My name’s Elena and I’m one of the Hub Islington interns. For the next 4 weeks I’ll be blogging about my thoughts on working here and social enterprise in general. (I should warn you that I’m a rather positive person, hugely enthusiastic about “building a better world”, so I can be quite relentlessly optimistic. I will try desperately hard to stay away from too many clichés though, I promise.) I’ll also be writing lots about the research project and ideas that I and all the hosts are working on.
Since arriving at Hub Islington a week and a half ago I already feel like I’ve experienced a lot. The Hub certainly is a busy, vibrant place to work: Sexy Salad last week has definitely been the highlight so far. It’s been a refreshing change coming to intern here after the last six months of continuously revising for my Finals exams, celebrating hard in June after finishing them, and then July spent relaxing at home in quiet Somerset. I’ve been in a bit of end-of-university-degree bubble and the Hub Islington is proving a nice cocoon from which I can start exploring the world and putting together my ideas for what I want to do in the future. Coupled with the reading about social enterprise that I’ve been doing (last week’s read: How to Change the World by David Bornstein – which I would recommend to anyone, it has such inspirational stories in it; this week’s read: The Social Entrepreneur Revolution by Martin Clark) I’m hoping to have some more concrete plans soon.
The research project that I’ve been given to work on whilst I’m here is ideal for the purpose of inspiring me. It’s based on what the Hub Handbook calls “attraction”, the attraction of new members to the organisation. In order to know who we want and need to attract to the Hub, I’ve started by researching our current members and attempting to map common fields of works and aimed for impact. Things I’ve learnt so far: assigning members to one particular field of work and assessing their type of impact or mission is not that easy – Islington Hub membership is remarkably varied, ranging from several design and consultancy agencies and freelancers to community groups, fundraising charities and independent ethical fashion outlets.
From the initial research I’ve done, I’ve created a basic pie chart below to try and show in broad terms the different kinds of impact our members are trying to have. Under ‘environmental’ I’ve put anyone who has an ecological or green emphasis in their work, under ‘social’ I’ve put all those working to improve society and human situations and under ‘business support/service’ I’ve put those offering services such as designing, web, technology and software development, as well as consultancies. (Miscellaneous is for those whose work I have found impossible to classify or on whom we have little information and it is hard to find any websites for them, etc.)
The question now is, who do we want to attract in the future as our members? Should we aim for more environmental organisations or more services or more social impact ones? I’d be interested in hearing what members think about this, so get back to me with your thoughts.
Having mapped all these members, the next step seems to be sharing it with all our members in a useful format. How would everyone feel about an Islington Hub Yellow Pages? It would probably be in the form of a Googledoc spreadsheet, that would be shared with members via the website.
Get back to me with thoughts and feel free to come and find me at the hosting desk for a chat.