Hub Global Gathering
4 October 2011 - Impact Hub


Just got back from a four-day meeting of minds with the Hub hosting community from around the world. It was my first experience of the annual gathering of Hub teams, and I’ve come back inspired, full of ideas and excited about being part of this incredible and rapidly expanding global network.
It’s hard to summarise four long days of workshops, discussion and knowledge-sharing, but I’m going to give you an overview because I think it’s good for you guys to know what’s going on at a global level, and you’ll be sure to benefit from the fruits of our labour.
Main things I’ve learned…
–       The Hub global network is stronger than ever before with over 4,000 members across five continents and around 30 Hubs in existence and many more in development.
–       There are some really inspiring spaces (Hub Milan is, as you would expect, a perfect showcase of beautiful modern, sustainable design and clever use of reconditioned materials) and amazing people in the network
–       70% of our members are Hub Connection members, rather than space users, proving what we already knew – that we are SO much more than just a co-working space
–       Hubs are developing many exciting initiatives that could potentially be expanded across the global network, such as the Hub Fellowship programme in Hub Zurich – launched in collaboration with the WWF
–       As has happened in London, the Hub has been instrumental in fostering a culture of social innovation in places where the concept of social enterprise hasn’t really been part of the public imagination before, such as Dubai where there’s a Hub opening very soon

Some of the things we spoke about…
–       Lessons for what to do, and what not to do, when setting up and running a Hub
–       Ideas for cool events and ways of engaging members and encouraging collaboration through hosting, programming and space design
–       Stories of so many successful member projects and link-ups that have taken place in Hubs and Hub communities
–       Dreams and ambitions for the Hub global network and our social impact
–       Plans for turning all this into reality!
As well as all this, we had a sneak preview of our new online member platform (to replace Hubspace) that is due to roll out at the end of the year and the beginning of 2012 – watch this space as it’s going to be awesome!
I really want to share as much of this as possible with you all, so feel free to come and ask me about it. In the risk of sounding cheesy, we’re part of something really special and we should all be proud to be Hubbers!
Having said that, every community/organisation has its faults, and the Hub is no exception. It may be a network of incredible, passionate people who are genuinely changing the world for the better, but BOY do they use some very silly jargon.
Therefore, in order to purge some of the very worst examples from my poor tired brain, I have listed a few for your pleasure…(those of a lexically sensitive disposition should look away now)
Hub Jargon Bingo
–       Collective harvesting
–       Pipeline management
–       Clusters and working groups (in other words, groups)
–       Communities of practice
–       Codifying knowledge
–       Deep-diving (in the context of a conversation)
–       Intropreneurs
–       Architects of the future (seriously!!)

To see the gathering in action, check out Milan’s sexy Hub design (and prove that we weren’t just sitting around eating pizza and drinking coffee in sunny piazzas the whole time) you can visit the Hub’s Flickr site.