One of the coolest things about Impact Hub is the expansive network of over 100 Hubs all over the world. We connect and share virtually through virtual platforms, events and networking. However, as a member, you can work out of any Impact Hub through our Global Passport Program and experience the magic of our global community in person.
Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, if you come across an Impact Hub you know you will find like-minded, welcoming people ready to make your experience abroad special. Read on to hear stories from members who were able to connect with Impact Hubs in Lisbon and Mexico City.
Finding Community Wherever I Go by Tina Pfau Gonzales
I love Mexico City; I knew I would. It wasn’t just that first international trip post-pandemic lockdown or the beautiful weather. It is a very walkable city with fabulous street life, food, and architecture, especially Roma, the neighborhood we concentrated on this trip. But we also found community.
On a Thursday morning, we made our way to Avenida Obregon, a major thoroughfare with trendy stores and restaurants, to find Impact Hub CD MX. Mario Romero, the director, gave us his full attention when we arrived without an appointment. We felt very welcomed by all the staff even after interrupting their team meeting. Mario gave us a tour of the 3-floor building and a long list of recommendations and stories about current projects. It was humming with activity. They had fair trade coffee and cool clay water filters from a social enterprise in Guatemala.
Before leaving to explore the huerto (ecopark) that Mario recommended, I showed Carlos a photo of the latest winter storm and we exchanged numbers with two of his team members that would meet up with us for a glorious meal in Merida later in the month.
Not only did we connect with colleagues and social entrepreneurs in a huge international city, we now have a place where we can always go to work and find our community.
A Month in Lisbon by Kate Dehmer
I decided to escape the cold this winter and take advantage of my remote work situation. I chose Lisbon for its moderate climate, affordability, general proximity to central time (compared to the rest of Europe) and finally because I knew I could work from the Lisbon Impact Hub! I found an Airbnb just a block away from the Hub and was so happy to have the experience of plugging in to a community abroad and experiencing the benefits of this global network! It was fun to chat with others who were also traveling around while they work and to be in a space with energy, multiple different languages and where everyone seemed happy to be there.
I thought a lot about how the Hub community in the Twin Cities is similarly providing to our community and it’s made me even more excited to plug back in when I return home. Isn’t it sometimes true that you have to leave home to appreciate what you’ve left behind?
I’ll be back in March and look forward to seeing you all at the Hub!
Strive Publishing and Bookstore aims to inspire community collaboration through publishing stories to heal, teach, learn, and earn, while building an ecosystem that embodies a rich Black culture and heritage.
Solving a Problem
As a public school teacher and mother, Mary Taris launched Strive Publishing in 2018 after continuous frustration with the lack of relevant books for Black children. She not only wanted to find culturally relevant children’s books, but ones that affirm and spark joy for Black children.
Since the launch, Mary has published 20 authors and 5 illustrators, and in July 2022 opened her first bookstore as part of the Chameleon Shoppes.
Centering Black Narratives
“My favorite part of launching my own business is getting to know the people behind the Black literary scene in Minneapolis and uplifting their work,” said Mary. Strive’s vision is to see a world where Black narratives are centered, valued and empowered for freedom, equity and justice. The authors and illustrators that Mary works with help to embody that vision. Like Arielle Grant, whose book ‘The Picture Box’ demonstrates the importance of representation for young black girls and inherent self worth. And Donna Gingery, whose book ‘Red and the Egg Pie’ aims to help children express and believe in themselves.
Support Along the Way
Mary has been a part of two Impact Hub MSP programs that have helped her grow her social business.
Chameleon Shoppes, a partnership between Hub and the Minneapolis Downtown Council, provided Mary with the space to open her retail bookstore without taking a huge risk. She was invited to join the Sistah Co-op – a collaborative shop that celebrates local BIPOC brands and business owners. This shared retail agreement not only is more accessible for startups, but provides a supportive and empowering community of other black women business owners.
Entrepreneurship 4 Good, an online accelerator for social entrepreneurs hosted by Hub, helped Mary integrate her mission mentality with more business acumen. “I still don’t really feel like a business owner,” said Mary, “and E4G was supportive and encouraging in helping me tackle the basics of running a social business.”
