I left my formal role as Head of Design at The Impact Hub network in 2010 to set up Studio TILT so it is always great to work with new Hubs and catch up with the network from time to time. I wrote the Hub Space Design Handbook in 2007. You can download the Handbook here. It was well ahead of its time given how these spaces have proliferated, but I imagine now, seven years out of date!
Recently I was in Serbia, to work with Impact HUB Belgrade team there. The calibre of new initiatives continues to rise through the network and it is no exception in Belgrade. The co-founders Nenad Moslavac , Gaia Montelatici and Jelena Milovanovic have a fascinating wealth of experience and local knowledge that will no doubt make the space a success. When I joke about how they will need to write off the next 18 months to simply make the space viable they laugh but know exactly what I mean! It’s a long haul founding a Hub, but infinitely rewarding.
I prefer to re-connect to the network for spaces and places that are pioneering. Former Yugoslavia has been bubbling for some time with youthful entrepreneurial spirit and energy, and is very different to when I last visited in 2001. In Belgrade social entrepreneurship is cutting edge, and there is hardly any coworking presence across the region. It is one thing to set up a space in London or New York where coworking and social entrepreneurship is yesterday’s news, but in a climate like FY it is courageous and timely.
I went over to codesign with the founders and community, to advise on space design and to offer my experience of creating Hubs. As always with Hub teams it was a real pleasure and I hope to visit again when the space opens later in the year.