Impact Hub is many things: a global community for change, an entrepreneurial ecosystem, a center for social justice initiatives, and a safe, inclusive, welcoming space for all. You already know that Impact Hub is more than just a physical place—it’s a movement. But did you know that the Impact Hub movement has over 100 communities in cities around the world? And that, in each of these cities, there are businesses, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and other changemakers doing some of the coolest work imaginable? Read on to discover a few fascinating, fun facts about what’s happening at Impact Hubs across the globe.
At Impact Hub Kuala Lumpur, members can take part in The Human Library, an international organization that “challenges stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue” by putting real people on loan to readers. Yes, you read that right—participants can check out people from the library instead of books. Volunteers who become “human books” open up and share their personal stories with readers who want to learn more about that specific book title; many titles have to do with some kind of stereotype or stigmatized topic, like homelessness, addiction, and other mental health issues, sexual violence, unconventional relationships, unemployment, and much more.
Amplifier Art recently partnered with Impact Hub Seattle—Amplifier is a design lab and advocacy group that builds art to amplify the voices of grassroots movements (one of their biggest, most recognizable projects was producing the “We the People” resistance posters for the Women’s March and the Inauguration protests). Seattle Hubbers can tour the Amplifier’s lab and headquarters and check out their latest visual campaigns from week to week.
Imad Elabdala, a Syrian engineer in Sweden, founded Kidnovation, which seeks to create affordable, scalable media tools to help displaced children. Impact Hub Stockholm took him in and supported his first project, Sarah’s Journey, a book that offers refugee psychological support to refugee children. The first 3,000 books were delivered to Syria, crowdfunding supporters, and Western schools via Impact Hubs, with plans to expand into Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Impact Hub recently teamed up with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to create the Resilient Entrepreneurs Program, which offers incubation and acceleration to support the economic growth of entrepreneurs in Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Following Impact Hub’s methodology, IDB designed the entrepreneurial development process with a goal to support 160 entrepreneurs in each country.
And every year, Impact Hub Brazil hosts Impact Hub Escola, an innovation and workshops festival that truly meets a need; over 10,000 young people have attended 15 editions of the Hub Escola since its inception in 2010. The festival’s collaborative model is dynamic and hands-on and stimulates participants to take action on some of the most pressing issues our planet is facing today.
Written by Justine Harrington
Justine Harrington is a freelance journalist, essayist, and copywriter for travel and lifestyle brands based in Austin. Her work has appeared in Fodor’s, Backpacker, USA Today, the Austin-American Statesman, Austin Monthly, Austin Woman, Misadventures Magazine, and elsewhere.