What to expect


For the last five ignite520 conferences, Tucson’s young professionals have come together for a weekend of connection, learning, and growing. At ignite520 you can expect to be inspired, uplifted, and meet people who are eager to pursue knowledge and shape our city.


NEW this year:

  • Young professional panel as Saturday feature. Panels have always been a part of ignite520, and this year a Tucson Rising panel of young professionals take the main [virtual] stage
  • Virtual format. We’ll miss gathering with you in person, and we’re grateful to still bring this programming to you virtually
  • First 100 registrants get a Commemmorative ignite520 Swag Bag with a tote, t-shirt, pint glass, and more goodies.

Friday Night Kickoff Party

ignite520 Kickoff has always been about breaking the ice, getting to know each other, and having some fun ahead of the conference. This all remains true even with the virtual format. On the schedule for Friday night we have breakout rooms for networking, fun activities, and other Throughout the evening there will be TYP and ignite520 programming, and a message from our Kickoff Sponsor, Thomas R Brown Foundation. We’ll end Friday night with a Toast to Tucson Rising and then rest up before Saturday.

Conference Day

Our ignite520 planning team has designed this year’s conference to provide the best experience possible for the virtual format. For a comfortable at-home-conference experience, the day is slightly shorter and some sessions have been shortened.  From 10am to 3pm, we’ll deepen new connections, hear from speakers, learn together in workshops and talks, and have a chance to connect with sponsors and partners.

ignite520 2020 Sessions

Full schedule to be announced soon.

“Tucson Rising Panel Discussion: Pivoting to our Best Possible Future”

with Amanda Bruno, Policy Analyst, Pima Association of Governments

Seanloui Dumas, Founder of Black Renaissance

Andrew More, Director, Blue Stone Venture Partners

Juan Padres, Former community relations for autonomous trucking company TuSimple, and also running for Pima County Board of Supervisors

Goal: to share the 21st Century vision for Tucson, highlight the new economy and creative ventures happening, and pitch Young Professionals getting involved to shape the city.

“From Hot Mess Express to Achievable Goals”

with Keneshia Raymond, Startup Tucson

We all start the year with big goals, but how many goals are we actually accomplishing thought the year? By breaking them down and making them tangible we have a better chance of reaching our goals.

“#BeBetter. #GiveBack”

with Diana Charbonneau, IMPACT of Southern Arizona

As a young professional, time is valuable and you always seem so busy so why volunteer your time for a local organization? What can volunteering and giving back do for you?

“Authentic Leadership In Uncertain Times”

with John Page Burton, Burton Group

Authentic leadership has never been more important than it is right now. During this presentation, we will look at authentic leadership and why it is so critical in today’s ever-changing work environment.

“What Tucson Needs From The Group Stuck Between Pro-Growth and No-Growth”

with Louie Christensen, Tucson Tomorrow

Where is Tucson’s potential and why does the City do such a good job hiding it? In this session you will learn how to uncover Tucson’s current potential and how to push Local Leadership for a thriving city.

“Access to Capital for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs”

with Lesli Pintor, Growth Partners Arizona and Danny Knee, Community Investment Corporation

Are you looking for affordable funding to finance your start-up or existing small business? Wondering where to go? Find out about new and innovative programs coming to Tucson and how you can prepare your business to access available capital sources.