What is the HUB?
We believe there is no shortage of good ideas to solve the issues of our time. But there is an acute lack of collaboration and support structures to help make them happen. The Hub was founded to address this need.
We set out to create coworking spaces that combine the best of a trusted community, innovation lab, business incubator and the comforts of home. Spaces with all the tools and trimmings needed to grow and develop innovative social enterprise ventures for the betterment of the world. But above all, spaces for meaningful encounters, exchanges and inspiration, full of diverse people doing amazing things.
The idea has been spreading like wildfire and resulted in the emergence of a global movement. To date, there are 30+ open HUBS and many more in the making, from London to San Francisco.
Another world is not just possible... it's happening
- Emma Biermann 350.Org
Emma is an environmental campaigner who co-founded the UK Youth Climate Coalition (the UKYCC). She has travelled around the world highlighting environmental issues, visiting the Arctic with the WWF to highlight the effects of climate change there as well as leading the ‘Push Europe’ initiative to galvanize grassroots youth support for climate action across Europe. She is currently acting as the European Co-ordinator for the global climate campaigning network 350.org, an organisation which aims to build a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Their online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are led from the bottom up by thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries.
- Christina Rebel We Impact and 2Pueblo
Christina is the UK Projects and Research Coordinator at ‘We Impact’, a Beijing-based social enterprise which aims to develop and promote opportunities to realize sustainable lifestyles worldwide through the dissemination of knowledge, cultural engagement, and business. Christina is also working with young people from the town of Fuente-Alamo in Spain on a social enterprise called ‘2Pueblo’. The projects seeks to create a bridge between their local region and the UK market, promoting their local organic products through trade and events and simultaneously engaging the young people with social entrepreneurship and empowering them to be able to start their own initiatives. Members of the HUB have been lucky enough to try some of these delicious products recently at a Tapas lunch which Christina hosted here!
- Jude Claybourne State of Play
Jude is a freelance writer, copywriter and translator as well as being an experienced actress with a passion for play and writing. She also runs all kinds of exciting projects as the Consultant Partner at State of Play Consulting. Jude leads fun creative writing workshops and regular improvised theatre sessions at HUB Islington.
- Ekaterina Belcheva Ultimately Eco
Ekaterina runs Ultimately Eco, an ethical business offering environmentally conscious cleaning services. Her company also supplies a wide range of biodegradable, environmentally friendly and chemically-free cleaning materials. Her business aims to demonstrate that environmentally-friendly, inexpensive and effective materials and ways to sustain a clean home or office do exist, and ultimately don’t have to cost the planet.
- Alick Varma Bnk Positive
Alick is the founder of Bnk Positive, a movement that aims to transform financial education for children. His company is building digital tools which can educate and empower young people to positively manage their own money, with a view to creating a generation of individuals who are better able to save, manage and budget their money to help them achieve their life goals. With substantial financial education lacking from school curriculums, Alick and his team are focusing on instilling ideas about saving, money management and budgeting in young people through the use of digital tools with smart devices.
- Caroline Ainslie BUBBLZ! Maths
Caroline Ainslie, founder and CEO of Bubblz Maths has made it her mission in life to make maths fun for every child on Earth, using clowning, soap bubbles and balloons. There is a serious message to her work - the most powerful way to teach maths is to not know all the answers, enabling the learners to work problems out for themselves. Caroline has been working with township teachers in South Africa and additional Bubblz Maths clowns are currently being trained in South Africa, as well as the UK, so that the work can continue year round.
- Kim Labithiotis Unitas
Kim is the Programme Support Manager at Unitas, a national charity that helps young people access, participate and progress in mainstream education and training. They support artistic and cultural activity as a way of engaging young people in mainstream life. Unitas designs, manages and funds innovative national programmes for young people at risk of social exclusion. These programmes are implemented by practitioners who work with young people, including youth offending teams, schools and learning support units within schools and further education colleges. Their work includes arts partnerships, reader engagement projects, and professional development courses and resources.
