually knows best.

I help people secure their future and protect their loved ones financially. "Chit" and "Nel" are passionate in uplifting people spiritually. And "Alyssa" participates in activities promoting equality and justice.

Ignite Circle 8 literally ignited us to start the conversation about how we can be part of the solution that addresses an obvious problem in the society – poverty.

With our geniuses, which are our strengths, we believe that we should be able to come up with a project that aims to educate people because we believe that poverty is the result of lack of education.

Our group want to reach out to Filipinos and provide them livelihood seminars, financial planning workshops, self-development sessions, basic rights symposiums, and outreach programs sponsoring school supplies, awarding scholarships and even building schools for children.

But the question we had during our conversation was – where do we get resources to fund those projects?

Our initial answer was to tap and engage the middle to upper class in the society by encouraging them to sell things that are still in perfect shape, but they no longer need, via our online buy-and-sell-for a-cause website. When an item is sold, 50% goes to the seller/donor while the other half goes to pooled money, which we will use to fund those projects mentioned above.

The conversation continues.

And one thing is for sure – Ignite Circle 8 certainly put us on fire!

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Diana Baranga

A month later, Ignite's message is on my mind

On My Overall Ignite Experience

"Words cannot describe the Ignite Circle experience. You need to see it for yourself."

After participating in the Circle, I understand why this is the case: nobody can tell you what conversations you will have, or what connections you will make. The only thing that is certain is that this...

"Words cannot describe the Ignite Circle experience. You need to see it for yourself."

After participating in the Circle, I understand why this is the case: nobody can tell you what conversations you will have, or what connections you will make. The only thing that is certain is that this experience will be profound; it will challenge you to look within, and question your contribution to the world.

I run an organization (UpstartED) whose mission is to empower youth to succeed in the 21st century, and to be the leaders of tomorrow. I am always thinking about how to best empower these kids to solve the world's wicked problems - being at Ignite made me realize we have been missing a key ingredient in our approach. While our programs teach kids skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, they do not cover the most important skill of all: self-discovery, and an understanding of their unique genius.

That is why, even a month later, I keep coming back to Ignite's message: you need to know your unique genius. How can we empower tomorrow's leaders to find their unique genius, and engage in social innovation initiatives that uplift society as a whole? This is a question that keeps me up at night.

If this same thought gnaws at you, let's join forces!

Also - thank you, Ignite <3

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Grace Kagahastian

The brand that CARRIEs them all

On My Website Experience

Innovation = Concep’ion;

Something conceived; notion, idea, design, or plan. The description under which someone considers something. ✨

Innovation = Concep’ion;

Something conceived; notion, idea, design, or plan. The description under which someone considers something. ✨

Elaine Iwa

Now is the time to pull the strings up

On My Overall Ignite Experience

I've been to different seminars, workshops or gatherings but Ignite Circle is one of the few who made an impact to me. I thank God for ate Joana Alberto. She was the one who invited us there. It was last year when I first heard about Ignite from my friends but it was just this year when I was...

I've been to different seminars, workshops or gatherings but Ignite Circle is one of the few who made an impact to me. I thank God for ate Joana Alberto. She was the one who invited us there. It was last year when I first heard about Ignite from my friends but it was just this year when I was finally able to attend. We came from Quezon that day braving a heavy rain. Our hearts were filled with hope knowing that something amazing was about to happen - and it did happen. One of my the activities that overwhelmed my heart was the time when we were asked to tie our stars and pull the strings up high as we can. I was able to witness different people from all walks of life, with different personalities, with different statuses and backgrounds in life and with differents gifts coming together as one to solve the wicked problems of our country. It was such a powerful moment for me. All we had at that time was LOVE - love for ourselves, love for others, love for our country and above all else was love for God. To be part of that movement was something I would treasure for the rest of my life. We headed back to Quezon that day full of hope and joy. Life is too short. When the day comes where God would ask me what did I do good here on Earth, I will answer "Oh, I attended Ignite Circle before and I stayed true to its mission."

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Karlito Kumu

Ideas that spur action

On My Overall Ignite Experience

Utilizing compassionate leadership and technology to disrupt and increase the effectiveness of education.

Utilizing compassionate leadership and technology to disrupt and increase the effectiveness of education.

Aileen Gutierrez

CAPTION THIS!

On My Overall Ignite Experience

I posted this picture on my FB page and asked people to caption it. These are some of the responses:

"Nakaligo ka na ba sa dagat ng basura? Nag-Pasko ka na ba sa gitna ng kalsada?" - JE

"When you forgot that you have a show-and-tell activity so you just pick a random stuff at school and...

