Katie has been at the heart of the Impact Hub Boston community since the beginning, building community with insight and warmth. Widely announced as Director this February, Katie has taken the helm at an important time in Impact Hub Boston’s growth–a time of growing strength and diversity that she has been integral to fostering since the Hub’s earliest days.
You have been here since almost the first days of Impact Hub Boston. What attracted you to the community?
In 2013, I was working in New York City and applying to jobs that were crossovers from the work I was already doing. At the same time, I was keenly aware of how much office culture impacts an organization’s capacity to accomplish their work, from depleting potential to inspiring and enabling folks. I was very interested in new ways of working that were emerging, with growing ranks of “digital nomads” alongside a preponderance of bright minds I saw thinking creatively about how we can best solve big problems – imagining roles for new B Corps and social businesses, augmenting more traditional non-profit solutions.
How the Impact Hub network thinks about solving those big problems was a big part of what attracted me here. We talk about locally rooted, globally connected communities working to create a world that works for all – and each piece of that felt important. I share the belief that our work is strengthened in community – a real community, committed to one another and common issues, imbued with a sense of mutual support, generosity, and sense of possibility. The place we seem, well, best placed to create real positive impact is in our local contexts. Hence the importance of being locally rooted in our many cities. And the global nature of the Impact Hub network held particular appeal for me, striking inspiration as I imagined global connectivity to people passionate about similar issues to me, from Sao Paulo to Singapore. Even moreso, I was inspired by the potential to leverage that globally connected community to accelerate better solutions to those big problems we have ahead.
How much, exactly, has Impact Hub Boston grown since December of 2013?
When I joined the team in Boston, we had approximately 3 official members. Now we have over 200, a number that grows each month. We launched our Community Membership level over a year into our opening. With it, we expanded beyond solely a coworking membership, offering into our vision of providing a home for the broader social impact community, not just those who needed coworking space. It’s been interesting to gauge the strength of our community by how well people still know each other as the community grows. There are so many connections being made daily here – people are maintaining that community in ways that I may hear about only months later.
Our team has also grown since that time, including the most recent addition of our fabulous Events Lead, Jessica Eshleman, which means that we can also grow our community in new ways – in the volume of quality events we can host and organize, and in engagement in more and new ways that we hope to convene likely and unlikely to engage Boston issues for local impact. Our hosting team, a group of coworking members taking up an extra mantle of community care, has also grown in size and experience – and invested in growing our skillshares, multiplying our conversations, and amplifying our celebrations.
We reflect a fraction of the growth in the global network as well – growing from some 40 Impact Hubs in 2013 to officially 102 locations representing over 15,000 members as of a couple of weeks ago. The future potential of our connections together is immensely exciting, and we expect to continue to grow there.