- Federico Hewson Valentine Peace Project
Federico runs the Valentine Peace Project (VPP), a social enterprise which trades flowers and bulbs to connect individuals, communities, gardens and businesses to the creative work of peace. The project initially sprang from a Valentine’s Day project which spread personal peace poems through America, Belgium, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands along with flowers from Zimbabwe, Kenya, the Netherlands, Colombia, Israel and Palestine and England. As a developing social enterprise, the business is working towards further projects such as planting community peace poetry gardens and developing new breeds such as a Valentine Peace tulip.
- Luke Nicholson More Associates
Luke Nicholson was one of the founding members of HUB Islington and is the Director of More Associates, a ground-breaking sustainable innovation practice with a specialism for creating carbon behaviour change software. Their latest venture, Carbon Culture, is a digital platform which creates new ways for organisations to reduce energy consumption, and is currently being used by high profile institutions such as Number 10 Downing Street and the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change.
- Chris Smith Ecotube
Chris is the founder of Ecotube, which has been hailed as the green YouTube. It aims to create a better-informed, like-minded community by providing both an online video sharing platform and a forum encouraging the discussion of environmental issues. As well as being a communications specialist, Chris has acted as an advisor to the Green Party, and continues to be a keen social activist, running for positions such as Tower Hamlets councillor and Green Party parliamentary candidate for Poplar and Limehouse.
- John Griffin Atchai Digital
John is the founder of Atchai Digital, a web-based digital consultancy business "http://atchai.com" which has worked with huge brands such as UEFA, Mencap and the NHS. Since starting 18 months ago, the company has grown at the HUB to include three other members in the core team in London, as well as one member in Thailand and a further 20+ part-time freelancers and collaborators. Of his recent projects, John is particularly excited about the Linked Data Platform, an open-source product that will enable anyone to load in data, link up with open data sets, and create interactive visualisations http://atchai.com/portfolio/datacube. John says that being at the HUB has allowed his start-up to have the flexibility it has needed to grow.
- Rob Reason HiddenCity
Rob is the creator of HiddenCity, a venture that launched in August 2011 with the aim of helping people to venture into previously unexplored parts of their local area. But there's a twist: participants solve cryptic clues sent to their mobile phone by text message. HiddenCity operates in five UK cities: London, Brighton, York, Newcastle and Manchester.
- Jack Shenker Journalist
Jack is an award-winning journalist and the Guardian's Egypt correspondent. His work has covered Gaza, Central Asia, the US and the Indian subcontinent, and has been published in media including Prospect, the New Statesman and Internazionale. His coverage of the 2011 Egyptian revolution won the Amnesty Gaby Rado prize for excellence in human rights reporting and his investigation into ecological disaster and rise of separatist nationalism in Karakalpakstan won the 2011 Foreign Press Association award for Environment Story of the Year. In 2012 his investigation into the deaths of African migrants in the Mediterranean was awarded One World news story of the year. He's currently working on a book exploring Egypt and resistance, to be published by Penguin in 2013. Jack Shenker
- Kirstie Wielandt Greenpeace and Kilimanyika
Kirstie is a freelance events and project manager with 13 years environmental and conservation INGO experience. Most recently she has collaborated with INGOs including Greenpeace Nordic, Greenpeace Mediterranean, TckTckTck (the GCCA) and WWF East Africa. She is currently the Ship Tour Project Manager of Greenpeace’s Arctic Campaign, project managing a polar ship tour intended to highlight the risks of drilling for oil in the fragile Arctic ecosystem. She is also an Associate Consultant for Kilimanyika, conducting freelance communications and event projects in East Africa.
- Richard Hammond greentraveller.co.uk
Richard is the founder of greentraveller.co.uk, a popular website dedicated to travellers who want to minimise their carbon footprint. As well as recommending over 700 green places to stay and hundreds of trips that can be easily reached by train and ferry in the UK and Europe, the website offers an award-winning blog and video section packed full of the latest green travel news and tips on where to find good deals. Richard was previously the Guardian's eco travel correspondent, and his green writing credentials currently include a role as travel editor of Green Magazine, columnist for National Geographic Traveller magazine, and he is often called upon to provide radio and national media with information about sustainable travel.