I posted this picture on my FB page and asked people to caption it. These are some of the responses:

"Nakaligo ka na ba sa dagat ng basura? Nag-Pasko ka na ba sa gitna ng kalsada?" - JE

"When you forgot that you have a show-and-tell activity so you just pick a random stuff at school and proudly present it to class" - Venice

"You won't believe what Andre made me do" -Giezl

"Andre and his Magic Basura" - Jes

My favorite is this:

"Etong hawak ko ay parang mga ex ninyo, BASURA." - Bryle
[Classic hugot]

But jokes aside I consider this one of the most powerful segments of the Ignite Circle. It makes you realize the prevalence of the wicked problems we all have to deal with. Sometimes our comfortable lives makes us forget that we are gifted with our genius and put in this world to make a difference. We are given the privilege of thinking about these problems and thereby held accountable to resolve them.

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Ramon Rodrigo Cuenca

People who moved me

On My Ignite Circle Experience

I like listening to Andre talk in Circle VIII since there was no bullsh*t!! Haha, it's great to have people be more direct, sometimes that's the only way to get things done!

I like listening to Andre talk in Circle VIII since there was no bullsh*t!! Haha, it's great to have people be more direct, sometimes that's the only way to get things done!

Joana Regina Alberto

The Aftermath

On My Ignite Circle Experience

Ignited! Nagningas, sumiklab, sumindi!

Ito ba ang iyong naramdaman pagkatapos mong sumali?
Sana ang puso mo na nag-alab, dulot ng isang hapong pagsasalo-salo, ay hindi lamang parang isang mitsa na panandalian lamang nagsindi. Ang iyong henyo at silbi ng iyong buhay ay walang katuturan, kung...

Ignited! Nagningas, sumiklab, sumindi!

Ito ba ang iyong naramdaman pagkatapos mong sumali?
Sana ang puso mo na nag-alab, dulot ng isang hapong pagsasalo-salo, ay hindi lamang parang isang mitsa na panandalian lamang nagsindi. Ang iyong henyo at silbi ng iyong buhay ay walang katuturan, kung hindi ka makakahanap ng isang misyong makabuluhan. Sayang naman kung wala itong maidudulot na kabutihan sa ating bayan. Kung ang tagilo na nagmistulang bituin, ay hindi makapagbibigay ng liwanag sa mga suliranin ng ating nasaksihan, walang saysay ang ating naging kaguluhan at katuwaan.

Tapos na ang Sirkulo — Ignited ka pa ba?

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Richard Dacalos

The calm before the storm

On My Ignite Circle Experience

There's this time for me, right before a circle. The chairs are empty. Production is at a standstill.

All that's left is a deep breath and a grateful heart.

There's this time for me, right before a circle. The chairs are empty. Production is at a standstill.

All that's left is a deep breath and a grateful heart.

Fiona Faulkner

Stealing the show.

On My Overall Ignite Experience

This picture sums up the energy of Circle 9. I always laugh when I see it because they took "goofy" to a whole other level. I don't think anyone has attempted to enter the hoop before, and here you have three Concepcion employees all fighting for center stage. And yes, he is wearing his star of...

This picture sums up the energy of Circle 9. I always laugh when I see it because they took "goofy" to a whole other level. I don't think anyone has attempted to enter the hoop before, and here you have three Concepcion employees all fighting for center stage. And yes, he is wearing his star of Purpose as a hat.

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Rachel Davis

How did you know?

On My Ignite Circle Experience

That feeling of "I have to do this because I was meant to do this"? That is what Ignite gives you. There are not a lot of seminars or workshops that can do that.
---
I came into the Ignite Circle with an idea of what I might want to create at the end of it. What I came away with was completely...

That feeling of "I have to do this because I was meant to do this"? That is what Ignite gives you. There are not a lot of seminars or workshops that can do that.
---
I came into the Ignite Circle with an idea of what I might want to create at the end of it. What I came away with was completely different.

Going through the process of genius and purpose, I was surprised to find myself in a group that was passionate about something I'd long forgotten.

People, human behaviour, and human interaction have always fascinated me, and that is one of the reasons why I pursued psychology. To find myself in a group that was equally passionate about addressing and solving a "wicked problem" in the country related to this long forgotten passion surprised me. I wondered after my answers in the questionnaire. How did this algorithm figure me out?

I didn't spend too long wondering that day--although I have stopped and wondered many times since. On the day of my Circle, faced with these collaborators, the only thing clear to me was that there was work to be done. So we set out to do it, and we made a commitment to continue in the coming months.

Ignite blew on the embers of a fire I'd started as a teenager. It is wonderful to have been reminded of this yearning that I'd put aside for so long; like a deep sense of purpose has been returned.

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Fiona Lazaro

MOMENTS THAT BROKE THROUGH

On My Overall Ignite Experience

I came to Ignite with people from my team, MyKuya. And we were to present what we have been doing with our community and company.

When we arrived, I noted that there was a circle of chairs, already feeling that this was not going to be like all the usual events.

What struck me the most...

I came to Ignite with people from my team, MyKuya. And we were to present what we have been doing with our community and company.

When we arrived, I noted that there was a circle of chairs, already feeling that this was not going to be like all the usual events.

What struck me the most was the theatrical way of emphasizing why we were all there, gathered on a Saturday morning. With the sweeping of crumpled paper, representing Manila's many problems. And finally doing a group meditation that really got everybody in an emotional synch.

