Hub in action – on homelessness
17 November 2009 - Impact Hub

The Hub Action series has been talked about a lot over the last few months. As a concept it’s simple – bring together lots of lively minds from far and wide to tackle a huge social problem. Build a process that is strong enough to harness everyone’s creativity; one that remembers that people are really busy and can allow for one session to be filled with different people to the next. Take the problem from its roots to conclusion, to a point where new projects or ideas are put together with those who can fund and take them forward.
Last night saw the third and last Hub Action on Homelessness, taking the ideas, themes and discoveries from the first two sessions and building them into viable business ideas. In partnership with Aspire we’ve been on the hunt for what will become the next Big Issue, and transform the homelessness sector. Out of the 12 people round the table we had representation from Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, Spain, Russia and the US. People working in homeless charities, designers, consultants, MBA students, funders, entrepreneurs – people new to the Hub and old-time Hub members.
There’s nothing worse than a roll of flip-chart paper covered in post-it notes – this is what happens to ideas sessions if there isn’t someone in the room that can point towards funding. Jo Hill from UnLtd was on hand to offer practical advice on funding and how to get projects, both this and others, off the ground. 
The three sessions have brought many surprising connections together, and got different parts of the sector talking to each other in one room, this has been a great achievement. We haven’t quite solved the puzzle of what will be the next Big Issue, but ideas were flying from all sides about music, fashion, services, cooperatives and more.
By the time we packed down the Hub it was close to 11pm – a lot for a Monday night. There are indeed a number of flip charts full of ideas. But also there are a group of interested people inspired by the challenge to work on a big social problem, now with the means to do so.
If you want to know more about the Hub Action series, email me (Alex) at islington . hosts at the-hub . net.