Author Archives: jonaxtell

Recap: Ideo Brownbag at Hub SoMa

Today Hub SoMa hosted Jocelyn Wyatt of IDEO on a session on Human Centered Design.  Jocelyn introduced the core framework of HCD at IDEO:

1. Start with the people.

Focusing on the people and how they will use the system and product/service.

2. Every Point Matters

Understanding all steps and how they contribute to a greater experience.

3. Prototype to learn.

Testing the design in early stages to gather responses and make changes.

4. Spread to Scale.

Share the design openly with others to make sure the design can be built upon.

Jocelyn engaged the group in discussing ways that design thinking can pervade social innovation work.  She even gave feedback on how The Hub can continue to incorporate HCD into its daily ethos and community.

Don’t miss all of the great brown bag lunches we have lined up for this month.  Become a member and check out the calendar!


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Hub Radical Collaboration in the SF Gate

Great write-up from the SF Gate Today.  You can read it here. Or below!

Chronicle’s New Neighbor: Intersection 5m

by Tamara Straus

“The ground floor of the San Francisco Chronicle building, at 901 Mission St., may seem at first like an odd location for a radical cross-sector collaboration with entrepreneurs and innovators working to create social change. But times are tough for newspapers. The Hearst Corp., which owns The Chron and its 1924 building, is looking for tenants. And the Hub Bay Area, an international social entrepreneurs’ collective, and TechShop, a collaborative tech workshop, along with Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco’s oldest alternative nonprofit art space, are in need of new digs for joint programs, a satellite gallery, a screening room and an event space.

Intersection 5M, Intersection’s part of the new collective, will launch May 19. Its goals are as lofty and marvelous as they are vague. Among them: Creating programs that encourage “breakthrough innovation” by people in the SoMa/Mid-Market/Downtown neighborhood.

“We are working with Forest City Development to lead the way on high impact design and real estate solutions that enable us to make a place that effectively ‘crowd sources’ to facilitate this kind of powerful collaboration,” states the news release. “This collaboration is part of a prototype for a new, open urban campus of for-profit and non-profit businesses, artists and entrepreneurs that dissolves boundaries and consistently instigates synergistic collaboration across disciplines in order to inspire and enable new ideas for change.”

Call it art-tech progressivism. Intersection 5M appears to be taking ideological cues from John M. Eger, a San Diego State University professor of communications and public policy who advocates so-called Smart Communities. Eger defines them as ones that are connected (through wireless technologies), creative (they support arts and culture) and collaborative (they are civically engaged). He is quoted in the Intersection 5M press release as saying: “Civic engagement and new civic ‘co-laboratories’ will be needed to help ‘reboot’ or reinvent our great American cities to reclaim the sense of place and civic pride that these cities once possessed, as well as ensure that no one is left behind.”

The first effort of Intersection 5M will be a multimedia exhibition called “Let’s Talk of a System,” featuring work by April Banks, Sergio De La Torre, Suzanne Husky, Laura Parker, Favianna Rodriguez, James Reed and Banker White. It will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. May 19. Deborah Cullinan, executive director of Intersection for the Arts, says the group exhibition takes its inspiration and title from a quote by German artist Joseph Beuys: “Let’s talk of a system that transforms all the social organisms into a work of art, in which the entire process of work is included … something in which the principle of production and consumption takes on a form of quality. It’s a Gigantic project.”

Read more:

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Networks Trump Organizations (Brown Bag with Former Habitat for Humanity Middle East Director)

Photo Courtesy of Kimiagar

We have a last-minute brown bag lunch happening tomorrow (Friday) afternoon from 12-1pm at Hub Berkeley.  Scheduled, canceled due to the volcano, then scheduled again, this is an exciting discussion about how increasing collaboration can be more important in scaling social impact than growing a specific organization.  David Haskell, CEO of Dreams InDeed, will lead the discussion.
Aiming for Impact?  Networks Trump Organizations

(Open to the public) The enormity the issues plaguing the poor and the planet dwarf the capacity of governments, corporations, and aid agencies.  Yet many still assume that organizational growth automatically equals mission impact.  Others say, not so!  Social impact researcher Wei-Skillern of Berkeley and Stanford found that “some of the world’s most successful organizations instead stay small, sharing their load with like-minded, long-term partners,” and advises organizations to “focus less on growing themselves and more on cultivating their networks.” Hartigan of Oxford calls for collaboration, not fracturing competition, to “scale to the issue.” Bridgespan developed analytical tools for social change practitioners to strengthen their fields, not just organizations, for issue-wide impact.  We will discuss a case and explore why and how to weave “network trampolines” for synergistic impact, broadening our horizons and thinking outside the organizational box.

David Haskell is CEO of Dreams InDeed International.  He models vision and values and mentors indigenous social entrepreneurs. Formerly Habitat for Humanity regional director, David has twenty years entrepreneurship experience, launching six Middle Eastern start-ups and directing four African turn-arounds.

Please RSVP to me (  For more information on the topic, go to:


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Hub Collision! TEDxVolcano meets Hub meets Kickstart meets Nairobi!

This has been an incredible week for Hub Collisions, with a TON deriving from the Hub Kings Cross and the gathering of stuck social innovators there for what they termed “TEDxVolcano.”   You can watch TEDxVolcano here.  We received another international collision today, further proving the point that this movement is real and growing.  Here is an email from a HAAS MBA who has been involved with Hub Berkeley and recently took a job with Kickstart in Nairobi, Kenya (Not to be confused with Kickstarter).

Title:  “Small Hub World”

Hey Alex, hope all is well back in SF, especially with all the SOMA
launch events! I’m having a great time in Kenya – in love with my new
job at KickStart! Anyway, just wanted to let you know about a Hub
encounter I had at the Africa-Middle East Microcredit Summit a couple
weeks ago. I attended a workshop session on creating social
businesses, moderated by Muhammad Yunus, and when I introduced myself
to the woman who sat down next to me, I found out that she (Lesley
Williams) is the “Africa Strategist” for The Hub in Johannesburg! We
started talking about how there should be a Hub in Nairobi, so we’re
going to keep in touch. Anyway, just thought I would share this with
you since I know how much you appreciate the global network of Hubs =)

Small Hub World indeed…


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Last Minute Invite: Jean Russell, curator of Thrivability hosts brownbag on Friday

On Friday, don’t miss a Brown Bag lunch with Jean Russell, curator of Thrivability: A Collaborative Sketch ( Jean will present and discuss flash collaboration. She used this process to involve 70 collaborators from across the world in producing an ebook in less than 90 days. The ebook was repeatedly a top “twittered” and “facebooked” item on Slideshare. It is approaching 5000 views in less than 3 weeks. It is cash positive on a generosity model. She will point to successful ways of using social media to both develop and launch a project, as well as project management for flash collaborations. Take away ideas on how to collaborate with your network for tangible and visible results. Please RSVP to me at


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Legal Issues? Hanson Bridgett Legal Huddle at The Hub

They say justice and our legal system is blind, that doesn’t mean you should be.

Social innovation can often times be stifled with the complexities of the US legal environment.  What’s stumping you and who would you like to hear offer advice?  Hanson Bridgett is sponsoring a very exciting series at The Hub about legal issues as they relate to social innovation.  Come join us on Thursday,December 17th for another great Huddle, but even more, we want to hear your perspectives on what the next Huddle should discuss and who we should invite to take part in the discussion.

Click here to vote and give your comments

Then, register for the event at eventbrite!


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