Though I haven't been back since my first time, my promise was also to return with much more to share as well as an open mind and heart to better work towards the making our country the best it can be.

P.S. If you hear anyone calling the community a "secular church", I'm pretty sure I started that

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Grace Kagahastian

A sparkling moment

On My Overall Ignite Experience

I remember that particular instance being surreal. We had to pick a star of any color, folded.

I picked yellow, being it the highest of all colors.

We were told to write our strengths, what moves us, what (do we know) are our gifts?

I bled knowing that my weaknesses arouse first before...

I remember that particular instance being surreal. We had to pick a star of any color, folded.

I picked yellow, being it the highest of all colors.

We were told to write our strengths, what moves us, what (do we know) are our gifts?

I bled knowing that my weaknesses arouse first before I even got to my core strengths.

Admittedly, the traits I jotted down felt like it truly came from the heart. That felt good. I own it. It is mine.

The breakthrough comes to knowing that it is not mine alone, but also to a powerful force that keeps bugging me, “How do I upscale my gifts where I can reach as many people as possible?”.

This has to be unfolded.

Yellow signifies enlightenment; the cord- a symbolism of a strong, unbreakeable support system.

Ignite for me is....within, an awakening, home. ❤️

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James Del Rosario

Be visible. Get Searched.

On My Overall Ignite Experience

My mission, as an individual, has been proactively seeking opportunities in taking part of many people's lives.

I joined a venture wherein I not just influence others, clients, and deliver what has been expected from us, but to delight them with full optimization as we explore opportunities...

My mission, as an individual, has been proactively seeking opportunities in taking part of many people's lives.

I joined a venture wherein I not just influence others, clients, and deliver what has been expected from us, but to delight them with full optimization as we explore opportunities in today's digital space.

Our company, SEO Hacker, has been focused in SEO for years and it has been our primary service. More that we're known for our service than our brand, we still explain the notoriously known term, "hacker" could also have a positive meaning in each and every entity - that we exist to optimize codes in good faith.

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Dandy Alandy

My Year of Yes

On My Overall Ignite Experience

I recently finished listening to an audiobook entitled “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. In it, she described how 2015---after realizing how much of life she’s been missing outside of work because of frequently saying No---became a breakthrough year for her by starting to say Yes more; saying Yes...

I recently finished listening to an audiobook entitled “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. In it, she described how 2015---after realizing how much of life she’s been missing outside of work because of frequently saying No---became a breakthrough year for her by starting to say Yes more; saying Yes to interviews, saying Yes to giving speeches, saying Yes to taking more time off for herself and her kids. Here is a woman who’s practically a household name by now, running season after season of her top-rated shows with powerful female leads (who hasn’t seen even one episode of Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy or How to Get Away with Murder?), a woman revered by Hollywood as one of its most influential trailblazers. And yet, she too, like me, had a lot of fears, insecurities and doubts that led her to say No more often, instead of Yes.

Earlier this year, despite of my aversion to seminars and conferences and such events due to my introversion-fueled anxiety, I decided to say Yes to Ignite. And little did I know that my Ignite experience would literally light a fire in me to say Yes to discovering what my true purpose is; something I’ve held off doing because I was too busy with merely surviving and putting food on my family’s table which, yes, could arguably be considered a purpose too. But I figured, life couldn’t be all about that, right? After the Ignite Circle, I started saying Yes to finding my life’s mission, to going out of my comfort zone and explore areas I was too fearful to dip my toes into, to meeting people who have already found their purpose and are keen on taking things a step further, in the hopes of discerning what it is that I was truly born to do.

Honestly, I’m still on a continuous journey of discovery, but ignite gave me the courage to say Yes to finally embark on that journey, because as Shonda Rhimes put it in her book: “Saying yes is courage. Saying yes is the sun. Saying yes is life.” 

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Aileen Gutierrez

Better. Always Better.

On My Overall Ignite Experience

Transcendence is derived from the Latin prefix "trans"-, meaning beyond, and the word "scandare", meaning to climb. To achieve transcendence means to go beyond ordinary limitations. The state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond usual limits.

For the longest time I allowed self-limiting...

Transcendence is derived from the Latin prefix "trans"-, meaning beyond, and the word "scandare", meaning to climb. To achieve transcendence means to go beyond ordinary limitations. The state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond usual limits.

For the longest time I allowed self-limiting beliefs born out of my background to hinder me from discovering my genius. I mistook comfortable with contentment.

My Ignite journey started even before Ignite was born. As a mentee of the proponent of Ignite I experienced first hand the power of discernment in the ongoing journey of discovering my WHY-Why am I here? And finding out my WHAT- What genius have I been bestowed with and for what purpose were they given to me.

Discovering our genius is like peeling an onion skin by skin.
We discover one genius now and use it to the fullest.
Then we discover another overtime.

Discovering our genius is like breaking free.
Like waking up from a cocoon and seeing a different version of ourself every single time.

