“Don’t ask where I am from, ask where I am a local” says Taiye Selasi in her recent TED talk that went viral. Based on her story, Selasi argues that what matters for her identity is where she feels at home, where she can connect, and not the nation state that issued her passport. She also says that you can feel like a local in many places, not just one. This is a feeling we Hubbers know well. With Impact Hubs in over 80 locations around the world, we are creating places to feel at home wherever you are. It is our vision that every Hubber has a place to feel like a local on all continents in all major cities. For this purpose we created the #ImpactHubPassport.
How does it work?
One of the #ImpactHubMembership project‘s goals is to increase the opportunities for member mobility. From now on, if you are an Impact Hub Member, you can go to any of the 15 pilot Impact Hubs (Belgrade, Berlin, Brno, Bucharest, Geneva, Kuala Lumpur, London King’s Cross, Munich, Ostrava, Prague, Rotterdam, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Vienna, Zurich), use a coffee area to meet contacts informally, and participate in events you know from home. If you also have a coworking package, you can now seamlessly use it to work in any of the 15 Pilot Hubs. The only thing you have to do is tell the local host you are there and we’ll take care of the rest. We call this the #ImpactHubPassport: your ticket to a home away from home.
Tapping into the local network
Of course a space for meetings or coworking is fantastic, but the real power lies in tapping into the local community. This is why we created passport.impacthub.net. By filling out the check-in form before you arrive, local hosts of the Impact Hub you are visiting will have time to connect you to people you might want to meet, inform you about upcoming events and opportunities that are happening during your visit and give you some tips and tricks for the city. And if you don’t have time to fill in the check-in form beforehand, don’t worry, you can do it on arrival, and the hosts will still do his/her best to make sure you get connected to the local community.
The first experiences were great
One of the first members from Zurich who used #ImpactHubPassport was Roman. He is co-founder of UrbanFarmers, a technology company that produces fresh organic food right where it is consumed. Together with our partner Swissnex, he organized an event in Sao Paolo to find local business partners to bring UrbanFarmers to Brazil. Roman got in touch with Joao, the Impact Hub Sao Paolo’s host, who then invited several community members to the event. Two of them now work for UrbanFarmers on bringing fresh organic food to one of Brazil’s biggest city.
What’s happening next with the #ImpactHubPassport?
Currently the #ImpactHubPassport works for the 15 Impact Hubs that are part of the pilot (Belgrade, Berlin, Brno, Bucharest, Geneva, Kuala Lumpur, London King’s Cross, Munich, Ostrava, Prague, Rotterdam, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Vienna, Zurich). If you are interested in visiting another Impact Hub, you are usually welcome but you can’t use your coworking time there. Just drop them a line before traveling to say you are coming. We plan to have all Impact Hubs offering the #ImpactHubPassport by the end of 2016. In the meantime, we would love to hear from you about whether this is something you like. So please tweet, post, and share on instagram your stores, thoughts and feedback using the hashtag #ImpactHubPassport.
Welcome to the Impact Hub community, a home away from home, across the globe.
A background in business and economics, Niels’ curiosity took him through multiple countries and professions before finding his passion in social entrepreneurship and in Switzerland. After co-founding the Impact Hub Zürich, building its community and setting up its operations, he needed a break and went on a trip through Asia and Africa. Since Mid-2012 Niels is back as Program Director desig...
Niels Rot, Program Director & Member of the Advisory Board of Impact Hub Zurich