Ignite: Connecting people through collaboration and practice

Technologists are hardwired to create, and with the landscape changing non-stop, there’s an avid urge to stay ahead of the curve. At JPMorgan Chase, we provide spaces for our +63,000 tech workforce to pour out all their ideas, collaborate, drive innovation, and empower their careers.

After Phil experienced first-hand the benefits of communities of practice, it sparked an idea to inspire more such communities to launch at our Global Technology Center in Glasgow. Supported by a small team, 20 new communities quickly sprang up based on interest from colleagues who shared the vision and were compelled by the brand name ‘Ignite’.

Since those humble beginnings in 2016, Ignite, operated like an internal startup, has grown in a somewhat viral fashion through word of mouth, to become a global initiative that’s for employees by employees and a staple of our culture and learning experience. To date, there are over 190 communities of practice across our more than 20 global locations, adding additional networking, social, and career opportunities for members, while upskilling our workforce for the present and future.

Our colleagues are at the helm of JPMorgan Chase’s technology culture, fostering a dynamic, community-driven learning environment that spans across topics and regions.

As a truly grassroots initiative, anyone can launch a community on a professional topic – all that’s needed is enough interest from peers, and sufficient energy, design, and leadership to move the community to launch. Of course, Technology domains are popular: such as AI/ML, DevOps, Software Engineering, UX, and Product Management. There are also communities exploring AR/VR, Public Speaking and Leadership skills, as well as STEM communities that engage in their local schools, colleges, and universities to inspire the next generation of technology talent.

Accelerating community activities with the global Ignite 24 event

As a celebration of this global community of communities and a ‘rocket booster’ for the year ahead, all Ignite communities of practice are invited to participate in Ignite 24, which is an all-day event where on a single day, communities worldwide host meetups to share insights, connect with other fellow techies, and take one step closer towards the future. Through interactive sessions, workshops, and with lots of Ignite merchandise, cakes and pizza, our technologists gain and exchange knowledge on some of the hottest topics in the field, including Large Language Models, the latest Cloud technologies, DevOps principles and practices, and many more.

At the latest edition of Ignite 24, the energy and enthusiasm were palpable as emergent leaders from diverse backgrounds and domains converged to engage in vibrant discussions and celebrate their shared passion for knowledge sharing, innovation, and collaboration. It was truly inspiring to see so many communities of practice come together to ignite new ideas and forge meaningful connections.

Despite the fact Ignite communities have been at the heart of upskilling, learning, innovation, and emergent leadership at JPMorgan Chase for several years, in many ways this is still the beginning as we welcome thousands of new community members each year and tap into the vast potential of these vibrant communities in new and exciting ways – and Ignite 24 is an incredible celebration of that.

Since the event, employees have shared that they felt ready to take action and apply what they learned, that they wanted to continue collaborating on the topics they engaged with, and that they were keen on sharing the knowledge they gained with their teams. Don’t take it from us, some of Ignite’s enthusiastic participants were quick to share their perspectives.

“Imagine a day-long torch relay, but instead of flames, we're passing ideas, innovation, and inspiration around the globe. Ignite 24 is our 24-hour global celebration dedicated to our communities, happening live across all JPMorgan Chase locations.”

“Ignite holds a special place in my heart, and as a leader in our DevOps-SRE community, we initiated the kickoff for this year during the global Ignite 24 event. It was truly inspiring to witness numerous enthusiastic participants eager to delve deeper into the realms of DevOps and SRE.”

“As part of the worldwide IGNITE 24 event, I stepped into dual roles that deeply resonate with my professional journey: serving as the Community Lead for the Ignite JavaScript Community in the NYC Metro and taking the stage as a speaker. This special day was a vibrant intersection of leadership, technical expertise, and global community engagement, showcasing the collaborative spirit that drives the tech world forward. It was a testament to our collective journey towards pushing the boundaries of technology and community.”

“In Bengaluru, the day was truly exceptional. From the kick-off's insightful speeches to the interactive sessions led by various communities, every moment was filled with excitement and learning. The dedication and engagement of our community members were truly inspiring. Together, we are shaping the future of innovation and collaboration.”

“We had a fantastic day at JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Mumbai office this week as we presented on ‘Business and Leadership Agility’ at the globally organized Ignite 24 event. The power of community of practice couldn’t have been stronger than this, as we witnessed many tech and product enthusiasts come together and talk on agility needed in the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world today.”

“The Columbus Ignite 24 Unconference event was a really good conversation. I am hoping to take some of the feedback and turn it into a whitepaper. In addition, I’m planning to launch a new Ignite community on JavaScript.”

“The Design Thinking session was extremely helpful for me. Being an introverted person in nature, this session helped ‘ignite’ my core capability of networking, and this confidence is what I will take away from the experience.”