Like being REBORN over and over again. The same person but in so many ways different. Better. Always better. Surpassing the limits of our previous self.

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Joana Regina Alberto

This too ignited me

On My Ignite Circle Experience

My initial involvement with Ignite was about my love of creating space where people can enjoy the present moment. On Circle 8, that's the part when you saw the flickering light on the screen. That was my first kind of offering of genius to Ignite. Then my creativity was challenged when...

My initial involvement with Ignite was about my love of creating space where people can enjoy the present moment. On Circle 8, that's the part when you saw the flickering light on the screen. That was my first kind of offering of genius to Ignite. Then my creativity was challenged when participative performance art was considered —the pyramids, stars, hoops, etc. And it still didn't stop there. Realizations of deeper purpose through conversations with amazing souls, unearthed more of my geniuses that used to be undefined.

In Ignite I found my space, a more meaningful place, in the company of others who are doing what they were born to do. Om shanti...

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Andre Yap

You Cannot Deny Your Truth

On My Ignite Circle Experience

"You reminded me of something I once had".

A common refrain from many Igniters, these words remind me why we started Ignite.

To peel off the layers of dark and grey, so we can discover the light that was always there...

"You reminded me of something I once had".

A common refrain from many Igniters, these words remind me why we started Ignite.

To peel off the layers of dark and grey, so we can discover the light that was always there...

Fiona Faulkner

They're stuck with me now.

On My Overall Ignite Experience

Sitting on a blue couch under the jarring fluorescents in a nook of the Globe tower, I looked at my watch thinking “I’m way too early for this”. My anxiety was justified remembering my dad’s every “be there early” over the last four days. After 45 minutes of senseless scrolling, he finally...

Sitting on a blue couch under the jarring fluorescents in a nook of the Globe tower, I looked at my watch thinking “I’m way too early for this”. My anxiety was justified remembering my dad’s every “be there early” over the last four days. After 45 minutes of senseless scrolling, he finally decided to grace me with his presence. “Any traffic?”, I laughed, “You know I was the first one here”. Moments later, a shy girl approached, handed us a card with a URL and helped us register. We took our seats and the space around us started slowly filling up. “What are we doing here”, I asked for the second time, “Just be patient”, he turned from the registration page on his phone to look up and smile at me. We were guided to a half circle of chairs oriented to a screen with a huge jumble of colour on the floor. “What sort of pyramid scheme did I allow myself to get dragged into” I thought to myself.

A gong went off, the lights dimmed and I “entered a time and space like no other”. What happened over the next couple of hours was exactly the kind of reminder I needed. “Too many people are excluded from economic participation, that is the ground zero of wicked problems.” My main take away from the night and not only has it “stuck” with me, it’s bothered me. I’m one person, what more can I do?

About 6 years ago, the pivotal decision of where to go to college was thrust upon me. Among the choices of the states, the UK and the Philippines I chose the latter. My mom, being a Filipina, was shocked, “Why stay here?”

Because there is so much to be done. Because the Philippines is my home and being thrown in an Ignite Circle I realized many people felt the same way. And that many more people have yet to experience the conversations, the insights, and overall the hope that a Circle brings. We have our own genius and purpose and in discovering these point us to our mission. It’s not enough that there is talk, from Ignite emerges results. There is an emphasis on action - on execution. From discovering your mission comes an opportunity to share a mission and collaborate and from there you can innovate amongst others and create impact.

Andre and the rest of Ignite reminded me why I chose to stay and now the team is one person bigger. So the question now is, what more can WE do.

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Richard Dacalos

Checking on my fuel tank

On My Ignite Fireside Experience

As a founder, I've dealt with a lot of pressure, anxiety and stress.

But on the outside, like many others, I've felt the need to keep that bottled up to keep my best foot forward. It's the name of the game when you're the face of your company.

From dealing with my family to handling ...

As a founder, I've dealt with a lot of pressure, anxiety and stress.

But on the outside, like many others, I've felt the need to keep that bottled up to keep my best foot forward. It's the name of the game when you're the face of your company.

From dealing with my family to handling around a million pesos stolen from the company, these were journeys, for the most part, I felt I had to deal with alone.

Ignite is one of the few communities, I've felt I could truly open up with.

In one particular fireside, we had a conversation around checking our "fuel tank". It was a conversation that allowed me to take a step back and be honest with myself and with others about what I was going through.

The checkpoint and support of the Ignite community has given me that extra mile to play the big games I am up to and work on the wicked problems I'm trying to solve.

I've gotten professional help to deal with my own mental health and well-being.

The additional support structure of the fireside and Ignite community has given me a healthy way to discuss what I'm dealing with in a safe environment.

More importantly, it allows me to focus on what matters.

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Richard Dacalos

INSIGHTS THAT NAG AND GNAW AT ME

On My Overall Ignite Experience

All Roads Lead to Ground Zero

When you look at my background, on the surface you see a seemingly unconnected long list of advocacies and hats I've worn.

From underground hiphop artist to brokering multi-million peso real estate deals. From martial arts instructor to being a public school...