Visit Strive Publishing & Bookstore
Strive Publishing & Bookstore is located in the IDS Center – Suite 245 – in the Sistah Co-Op.
It is open Monday through Friday from 10am-5pm and the first and third Saturdays of the month from 11:00am-2:00pm.
The latest Global Impact Report is available NOW
There’s power in community – the past two years exemplified that. Together we were able to face today’s challenges head-on. Driven by determination, our worldwide network worked hard to build better businesses, design impactful solutions, and (re) imagine a just & sustainable future.
The time is now. The way is together.
In our latest global report, you can discover how we made an impact in 2021-2022.
Latosha Cox, Black Girl Sabbatical -Holistic Wellness Coaching
Jennifer Bertram, Reimagining the laundromat for good
Lindberg Chambliss, Teaching history & critical thinking in an innovative way
Whitney Terrell, The Reem Company – Insurance
Britnee Posey, Finance Consultant
We are also excited to welcome new members to our community. Here are just two new faces you might see the next time you are around the Hub.
Drew Arrieta is a visual storyteller and artist whose work tells stories about resistance, re-imagining our world, and the magic of joy.
Rosie Sovell is an aspiring entrepreneur Looking Into The Future Leadership, Art, Tech, Community, Creating, Change & Vision
Speaking of being at the Hub….
We have been having a lot of fun being more consistently back in the space. From enjoying our outdoor balcony for social gatherings and lounging in our new swings to welcoming visitors from Impact Hubs across the globe it truly is a gift once taken for granted to be together in person.
Across the globe, 8.9% of the population suffers from hunger and 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. Innovation within food systems needs to take place in order to combat hunger locally and globally.
Food/Ag Innovation in Minnesota
With some of the largest corporate headquarters in the food industry, an extensive community of food scientists and a strong agricultural industry, food/ag innovation is built into Minnesota’s DNA. Grow North (soon to be Naturally Minnesota) is the innovation ecosystem of much of this work.
This month, they held their annual event, Food/Ag Ideas Week, featuring speakers, tours, demos and a showcase of local products. Sessions included topics such as; Food System Resiliency in the Urban Environment, The Rise of Upcycled Products and Sustainable and Responsible Food Chains. It is conversations like these that will help us reach the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030.
Executive Director, Alison Hohn, shared more about the event in this Ag Week Article.
“There’s a lot of mega climate change events happening with hurricanes, drought and fires,” she said. “And then everything with the geopolitical conflict in Ukraine impacting supply chains and growing production there.”
She said they also considered socioeconomic disparities in the state, and people who are in need of healthy food options.
“We really wanted to talk about topics that impacted all of that, and the overarching interconnectedness of the global food supply,” she said.
Whether you are part of the food and agriculture industry or not, we can all work towards hunger solutions together. October 12 is National Farmers Day – a time to honor the hard working farmers who dedicate their lives to provide fresh, nutritious food. By supporting local farmers and markets, we can help contribute to a more sustainable food system.
Food waste occurs at every stage of the production and distribution process, however nearly half of that occurs at the consumer level. Diverting just 15% of that waste would be enough to cut the number of food insecure Americans in half.
Prevent waste by asking yourself these questions;
Do I really need it? Can I share it with a family, friend or neighbor?
Is it over packaged? Is it available in bulk?
Instead of throwing this away, could I reuse, compost or recycle?
Putting people and planet first is not always the easy way. You walk a little further to find the recycling bin, you turn down the funder that has conflicting values, you spend extra, intentional time when hiring to ensure fair and equitable access. But we know this extra work is worth it and, in fact, essential for better business and a better world. This month we highlighted this importance through Twin Cities Startup Week, Hispanic Heritage Month and back to school season. Read on!
The Future of Business at Twin Cities Startup Week
To build a better future, we need better business. Businesses that challenge the status quo, accelerate innovation, create inclusive job opportunities and keep sustainability and circularity at their core.
Our incredible group of panelists shared their ‘messy and magical’ experiences as social impact ventures. Here were some key takeaways.
