“How does it feel to be part of a revolution?” asked NESTA Chief Executive Geoff Mulgan on Wednesday afternoon.
Each year, the founders and leaders of HUBs all over the globe come together to engage in a discussion about the challenges, achievements, global vision and strategy of the network at the annual HUB Association Strategy Gathering.
This year’s Gathering culminated in a stimulating event on 17 April, hosted by the London HUBs – the first ever and much-anticipated HUB Insights! Founders and makers, members, partners and those looking to be inspired gathered at this unique one-day event to share stories of change and innovation.
Speakers included stars from the social enterprise sector such as Nikolaus Hutter (Toniic Europe), Paula Goldman (Omidyar Network), Caroline Mason (Big Society Capital) and Nigel Kershaw (The Big Issue). Attendees and speakers were encouraged to engage in a dialogue about the challenges of scaling up social impact in the midst of such economic hardship.
Indy Johar, co-founder of HUB Westminster, was joined by Max Oliva (co-founder of HUB Madrid), Louise Pulford (SIX), Filipe Santos (INSEAD) and Marc Ventresca (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford), and led the first panel discussion on how to nurture system builders and changemakers today.
The panelists addressed questions surrounding new forms of education, driven by the exponential growth in the accessibility of information (like Wikipedia and Khan Academy) and peer-to-peer systems (like Trade School London). The importance of striking a balance between curating knowledge and teaching knowledge was discussed by the first three panelists, and later put into practice by Marc Ventresca. The consensus was that in the future education will be more iterative and incorporate new forms of pedagogy, particularly through practical action and learning networks (like the HUB!)
The second panel was led by Joost Beunderman, director of HUB Islington, and addressed the topic of building Civic movements and organising for impact in the 21st century. Joost was joined by Mark Cheng (Ashoka UK), Christian Bausch (Sandbox), Nicolò Wojewoda (350.org), and Tim Dixon (Purpose), all of whom shared their own insights and experiences.
“Creating genuine values – going beyond manifestos – and participating in value systems is crucial”, said Chris Bausch. The panelists agreed that, as social entrepreneurs, we need to start with the basics by identifying “why”, rather than “what”, we do.
HUB Insights brought together like-minded individuals to tackle the challenges of being part of the innovation and change revolution. For me, the atmosphere in the room was best summarized in Nigel Kershaw’s closing keynote, when he said: ““I want to change the world” is often met with cynicism by those around us. There is no such cynicism in this room!” A time of crisis is the best time for transformational change.
Written by Kristy Petkova, at the HUB Islington focusing on youth related impact. @k_petkova