All Roads Lead to Ground Zero

When you look at my background, on the surface you see a seemingly unconnected long list of advocacies and hats I've worn.

From underground hiphop artist to brokering multi-million peso real estate deals. From martial arts instructor to being a public school teacher. From life coach to masterplanning farm villages using the Fibonacci sequence. From board game designer to, now, playing my part in a joint venture as an Igniter - and not just any venture, but the one with ground zero firmly in its crosshairs. The ground zero of Manila's wicked problems.

I’ve spent a long time uncovering my own Genius and Purpose but, ultimately, the underlying spirit of all I’ve done has been education and unlocking human potential.

The beauty of Ignite is the layers uncovered in each conversation.

Ignite’s Ground Zero Problem of providing dignified work to millions of Filipinos was one of those layers that struck me and had me re-evaluate my work and my purpose.

The challenge with education is that everyone says it’s the most important thing but people don’t put their money where their mouth is. And sometimes I can’t blame them. Education is one of those things that sometimes feels like an intangible asset. You see it’s effects but usually qualitatively and more often than not way down the road.

The power of the “Ground Zero” of work is that it puts the conversation of education right in your face and it gives us something concrete to look and point at in terms of results. It gives us power over a massive problem. It gives us an opportunity to act.

Work is defined as physical and mental effort towards achieving a purpose. Education’s etymology comes from bringing out and leading forth. What better way to educate than to lead one into their purpose and give them the opportunity from “Ground Zero” to bring out their untapped potential?

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Andre Yap

People who moved me

On My Ignite Circle Experience

This will come as a shock to many. When we started Ignite last April 2017, there were 40 of us who filled the 40 slots of Circle 1. In October, I would get the news that one among us had committed suicide.

We called it Ignite Founders Circle back then. We were looking for founders (not mere...

This will come as a shock to many. When we started Ignite last April 2017, there were 40 of us who filled the 40 slots of Circle 1. In October, I would get the news that one among us had committed suicide.

We called it Ignite Founders Circle back then. We were looking for founders (not mere entrepreneurs) to build up and invest in, until we realized that to build up and invest in founders (and their ventures), we had to build up and invest in people around them. In that way also, whether or not we found founders and ventures to invest in, we would be doing good by everyone we touched.

In any case, this person was such a founder, bursting with great promise. A co-Igniter, in her wisdom, had brought him to my home even before he'd attended Ignite and I was immediately impressed by his sheer intelligence and horsepower, and a desire to do something bigger than self. It was a desire so palpable I could touch it. But as for his venture, I did not see it anywhere commensurate with the founder. It lacked soul; no way this was what he was born to do. But he was young. I told myself: good, we will get to each other in some future collaboration and we will build something deeper and truer to his Genius and Purpose. We never got the chance.

I am no savant of psychology, but my honest sense is, if we had gotten to him again and gotten him deeper into Ignite, I feel strongly that life would have gone on and taken a different course for him.

I have always stood by a rule that I personally insist on for Ignite: no explicit religion in our programming. I want everyone to feel welcome, and I know that our mission of transcendent founders building transcendent ventures driven by transcendent purpose transcends religion itself. The rule does not mean, though, that god and religion shouldn't come up in personal conversations, when one is speaking for oneself, not for Ignite.

And here I am speaking for myself, not for Ignite. In the coming weeks we will speak a lot about Deep Desire as the core of the relationships and ventures we invest so much of ourselves in.

In the past week, I have thought a lot about my own deep desire, and I know in my heart it is something that could've made a difference in an Igniter, a young man full of great promise, not taking his own life.

My deep desire is to help people in my life, beginning with myself, peel the layers of dark and gray, so we can discover the light that was always there, a light that holds our deepest truth, a light, therefore, full of our truest joy and beauty; yet discover still that this light, if nurtured honestly, humbly, can also be a flame, then a fire and a raging wildfire that knows no limits in its capacity to fuel our every breath; to give meaning and force and transcendence to our lives as much as to our every relationship and every endeavor; to embrace then the world's problems as we encounter them and as they are revealed to us and not to others, there must be a reason; to heal, to feed, to fill where we are needed; to give love to all we touch, that love freely received that is at the true heart of every human being; to find in ourselves, in a word, God.

We have come a long way from April and October 2017. We have learned more and more the lengths we are willing to go to touch and ignite others.

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Joana Regina Alberto

INSIGHTS THAT NAG AND GNAW AT ME

On My Overall Ignite Experience

As I entered Arete, failing to see someone who looked familiar, I asked myself, "What the heck am I doing here?"

Fast forward, I started to get mesmerized with the thought of how much I can achieve through collaboration.

After being an OFW for 9 years, I initially decided to expand my...

As I entered Arete, failing to see someone who looked familiar, I asked myself, "What the heck am I doing here?"

Fast forward, I started to get mesmerized with the thought of how much I can achieve through collaboration.

