Pop-Up HUBs, Human Libraries & Co.

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How to make conferences productive?

The Pop-Up Hub is a co-creation space beyond networking and idea development – it is creating action steps – a crucial element that is often missing at conferences that fail to walk the talk.

We probably might all come across a certain kind of conferences: we are running from one session to another – while hardly having any time for networking and proper conversations. We are chasing other peoples’ thoughts in sessions – while hardly giving ourselves the time to develop our own ones. We are listening to panel discussions where issues of interest are defined by the moderator – while having almost no chance to discuss what really matters to us.

This years’ SOCAP conference has been different. The Pop-Up HUB initiative of the HUB Network gave a new and inspiring touch to this gather-together of the global impact investment community.

„The Pop-Up Hub is a space where investors and entrepreneurs get the chance to discuss issues that matter to them – challenges that are in their focus of interest,“ says Christoph Birkholz, co-founder of HUB Zürich. “It’s about developing and sharing ideas that would not emerge in conventional conference-sessions.”

The idea is simple and smart: People are passionate about what matters to them and their passion is what drives their action. In fact, action comes from heart, reflection from mind. On conferences, both action and reflection are needed. Bringing action into place is one of the core intentions of Pop-Up Hubs. This makes people excited to go beyond developing ideas – they are planning next action steps to push these ideas forward. A fund for social inclusion has been one of those initiatives that emerged out of the Pop-Up Hub at SOCAP.

Another genius initiative is the “human library”. This is a sample of „expert“ profiles – people that combine specific knowledge and networks to connect and match investors and entrepreneurs. „One example has been Peter Barkhammar who is working for a large nature reserve on Lombok (Indonesia) and who contacted me asking for renewable energy, sustainable food and water treatment solutions. I could connect him with Urban Farmers, Organica Water and Trunz Water Systems”, explains Christoph Birkholz.

Pop-Up Hubs are creating the buzz that keeps going the spirit and momentum of a conference. They are the spice needed to blur innovation and action – to walk the talk.

Got curious? Keep your eyes open when attending the next conference.

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