Unlikely Allies & Global Retreat: Taking it Home
18 July 2016 - Impact Hub

Unlikely Allies & Global Retreat: Taking it Home


Mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray, kicking off Unlikely Allies 2016

It has been an EPIC WEEK for the Impact Hub Global network.

On July 5-9 in Seattle, Washington, Impact Hub hosted Unlikely Allies 2016 followed by our annual Global Strategic Retreat. We convened a diverse mix of global and local thought leaders, changemakers, inspired citizens, artists, policy makers, activists, corporate innovators, and designers around the launch of a special two-year theme: Future of Cities.

Unlikely Allies: City Solutions Laboratory

We were honoured to have the Mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray kick off Unlikely Allies 2016. He is the city’s first openly gay mayor, currently nearing his 25th anniversary with his husband and his third anniversary legally married. Under his leadership, Washington became one of the first states to legalise gay marriage, and Seattle became the first city in the country to guarantee a $15 minimum wage. Amazing!
The festival featured a broad spectrum of over 50 keynotes, think tanks, case study sessions, pitches, and round-table discussions focused on sharing insights, ideas, and best practices from across Seattle, the US, and dozens of global cities (see the full program here). Keynote speakers included the likes of Majora Carter (MacArthur Genius Fellow, Peabody Award winner), Jason McLennan (International Living Future Institute), Shayna Elgin (Change.org), and a host of our own Makers.

Impact Hub Global Retreat

After overloading our brains with new solutions, new networks, and new insights – it was time to leave Seattle and head to Bainbridge Island for our Global Retreat. Moving from the bustling, high rise city of Seattle to the spacious, green forests of Bainbridge Island couldn’t have been more symbolic of our own mindset’s transition.
Islandwood is where we, as 160 Makers (Impact Hub staff) from around the world, came together to deep dive on community, capacity, strategy, and collaboration.
Together we tackled and reflected on tough questions, including:

  • What does a strong global brand mean for us – and what impact can it help us achieve in the world?
  • How can network growth & performance efforts best inform and complement each other in a way that builds towards a thriving network?
  • How does our ideal membership community look like – and what will it take to attract it?
  • How do we best develop our business, together?
  • How do we better recognise, incentivise and develop experienced talent in the network?
  • How do we strengthen our interdependence while still supporting entrepreneurial freedom to innovate and grow locally?
  • How do we become a truly global network that embraces its diversity while keeping unity and shared purpose?

Even after three days of deep diving on these questions, we may not have all the answers – but we have the momentum of working towards solutions, and coming together stronger, more open, and closer together as a global network.
outcomes 2
Finally, we would like to express an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for all of you who who joined us at Unlikely Allies 2016. Each one of you played a role in the event’s success, and it wouldn’t have been the same without you.
Until next year, share your voice! You have the power to shape the future of cities by participating in the conversation.


Makers Wall: The Faces of Impact Hub Global Retreat 2016

Sitting around our Impact Hub Global ‘Strategy House’


Energisers on Trust, Courage and Collaboration – our network values


Sending #HubLove to the Oakland after the officer shootings in Dallas #strongertogether

13606874_10154445215087994_5334771136055289390_nFrom Seattle to Berlin, the Gathering Hosts hand off to next year’s organisers


On the ferry back from Bainbridge Island. Until next time, everyone!