After being an OFW for 9 years, I initially decided to expand my territory by jumping into a new venture that's completely alien to someone who's been in the aviation industry for 27 years. But such consideration includes working independently, and keeping things simple. Although innovation and impact are part of the equation, the grand vision of my future was tempered due to the resources within my reach. Ignite Circle 5 inspired me to explore unlimited possibilities using raw ideas on hand, ventures that I am passionate about, fusing all these with those people who can contribute and believe in my mission.

So, to answer what struck me most, it's the idea of COLLABORATION in order to INNOVATE and create IMPACT.

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Adrienne Dy

Ideas that spur action

On My Overall Ignite Experience

What the (Startup) World Needs Now
Is love – or to be more precise, compassion.

Last week, I found myself among thousands of people from the startup community, converging from all corners of the globe in Hong Kong for the Rise tech conference.

It was exhilarating, to say the least. A...

What the (Startup) World Needs Now
Is love – or to be more precise, compassion.

Last week, I found myself among thousands of people from the startup community, converging from all corners of the globe in Hong Kong for the Rise tech conference.

It was exhilarating, to say the least. A whirlwind of 20-minute talks across three stages almost around the clock; a dizzying showcase of startups in varying stages of birth, growth and expansion; and everywhere, pockets of excited conversation about all things blockchain, AI and IoT.

On Day 1, I was pumped. By Day 2, still interested. On Day 3, frankly exhausted. My mind had expanded to contain new concepts and perspectives, but my heart felt strangely unmoved. When I went back home to recount my experience to the Ignite team, Andre phrased it well: “Full of sound and fury, signifying very little.”

For everything that was discussed at the conference, the experience only scratched the surface of sustainable impact. And even less emphasis was given to the compassion behind the innovations, or the “whys” behind the “hows.”

I believe there is a need for events like the Rise; we must know what is happening at the forefront of technology, and how people around the world are using and advancing these new tools. We need to connect with innovators in the region, to foster collaboration and support.

But there is a place for something deeper as well. We need to talk about the world’s wicked problems and why they affect us. We need to discern how fellow humans’ needs intersect with our singular gifts, to birth more powerful innovations. And we need to connect with people on a deeper level, beyond the exchange of business cards and handshakes after a mere few minutes of conversation.

This is what I’ve found in Ignite, and this is, perhaps, what will fuel me and many others beyond Day 2 interest and Day 3 exhaustion. Innovation is not a fast flame; true change is a long game and a slow burn. Only true and sincere compassion can and will stoke the fire over time.

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Adrienne Dy

MOMENTS THAT BROKE THROUGH

On My Overall Ignite Experience

First Ignition
My Personal Throughput

I remember my first Ignite experience well.

It came at the most opportune time. I had just left a 3-year stint at what I thought was my dream job at an NGO focused on health programs. The job was a whirlwind of traveling the remotest areas of the...

First Ignition
My Personal Throughput

I remember my first Ignite experience well.

It came at the most opportune time. I had just left a 3-year stint at what I thought was my dream job at an NGO focused on health programs. The job was a whirlwind of traveling the remotest areas of the country, discovering a wealth of opportunities vis-à-vis a poverty of mindsets, and of finding initial fulfillment transforming into frustration. If this was my dream job, why did I feel more deflated than elated? Why was my energy getting sapped instead of fueled? And why was so little of our Foundation’s efforts creating any lasting impact?

I decided to take a step back for perspective and discernment, and so I almost did a double take when my boyfriend told me about an event that seemed to involve just that. I was curious; I was also in search mode. It took little convincing to hit RSVP for Circle IV.

With almost zero expectations, I arrived in Ibiza to discover a colorful cast of characters on similar journeys as mine; a mindset focused on collaborative innovation, evangelized by an entrepreneur/venture capitalist hell-bent on creating impact; and a manifesto that married the concept of personal “genius” and purpose with communal missions for a better society. That Circle also featured the “Hero’s Journey”, as told through one Igniter’s still ongoing journey towards his own calling. It was all very inspiring, and I wanted more.

I’ve since gone to another Circle, helped stage two others, and even joined the team behind Ignite. The program has evolved so much in a matter of months, but the message has remained the same: Tune into your personal Genius. Expand it into a Purpose bigger than self. Discover shared Missions with like-minded individuals, and create Collaborative Innovations. All towards sustainable Impact - to reach heights we never in our wildest dreams, or loftiest ambitions, dared.

I am again at a crossroads, but my Ignite experience has taught me to discern my path more carefully, and choose my steps more deliberately. For this, I am grateful. Ignite has made me all the more enlightened – and all the more Ignited – to make the next chapter one of meaningful Impact.

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Andre Yap

Ideas that spur action

On My Overall Ignite Experience

Welcome to our mid-year report card. Ignite Manila by the numbers, with asterisk to explain why the figures carry even deeper significance.

From Jan to Jun 2018:

We invested >US$800K (PhP40M) of venture capital, and over the next 30 days we will finalize 2 more investments to bring YTD...

Welcome to our mid-year report card. Ignite Manila by the numbers, with asterisk to explain why the figures carry even deeper significance.