Re-evaluate what scale looks and feels like. It doesn’t have to look a certain way to be valuable.
Not all capital is the same. Educate yourself about different types of capital and be intentional about timing.
The loneliness of the starting phase is real! Don’t try to do it alone. Learn from others with a growth mindset.
Be like water…
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.”
From September 19-30 in Gaviidae Common, the second annual MERCADO LATINO gave shoppers the opportunity to explore products from all over Latin America, as well as those created by Latino makers here in the Twin Cities. This event is a partnership between Chameleon Shoppes and LEDC-MN. Learn more here!
Meet the Vendors!
This year’s edition of MERCADO LATINO brings you a talented group of Latin small business owners, sharing their work, their products and their stories.
The more we can expose young people to the power of social impact, in business and beyond, the better!
Sixteen prospective students came to learn from five panelists about the Harvard Business School Masters Program through discussion and Q&A.
Twelve students in the Entrepreneur Scholars (E-Scholars) program at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University along with the faculty Paul Marsnik and Steve Schwarz spent the evening at Impact Hub. And during that time they were pitching via zoom to their sister program at the University of Portland in Portland Oregon. They spread all over the Hub to make it easy to engage virtually while having a space that made them feel comfortable.
SDGs in Action: 17 Partnerships for Goals
The SDG’s are designed to provide guidance for our global community to promote actions that impact all of us and create a better future for generations to come. This month we’d like to spotlight SDG 17- Partnerships for Goals, which strengthens the means of implementation and revitalizes the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
This goal highlights the level of importance for stability on a global scale for economic structure, performance, behavior, and decision-making as a whole and the great need to come together as a global community to deploy financial resources for developing countries.
Impact Doesn’t Happen in Isolation
One of our favorite sayings at Impact Hub is “Impact cannot happen in isolation. It requires collective action.” SDG 17 is built into who we are – a global community dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs developing solutions to world’s toughest challenges. We understand from a first-hand perspective the importance of combining different perspectives, trying to grow our bubble of influence and partner for greater impact.
Some of our favorite organizations and initiatives also working towards SDG 17:
The Forge North Coalition: Made up of entrepreneurs, investors, executives and community leaders (including Impact Hub MSP!) working together to make the Twin Cities the best place to start and scale ventures.
August is always a busy month – fitting in those last minute vacations, preparing for the school year, soaking up the final days of summer. And it was no different at Hub. We took some vacations, we got outside for our Monthly Member Meetup at Malcolm Yards and started working away to prep for a busy Fall!
Congratulations to the MN Cup Impact Division Semifinalists
Turnsignl is an on-demand, real-time service that provides 24/7 legal guidance to drivers through a live video chat with an attorney who helps de-escalate interactions.
Hack the Gap is an initiative to upskill/reskill predominantly BIPOC women in tech to help them expand professional opportunities and increase financial stability.
Forever Ware is working on the first scalable city-wide solution for trash-free takeout and delivery. By signing up, restaurants are stocked with reusable takeout containers that their customers can check out and return.
A special shoutout as well to Hub Member and Chameleon Shoppes Vendor, Coconut Whisk for making it to the finals in the the Food/Ag division!
Coconut Whisk is a vegan and gluten-free food company that specializes in breakfast and baking mixes that are nutrient-dense and easy-to-make. Their product line includes mixes for pancakes, waffles, cookies, and mug cakes.
Monthly Member Meetup at Malcolm Yards
“The Market at Malcolm Yards is dedicated to bringing Minnesotans back together. We’re a community that treasures the tradition of getting together, not just for fun and community, but for a greater good.”
We were excited to host this month’s Member Meetup at Malcolm Yards Market – only 5 minutes from the Hub!
An awesome gathering place that is dedicated to creating a safe, inclusive space by revitalizing the Prospect Park neighborhood and historic Harris Machinery building and supporting inspiring chefs.
In Case You Missed It
The Supreme Court, Originalism and Collective Rights & Responsibilities
Many of us were left feeling helpless after the recent Supreme Court’s decisions on gun control, bodily autonomy and climate regulation.
