The large gathering at HUB Bay Area’s pre-launch gathering last night at the Brower Center in Berkeley was impressive.
Within the short one hour window that I was there, I met someone from Global Issues Network – an organization dedicated to introducing youth to the power of networking and conversation to solve the world’s most pressing issues; from the Global Micro-Clinic Project – an organization helping economically depressed and conflict ridden areas form partnerships to prevent and manage disease; from Silicon Valley Bank – banking for innovative ideas; and from Solutions – an enterprising LEED certified collaboration of architects offering “new thinking” to help re-architect problems and find solutions.
The concept behind the the HUB Bay Area is not easily grasped. Tangibly it is a workspace for small businesses interested in creating social change. In-tangibly the potential is much greater, but that potential will require the strength and participation of the community it wishes to empower for it to take hold. There are meeting rooms, a membership list serve, opportunities to dialogue with other members, bulletins, access to professional services mentoring and workshops, support from the venture capital community, local universities and lots of support from various “change” sector leaders.
If last night’s enthusiastic gathering is any indicator, there is hope. More than a collection of non-profits seeking funding or individuals looking for employment, the careful vetting by the HUB staffers seems to be building a community of real doers with ideas in early-stage implementation simply needing advice, resources and the moral support it takes to swim upstream in a status quo world. If this community of change-makers engages early and takes advantage of the carefully planned infrastructure, there is an exciting opportunity for momentum.
With locations in 12 other countries, the HUB Bay Area is worth watching as an entrepreneurial energy center for social change.