Launching PechaKucha Indy: An Interview with Kelley Miller
It’s a key trait we look for when interviewing prospective recruits for a spot on our design team—initiative. Initiative in creating new ideas, initiative in advocating for a user’s voice, initiative to experiment, and initiative to pursue their own learning and growth. And when we first met Kelley Miller, it was apparent this was in her DNA.
After earning an initial degree in Interior Design, Kelley was determined to keep expanding her knowledge and skill set, leading her to pursue yet a second degree in architecture. Soon after, she earned the distinction of becoming a licensed architect in Indiana and quickly joined on to serve on Indy’s Young Architect’s Forum (YAF) executive team. So it was of no surprise when Kelley filled us in on her next endeavor; launching an Indianapolis chapter of PechaKucha—the world’s fastest growing storytelling platform. Japanese for “chit-chat” and used globally in over 140 countries, the Pecha Kucha model brings people together to tell powerful, visually-compelling stories in a simple format—20 slides, 20 seconds for each slide.
We sat down with Kelley to dig deeper into her motivation for this new launch and to learn more about how this simple idea is connecting people in meaningful ways.
Describe your first experience with PechaKucha?
My very first PK experience was in Champaign IL. I had an idea of the framework but had no concept of how inspiring and exhilarating it would be! With a theme of “Making Space for Women,” the speakers were a full line up of incredible women from gamers to gardeners, business owners to a lead singer in a rock band. It was so cool to hear their stories in such an exciting way!
What compelled you to jump in and start an Indy chapter?
I have always loved attending events like Creative Mornings and TED Talks and gathering new information about people, places, and things—everyone has a story to tell. When discovering PK, it was explained as a way for people to share their passions in a short, low-pressure format. I was inspired by its accessibility to everyone, not just the people at the top. It swaps the often mundane, hour-long sermon on a single topic for fast-paced short and engaging presentations from several presenters.
What impact has the pandemic had on your event series and how have you adapted?
Although no one knows precisely how and when society will fully emerge from the current pandemic, we are more confident than ever that people have a need to connect with others. We plan to continue facilitating that connection. While we’ve paused our in-person events, we’re staying connected as a community by sharing presentations on our YouTube channel and continue to scout our future presenters.
Is there a theme on the boards for 2020 that you’re particularly excited about and why?
I am always so excited for all themes we create; the next one is “Ready or Not.” It is so interesting to see what our presenters come up with because while we set the theme, we do not tell our presenters ‘what’ to speak about. I am continually blown away by the creativity, insightfulness, and inspiration our presenters bring to the table.
What would you say to someone who’s never been who’s curious about PechaKucha?
We are an event series based on the PechaKucha presentation format which is 20 slides for 20 seconds each. Every quarter we line up local presenters to share their stories and passions in a relaxed, fun atmosphere.
Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend, and we promise you will leave feeling inspired!
Although no one knows precisely how and when society will fully emerge from the current pandemic, we are more confident than ever that people have a need to connect with others. We plan to continue facilitating that connection.