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Posted by on Apr 13, 2014 | 2 comments

HUB, a platform for social innovation

HUB, a platform for social innovation

We visited the HUB San Francisco and were amazed at how big it is. It took only three years for Tim and his team to create one of the spaces linked to the best platforms for social innovation that we’ve ever known. This Hub, just like the others, believes in the power of innovation through collaboration. Each HUB is different because it’s led by young entrepreneurs from each place where it’s created, but they all share the same philosophy: helping organizations and citizens to work toward a sustainable future.

The HUB’s Recipe for Collaborative Spaces from The HUB on Vimeo.

Developing ideas collectively.

Key concepts: innovation | collective | incubating ideas | collaboration

The HUB is a global network of local, independent spaces that share the same brand and identity. Its founders think that there is abundance of good ideas for the creation of a more sustainable world but there is a lack of resources and sites where these can develop or turn into small businesses or NGOs.

HUB was created with the intention of being a structure where there would be collaboration to make these ideas become reality. Each HUB aims to be a space with the necessary tools where innovative projects can grow and develop, anywhere in the world. As they say, they are above all “places for meeting, exchange and inspiration, full of different people doing incredible things“.

Today, there are more than 30 Hubs open in the world. One is in Madrid and another one in Barcelona, created by three young entrepreneurs and ended in July 2013. This Hub is just waiting to find other members that believe in it in order to continue giving shelter to businesses and NGOs in Barcelona.

The HUB network greatly reminds us of New Leaf, but the former is more mature. Anna, a Catalan woman in the HUB San Francisco, and Tim Nichols, the HUB director, showed us the facilities. On a television screen is possible to see all the week’s events. Tomorrow there is a talk on mindful communication, to learn to better understand your feelings and know how to talk to other members of your team. For Hub members, who pay a monthly fee depending on the services, it’s free; for those who want to participate, it’s $25.

I notice that on July 25th there is an interesting event, “converting your business into a cooperative“. Here there’s shelter for all types of organizations, for profit and non-profit, in the cooperative system… The goal is that member organizations (or single persons) participate and work towards sustainability.

We spent the day working on the Buscant Llavors project in the HUB space and the working environment is one of the best that I’ve ever seen. I think it’s the perfect mix between the atmosphere of a library and that of a coffee shop. The space is made of large community lounges and small lounges for meetings that can be rented if one can’t afford an office in another conventional site.

Interview with Anna Guardiola

Anna works in the Hub Bay Area, a social entrepreneurship community. We met her thanks to one of the leaders of the Barcelona Hub. A few e-mails and miles later,  opening the door of the Hub’s main lounge, there she was, a smiling face and ready to show us the different areas of such a unique place.

Translated by Kerlene Teselford and Erika Amadei

See the pictures of this initiative below:


Learn more about these initiative in:


  1. This was so helpful and easy! Do you have any ariltces on rehab?

    • Hi Bert, we are happy that you liked. Right now we haven’t any article about that, but if you know some project we will be happy to know about it. Thanks

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