From Jan to Jun 2018:

We invested >US$800K (PhP40M) of venture capital, and over the next 30 days we will finalize 2 more investments to bring YTD 2018 infusions to US$1.4MM (PhP70M) out of our FY 2018 target of US$2M (PhP100M) invested. ***These investments are in line with our commitment that Ignite touchpoints (Circles, Retreats, Firesides, xChanges, etc.) should "throughput" into tangible innovation and impact.

2018 Ignite investments were spread over 4 ventures, ***all founded by Igniters who meet our criteria of nurturing deeply personal Genius and Purpose towards Innovation and Impact (sorry for the lingo, we stay consistent with our Ignite Manifesto).
Far beyond financial capital, we've also deployed gobs of human and network capital, creating at least 11 (that we know of) employment opportunities either directly with Ignite or through Igniters hiring on behalf of their organisations. Non-employment professional opportunities (e.g., consulting projects, client-provider relationships, etc.) facilitated via Ignite were at least 3x the employment number. ***This reflects our belief that we (Manila!) now exist in a post-employment age, where our best talents will increasingly shun being employed by a single corporate boss, favouring instead a portfolio career where they can work with multiple corporate and venture partners. This marks a decisively new way of creating value - outside the confines of a single employer - that Ignite is well built to scale on behalf of our community. Employer or employed, ignore this truth at your own peril.

We are always strategic - we've pushed 5 major strategic partnerships/investments among our community of Ignite founders and CEOs. ***In every case, Ignite played an active role in envisioning the partnerships, connecting the players, nurturing trust and understanding for the deep strategic possibilities, all the way to structuring the deals. To be clear, we do not charge any fees for this: collaboration is our core vibe; it’s our way of life!

Speaking of corporate, we have nurtured major corporate partnerships directly between Ignite and 2 publicly listed companies who are leaders in their respective industries. Our work with both is as deep - strategically, culturally, even operationally - as one can have with corporate giants. ***This reflects another of our core convictions: that, especially in the PH, it makes little sense for startups and corporate giants to innovate apart from each other; and conversely, that the best way to innovate is to actively nurture deep collaborations between maverick startup innovators and corporate giants, who each bring stregths to the table that the other sorely needs. But - based on our own hard-won experience, these startup-corporate partnerships must be substantive and strategic, not token, symbolic or peripheral to the way each fundamentally creates value.

Most important, we have now touched more than 500 individuals through our live Ignite programs, and many more across our full transmedia experience. ***Ignite Circles, Retreats, Firesides and xChanges have touched you, inspired you, disturbed you and connected you - and it all leads to Ignite’s Necessary Progression: We each have our unique Genius and Purpose; they carry the thumbprint of Who I Am and Why I Am Here; and if we’re honest and brave, they will lead us to a shared Mission, and to collaborations, innovation and impact we never, in our wildest dreams, or loftiest ambitions, dared.

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Andre Yap

MOMENTS THAT BROKE THROUGH

On My Ignite Fireside Experience

This time last Friday.

You know that sappy 70s song that probably only still plays in Manila (ok that could be any number of sappy 70s songs that only still play in Manila). This one goes I've been to paradise but I've never been to me...

Well this time last Friday those very lines of...

This time last Friday.

You know that sappy 70s song that probably only still plays in Manila (ok that could be any number of sappy 70s songs that only still play in Manila). This one goes I've been to paradise but I've never been to me...

Well this time last Friday those very lines of this very sappy 70s song broke out from two seats away, threatening to shatter the peace among 18 of us huddled around Ignite Fireside. I reacted instantaneously as if all my life had prepared me to save the world from this moment. Rudely I interrupted the perpetrator, waived off the oncoming lyrics (I would have fainted if those words broke into melody) with semi-violent, surely desperate hand gestures. I then proceeded to exercise extreme executive privilege by declaring how this song violated human rights, to say nothing of my religion, and thus should never be brought up ever again in all of Ignite.

I was only half kidding. It was a light moment on a filling night of weighty Ignite conversations. A lot of Whys. And when that failed, as it often does at first or second try, a lot more No really, Why.

Huddled there, among 18 of us, was a man recognized globally as one of humanity's great innovators. If you ask me, I couldn't come up with a greater Filipino innovator. Nobody comes close. And this man has done it at scale (national and international, though not quite global) without so much as a whimper of technology, but with generous doses of what he calls Presence. He doesn't mean charisma; he means being there - there where, when and with whom the pain happens. Because isn't this what hardcore innovation is supposed to solve: human pain? In Ignite, we call it Compassion and it was the theme around which 18 of us were gathered last Friday night.

But this man's greatness is beside my point.