- Esther Freeman Ms Wanda and Share UK
Esther is passionate about doing good with digital, working as a freelance writer, film maker and campaigner for a number of non-profits, including ActionAid, Greenpeace and the Ethical Fashion Forum. She is also the founder of Ms Wanda’s Wardrobe, an online magazine about ethical fashion. 2012 has been an exciting year for her as it saw her launch her own ethical fashion campaign, the Fashion Mob which focuses on using people power to bring about change in the fashion industry. She also works as part of a digital arts collective called Share UK, which focuses on community based training and storytelling on projects including the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
- Andy Hix Hix Media
Andy runs Hix Media, a video production company which creates low cost, high quality videos principally for not-for-profits, small businesses or charities to help them promote their key messages. His company offers script writing, filming, editing, video-making training, website building, interviewing or adding subtitles in Spanish, French or Italian and his previous clients have included the NUS and the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Apart from filmmaking, Andy's passion is sustainability and the environment and he has previously worked as an environmental manager and for the energy saving campaign Student Switch Off, for whom he created a series of videos featuring ‘the Eco-Power Ranger.
- Donatella Bernstein Ethical Edibles and Drink Italy
Donatella runs ‘Ethical Edibles’, a business, which imports organic and artisan wines and condiments from Italy and which was founded at HUB Islington. She sources her products from family-run, small farmers who produce small quantities of outstanding wine, jams and sauces, and of course, olive oil. She has more recently collaborated with Silvio Pierluigi Pezzana to run their ‘Drink Italy’ business, working to source fine Italian artisan wines, with organic certification wherever possible and also supplying the HUB with our weekly 'Wine@5' drinks on a Friday!
- James Young Woo Woo - Waterless Toilets
James founded Woo Woo in 2009 and is the sole distributor for Kazubloos in the UK. His waterless toilets are designed for allotments and nature reserves and can be installed anywhere, without requiring water, chemicals or electricity. In cases, such as allotments, they promote inclusivity by enabling women, young children and people with reduced mobility to utilise spaces which were not accessible to them before.
- Karen Snow ekologi
ekologi is an online community and noticeboard that, for the first time, brings together resources for social change in one place. So you can target your services and events to a socially committed community, sell or exchange stuff, share job and mentoring opportunities, and leave recommendations and referrals.ekologi is a co-operative consortium, co-created by more than 500 individuals from government, business, third sector, and communities to meet their shared needs. Its mission is to increase the availability of resources for social change, which means building stronger communities, economic opportunities, and better quality of life. As a co-operative, ekologi is run for and by members, who share profits.
- Alex Blaine London Football Journeys
Alex Baine, is launching a pilot project combining football and film called London Football Journeys. The goal is to create a network of ‘positive pioneers’ who connect with young people from different areas and grow as positive role models in their communities.The LFJ pilot aims to be the first step in supporting young people to venture into other areas, break down negative misconceptions of different communities, grow as positive leaders, welcome groups into their area, and actively represent their community in a progressive light.
- Marie Storey Wallace & Gromit Foundation
Marie runs Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation, a national children’s charity. She has been based at the Hub for four years, as it provides her with a supportive and creative space where her company has been able to grow and develop. Marie runs charity events across the UK to help raise money for sick children.
- Katie Allen SCAD
Katie has been working for an NGO founded by Cletus Babu in India called ‘Social Change and Development’ (SCAD). SCAD do development work with over half a million people in over 500 villages in health, education, community, farming, and the environment.Although SCAD have been doing incredible work for the last 25 years and are experts in rural Indian development they do not have an international presence so part of Katie's work is building their profile. Additionally she is trying to increase their fundraising through their UK partner Salt of the Earth so that they can begin working with the next 500 villages.