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Seeking Solutions for an Increasingly Urban World

“Communities For Change connects Impact Hub innovators with the Presencing Institute’s u.lab process with an incredible aspiration: let’s collaborate towards truly inclusive cities and co-create the future we want to see. 1 challenge, 5 cities, 100+ changemakers…incredible potential!” – Julie Arts, Presencing Institute Senior Faculty

 

By 2080, 80% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities. The increasingly complex challenges that cities face such as insufficient housing, air pollution and rising inequality demand solutions that are dynamic, systemic, and collaboratively developed.

 

Communities for Change brought together changemakers from diverse pockets of participating cities for an 8-week innovation journey. 5 Impact Hubs (Baltimore, Boulder, Seattle, Budapest and Harare) and 20 to 30 key stakeholders per city completed this prototyping journey during which they ran a facilitated learning and innovation process around the shared theme of “INCLUSIVE CITIES”, using the u.lab process, Theory U framework & Tools developed by Presencing Institute.

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The goal was to co-create actionable prototypes locally but also connect participants to a global community for systemic impact. Local programs benefited from links across Impact Hub’s global network, whose collective purpose is to enable people to take entrepreneurial action for positive impact. This tested a hypothesis – that through collaboration, relationship-building and shared practices, individuals tackling similar challenges in different parts of the world would be able to learn faster and replicate what works.

 

As a result of the experience, participants reported personal growth (deeper listening practice, enhanced mindfulness, greater sense of confidence and personal agency) new and strengthened connections, and deeper understanding of the challenges that they explored not as isolated issues but as part of an interdependent system. You can learn more here.

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Participant job sectors

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Local Focus

Impact Hub Baltimore sought to address the pitfalls often faced in community-owned projects by bringing together local leaders to better equip community-led development to meet the city’s needs.

Impact Hub Boulder engaged diverse stakeholders to co-create and incubate prototypes for new, holistic approaches to mitigate climate change locally in line with the city’s Climate and Energy Goals

Impact Hub Seattle and the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, in their collective work to strengthen neighbourhoods and develop diverse leadership, explored systemic bias and other barriers to diversity in local business success.

Impact Hub Harare gathered diverse community leaders to explore and prototype solutions for developing their country’s green energy resources in a collaborative way that feeds the nation’s growing appetite for innovative solutions.

Impact Hub Budapest explored the future of work in their post-communist country. With sections of the workforce struggling financially, others exploited by large multinationals and entrepreneurs stifled in the middle, this group sought solutions that will enable the next generation to both gain financial security and follow their calling

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