Impact Hub: Coworking with a conscience

on September 11, 2016

It’s 10 a.m. on a Friday morning and “hubbers” are slowly claiming their desks in the main atrium of Impact Hub Oakland, a place they have made their office for the day.

“Hubbers” are the entrepreneurs, techies and innovators who work at Impact Hub, a 16,000 square foot co-working space in downtown Oakland.

Located on 2323 Broadway, Impact Hub Oakland staffers say it is more than just a shared workspace. They try to bring together individuals and businesses who want to create a positive impact in their communities.

“This is the place for people who give a damn, who want to come and create change that is actually going to last,” said Precious Green, who handles guest and member services.

Impact Hub Oakland offers its members open meeting spaces, private team rooms, Skype booths, conference halls, as well as a terraced stage, a lounge, a library and a gallery. It is typically occupied by start-up teams, individuals working on tech projects and even non-profit groups. One recent addition was Edgewood Center for Children and Families, a non-profit that provides behavioral health services to children and families in the Bay Area.

While working, “hubbers” rarely keep their headphones on and their heads down, said Green. Instead, the members are constantly collaborating with each other.

“If you have an idea and you want to make it even better and you believe that there is even more that can be done, you come to a place like this,” said Green.

Salvador Dauvergne, founder of CinqLocal, has been a member of Impact Hub Oakland for eight months. Even though he could work remotely from home, Dauvergne spends five days a week at the hub because he feels more connected.

“If I’m working 10 to 15 hours a day at home, I would be going crazy,” said Dauvergne. “Here I can take a coffee break, I can chat with friends.”

Green said that networking is an essential component to its success. “Here we provide a very organic networking model,” says Green. “We let it happen naturally.”

Every first Friday, the space hosts a potluck networking event called Sexy Salad Lunch, where every member brings in a different ingredient for a salad. Oftentimes, more than 40 members will participate.

“People with different ideas can come together and get a different prospective of what’s going on,” said Zochi Young, who is in charge of coordinating the events at Impact Hub. “They can go back into their silos as they were and come up with something different, hopefully.”

Hub Oakland is an independent Impact Hub founded by an Oakland based team.

Photo by Basil D Soufi
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