Minneapolis attorney Bill Celebrezze led us through a high-level review of the decisions with a focus on the methods of analysis driving the Court’s rulings, and the implications of those methods for collective and individual rights and responsibilities.
This event provided a better understanding of the history surrounding these laws and the motivations driving them. And although it may not have provided much comfort, our hope is that understanding the context surrounding the decisions can help drive individual and organizational change.
“Decent work is at the heart of the search for dignity for the individual, stability for the family and peace in the community.”
Juan Somavia, Former Director-General of the International Labour Organization
We have seen huge setbacks regarding employment and economic growth. The equivalent of 125 million jobs were lost due to the pandemic, with women, youth and people with disabilities being disproportionately affected. In fact, the proportion of youth (age 15-24) not engaged in either education, employment or training increased to 23.3% in 2021 – the equivalent of nearly 20 million young people.
Nothing About Us,
Here in Minneapolis, an amazing group of young people fought this inequity by working to reverse an 82-year-old law that prevented youth workers from receiving unemployment insurance while in school. As a result of this record-breaking win resulting in 20,000 young workers getting $30 million in direct economic relief, they formed a social enterprise called Bridgemakers. This youth-led movement aims to amplify voices and mentor the leadership of under-served youth to bridge America’s toughest gaps.
Least Developed Countries At Risk
Global economic recovery continues to be hampered by rising inflation, supply-chain disruptions and labor market challenges. Small firms, the informal employment sector and the poorest countries have been the most affected. In 2021, the average worker in a high-income country produced 13.6 times more than in a low-income country.
However, as economic activity gradually resumes, informal employment, especially self-employment, has strongly rebounded. For example, informal jobs accounted for over 70 percent of jobs in many Latin American Countries.
Designs to Empower Women
Suyana Designs is a Social Enterprise committed to empowering female artisans through employment and education. They strive to preserve indigenous Latin American traditions of handcrafted accessories while providing the knowledge needed for women to break the cycle of poverty.
Founder, Susana Rosas, was inspired by the great care indigenous women take in honoring their traditions. “Each piece historic, creative and one of a kind, just like the women she met.” Today, Suyana Designs exists to encourage female artisans to take their future into their own hands. On top of helping artisans sell their products, Susana hosts locally run programs designed to achieve economic independence and learn skills to be successful in the community.
With COVID-19 causing the worst economic crisis in decades and the U.S. currently facing a possible recession, we need organizations like Bridgemakers and Suyana Designs to continue to think boldly and support those most in need.
Learn more about SDG 8 – promoting sustained, inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Temperatures are rising. Carbon dioxide levels and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere have reached record highs. Weather patterns are changing and sea levels are rising. If left unchanged, climate change will continue to worsen storms and natural disasters and cause global threats such as food and water scarcity.
Addressing climate change means looking at all of our systems (energy, industry, transport, food, agriculture and forestry) in order to limit global temperature rise and lower emissions. This will not only help reverse the negative effects, but also create over 18 million jobs focused on sustainable energy and could trigger $26 trillion in economic benefits by 2030.
So what are we waiting for?
Find some resources below to support your climate action journey. But know that even small decisions regarding your personal lifestyle make a difference. About two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked to private households. We can help make a difference!
Grid Catalyst is a Clean Energy Accelerator Deploying Solutions for Northern Climate Challenges. They work to accelerate clean energy deployment by connecting entrepreneurs to project demonstration, mentorship and development and investment to grow their business.
In March, they announced their inaugural Energy Startup Cohort for their Northern Climate Accelerator Program.
All projects are being deployed in Minnesota in partnership with clean energy leaders from across the state.
“These startups represent an exciting wave of clean energy technologies and solutions that create opportunities for decarbonization, investment and workforce in the Midwest.”
Alongside community initiatives and personal choices, state regulation, the actions of companies and civil society, and environmental & social enterprises have an important and disruptive role to play in accelerating the global transition to sustainability. As a global network, we are stepping forward and aligning our efforts to achieve impact at scale.