Visiting the Impact Hub Ottawa
Emily Kokkoros and Cassandra Prézeau/ Digital Collaboration Team / July 17, 2018
12 minute read
We are Cassandra and Emily, a Junior Research and Analysis Officer and a Junior Policy Officer. We are both students working for the Digital Collaboration team at the Treasury Board Secretariat. Our goal, as part of the team is always to find new and innovative ways to work together, whether that is within our own group or with anyone else around the world. So, when the opportunity to meet with a representative from one of the world’s leading entrepreneurial and innovative solutions for social impact came to our attention, we had to know more…
What is the Impact Hub About?
The Impact Hub is a membership-based community of over 16,000 members meant to expand your network more easily by providing an open space for collaboration and encouraging its patrons to socialise amongst themselves though activities and workshops. The Hub gives you access to mentors should you require assistance, and it provides meeting and event spaces across Canada and around the world so you’re connected even when you’re far from home.
The Impact Hub Ottawa describes itself as “a community and co-working space that inspires, connects and enables people working to solve the world’s problems big and small”, and rightfully so. Sure, it is a place where you can bring your work and sit quietly in an ergonomic and contemporary space, but it is also a place where you can meet like-minded individuals who share a passion to better the world by working together. In fact, 60% of Impact Hub members value social and environmental return, using the sustainable development goals the Impact Hub shares, over financial gain.
They can help with the initial start-up of your business as they have done with over 6,400 businesses between the year 2012 and 2016, not to mention the over 200 programs they deliver annually as the world’s largest multi-stakeholder community and accelerator for social impact.
Members also benefit from inspiring events, perks with partner organizations, and let’s not forget… free coffee and Wi-Fi!
How can we connect?
A large part of what made this tour unique was the roundtable-style discussion that followed the initial walk-around. The Community Lead for Impact Hub was present, along with a number of guests, including a health entrepreneur, a digital marketer, a freelance writer, and Cassandra and myself.
Cassandra and I had the opportunity at a few intervals to discuss what we do and it was clear to see that the work this team is doing at TBS garnered quite a bit of interest from the private sector and non-profit listeners at the table. Eager to hear more, they would ask a question about our jobs or make a comment about the scope of the work. With a mixture of individuals from different sectors and backgrounds, their interest signals that the concept of collaborative tools, of building bridges between communities, governments, academics, and stakeholders, is an idea that captures attention in innovative circles like the Hub.
We heard about the Impact Hub’s network around the world and their own partnerships, linking with other social hubs across Canada. They also offer the ability for members to have a profile and communicate on a private network with other members. Platforms like these exemplify how there are a number of social communities thriving not just in Canada, but around the world, all the while identifying a common thread: the desire to work together.
Pursuing the purpose of connecting one another in more engaging and efficient ways is a goal we can all get behind. As the Digital Collaboration division maintains the set of collaborative and engaging GCTools, it is encouraging to see that such dynamic efforts can resonate both within the Government of Canada, and with change-makers across the country and around the world.