My point is the person next to him, a good old fashioned soap manufactuter in his 70s;
and the guy on the next chair, barely half soapman's age, who had just left the tech startup he so passionately captained in the last 2 years;
and as we went around our circle, we counted among us an under-25 millenial who was starting his 4th tech venture, and another of the same age mulling a third career, from finance to film to what's next;
a foursome of midlifers, one of whom used to own a pretty hot (I was told) girlie bar;
the other a self-proclaimed OFW (flight attendant turned international corporate trainer) now on a crusade called Fly Home Pinay;
another who's making it as a photographer but wants more, and may yet find it by helping out with an iconic art installation for Ignite;
and the last, a card carrying member of Manila's thriving brain gain, a US-educated, Singapore-based stock analyst turned balikbayan purveyor of art and finance all at once;
and as we moved on along our Fireside, a Young Global Shaper of World Economic Forum fame, who straddles more than a few worlds like a walking venn diagram of ventures, projects, and advocacies;
a pair of new moms who run their own fledgling startups (enough said);
a public company CEO reinventing his market-leading 60 year old conglomerate, one foot in the next 5 years, the other foot kicking the mothership into a galaxy far, far away;
and finally, one of the most deeply visionary founders I've met in Manila who could back it up with technology and execution that really just took your breath away.

And that's my point.

In Ignite, all of us sat shoulder to shoulder as equals on a Friday night when traffic armageddon raged around Manila, in a room that was nowhere near the right size for our circular fireside. We gulped down greasy take out food with no hotshot speakers, no guru talk, no keynotes on top 10 ways to raise venture capital or top 5 ways to growth-hack your startup or top X ways to unleash blockchain or AI or IoT on whatever about-to-get-disrupted thing it is you call work.

We weren’t there for how to’s. Why was why we were there.

We were people letting other people in - into deeply personal stories of ongoing struggle and irrepresible seeking to make the world a better place the only way we knew how: with our God-given Genius, and a Purpose rooted in something bigger than ourselves, that force that kept us going no matter what.

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Andre Yap

INSIGHTS THAT NAG AND GNAW AT ME

On My Overall Ignite Experience

IGNITE COMPASSION - as a driving force for professional success, hardcore innovation, and venture capital investing?
Read on to decode this mystery and how it might just apply to you.

I've been back in Manila a week now, after my second month-long roadtrip in the last 90 days. 3,000 kms of...

IGNITE COMPASSION - as a driving force for professional success, hardcore innovation, and venture capital investing?
Read on to decode this mystery and how it might just apply to you.

I've been back in Manila a week now, after my second month-long roadtrip in the last 90 days. 3,000 kms of driving Southwestern Utah’s geological wonders to add to the 3,000 kms of Southwestern France’s cultural wonders I drove in March.

Maybe all that time on the road has made me more sensitive. This homecoming has been filled with 1:1 meetings with some of our most talented, ambitious, purposeful Igniters (some of whom we've already invested in) - and strangely, I've found myself saying the same thing again and again and again.

It's a theme I feel obliged to share with you.

"You won't have enough fire to sustain you through this long and winding, twisted road, nor will you be able to fire up people, whether it's to believe in your vision, or to care about your mission, or to join your team, or to invest in your venture, or to be your customer - if your passion for innovation is fueled merely by issues, industry, or ideology, or if your passion is merely for tech, market, or business model."

I'm usually more than a bit agitated at this point in the conversation - a mix of anticipation and impatience. These are smart people passionate about innovations in healthcare, education, jobs, the environment, consumerism, social justice, even the legal system! Really good stuff, yet I'm challenging the nobility of their work! Will the person get it, or will something inside them build a Mexican wall worthy of Donald Trump?

I continue on.

“We must dig deeper, way deeper. To find the true heart of passion, we must find COMpassion. I want to hear you talk about your WHO!

Who are the flesh and blood human beings whose blood, sweat, or tears you care about? What are their names? What is their story? Why do you care? How did it come about that out of all the people in the world, this is the slice of humanity you care so truly, deeply, madly about? What is your special insight, experience, or expertise - indeed what is your pain - that makes you the one to solve their pains? The thing about compassion is it’s very hard to care about people whose pains you’re not gifted to heal. Or conversely, something’s very wrong when we don’t care truly, deeply, madly about people whose pains we’re particulalry gifted to heal."

Now I'm feeling a rush of optimism. I can see it in their eyes, a breakthrough - not quite of acceptance, but they're nodding and nodding and they’re asking questions that tell me they’re stating to get the difference between passion vs. compassion.

"When you know your answers to these deeply personal questions of compassion, then the contagion of passion will naturally ooze out of you.

You will be unstoppable. Your story will always start in that sweet spot of who I'm doing this for and why I care so; and it will never sound like a pitch. Compassion will rouse you out of bed every morning, and it will keep you going when the darks days visit and stay awhile; and even in the good days, compassion will drive you to not settle, to just forge on and on because what you desire is bigger than yourself - yet everyday you grow in wonder and amazement and conviction that the solution lies very much within you."

At this point, I'm getting high on a mix of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. This is my happiness potion: knowing that I am making a difference in people's lives that allows them to make a difference in other people’s lives. Compassion is like a drug (not that boring me has tried that). You get high on one of life's highest highs and you keep looking for more.

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