Jessica Galletti: An intern’s reflection on Impact Hub
Only three months ago I was “an inquiring alien” stepping through the doors of Impact Hub Islington as an intern to get in touch with new people, ideas and inspirations. Being used to working in “traditional” social enterprises, Impact Hub looked like the perfect opportunity to satisfy my increasing curiosity towards new ways of undertaking social business and co-creating social impact projects. The last three months have definitively proved to me that I was right.
Around these petal-shaped tables I experienced how social entrepreneurs and creators come together to innovate, co-work and connect. It’s not just a matter of renting a desk and having a fast wifi connection, it’s the home of change-makers who believe that a radically better world is possible. Social innovation and co-creation, concepts I ran into many times during my studies, don’t feel like abstract labels anymore. Impact Hub is the place where they come true.
The best way to explain what Impact Hub Islington is and has meant for me is describing the three main ingredients that make this place so unique:
- Innovative Inspirations – Impact Hub Islington is first and foremost, an ecosystem of inspirations. This doesn’t just mean being surrounded by creative people with cutting-edge tools and technologies. It’s a matter of participation. At Impact Hub inspiration is directly proportional to your level of engagement: the more you get involved the more you are inspired.
- Powerful Crowd – Impact Hub Islington is the place where people come together to increase their impact through collaboration and innovation. Movements such as crowdsourcing, open data and collective impact are a clear example of how people can scale their impact when they have a shared vision and common purpose. At Impact Hub Islington, the “crowd” is composed by 200+ socially conscious members (expanding to 11K+ members when we consider the global movement).
- Enriching diversity – Impact Hub Islington is a melting pot of diverse and complementary people, businesses, ideas and skills. If it’s true that you can always learn something from someone with different knowledge sets and backgrounds, this is even more effective within a collaborative environment. Impact Hub Islington is an open community where members from different sectors can experience new and innovative forms of collaboration and exchange.
These three very same elements will represent some of the most important challenges in the future of Hub Islington as a community and Impact Hub as a global movement. I’m grateful the 10th anniversary of Impact Hub gave me the chance to browse its future strategy and reflect on some thoughts about the next decade.
Will Impact Hub be able to provide new sources of inspiration to its members by pushing collaboration and innovative forms of participation? Will it succeed in steering the youth’s inspirations into sustainable social businesses? One important challenge will be Impact Hub’s ability to leverage the power of its 200 members (and 11K+ globally). Will Impact Hub be the mouthpiece of their interests helping them increase their bargaining power? Another gamble will be the ability of keeping intact its heterogeneous membership through the development of new co-created paths, which can value individuals and their peculiarities.
Personally, if I look at the next decade, I imagine a home for a new generation of change-makers with a common agenda, open and continuous communication and the same desire of radically change the world. I imagine an Impact Hub that leverages the power of its heterogeneous crowd to run local co-planned paths as well as global social impact projects. I imagine a new co-created beginning for Impact Hub.
Thank you very much Hubbers, in the end YOU are the only ingredient that makes this place so special. You are definitively the most inspiring, powerful and diversified crowd I’ve ever met.