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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

selfHUB News - week 11

selfHUB Inside

  • We are looking for interns as successors for Babsi who is leaving us unfortunately after Easter. Do you know suitable people? Feel free to distribute the job description amongst your networks. For download go to self-News
  • We are looking for 30 new Hub Unlimited Members. We have printed new selfHUB postcards and have created some pdfs to distribute. You can get postcards from the Host-of-the-Day in the front of the selfHUB. pdfs for Start-ups/Freelancers and for an office in the capital are ready to download
  • ecochoice publishes study on electronics online-shops

Stories from last week

  • Thu: Babsi talks in the selfSALON about her diploma thesis about self (more)
  • Fri: School intern Pamela has her last day in the selfHUB. Some of her impressions are captured in this Blog
  • Sat: Frauke signs one share for the co-operative Weiberwirtschaft
  • Sun-Tue: Kaospilots Team 1 are filming for their Road Movie on Social Innovation in the selfHUB/Berlin
  • Mon: first selfHUB Lunch with the BMW-Foundation and the Kaospilots

Upcoming Events

  • This week's selfSALON will be on Sat, 15.03, 19:30, Nollywood Film from Nigeria, afterwards discussion with the director
  • selfSALON 20.04., 19:00, short films "The future of work", in German with English sub-titles

The Market Square

The Hub in the Press

A big thank-you goes out to Franz for his short-notice but quick work on the layout of the new postcards, to Gertrud for volunteering to host last Friday, to Sebastian for the spontaneous selfHUB tour and to Babsi our super-trainee for the moral support and helping-hand during the Kaospilots visit!!!



Anke Rahusen has volunteered at the selfHUB Kick-off to take pictures on all 4 days. You can order pictures from the Kick-Off days from her (10 x 15 cm or 13 x 18 cm), for 5,– € each. Pick your pictures at:

Die PixelGräfin, Anke Rahusen


Working place at the selfHUB

Sunday, March 9, 2008

How to study worldchange management?

Through the Otto Scharmer Presencing online course in Fall 2007, I got in touch with one of the founding presidents of Gaia University Germany, Kathleen Batke. Meeting personally in Berlin a few months later, it was clear to me that in order to understand this new concept of university learning I need to experience it.

Therefore, I attended the introduction workshop of the Gaia University in the eco-village Lebensgartern Steyerberg in Lower-Saxony last week-end.

Getting to know other participants on the first day, we shared experiences in learning groups of 3 around the questions “What have been positive and negative learning experiences for you so far in life?”. I realized that my greatest learnings have been outside of the traditional school and university system. I have learned through experiences (being in other cultures) and working in teams project-based or learning in chaordic networks (e.g. in AIESEC, Pioneers of Change or self).

Gaia University offers a self-designed one-year learning path around a project that is changing the world. The application is a 10-15 pages essay describing the personal life learning plan.

Probably the hardest part of the application is to find the right topic and question for your project. I might apply next year and still have some time to develop this vision into a concrete project idea:

Friday, March 7, 2008

selfSALON - Impressions and Questions

This week, our trainee from Austria, Babsi presented her diploma thesis she is currently writing about self in the selfHUB:

We started off with discussing the academic approach to social entrepreneurship:
Moving over to the current situation at self, we are facing the dilemma of "How to attract the right people?". We want to create NEW with self in the selfHUB but are stuck with old paradigms of marketing, customer relationships, and financial constraints in building a social business

The challenge of self-organization: how do we move towards self-organization? How do we connect to people through building bridges that we build while we walk on them? How do we connect, stay connected and re-connect to self stakeholders?

What is self? How do we design clear communication around self? And how do we live self ourselves?

Thank you to Franz and Ilona for this challening but inspiring dialogue!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pamela's questions

Questions about organisation and structure of the selfHUB:
1)How much does one room / space cost?
2)How many social workers are working in the HUB Berlin?
3)What kind of work do other colleagues have?
4)Who is the manager of selfHUB Berlin?
5)How many members are in the selfHUB berlin?
6)How many members are in the HUB London?
7)How many social workers are working in the HUB London?

Questions about the members in the selfHUB:
8)How many hours are social workers working per month?
9)How much money do they earn per hour?
10)How much money do they earn per month?
11)What other things do they want for the society?
12)How many workers in the selfHUB Berlin do have laptops?

Questions about the future of the HUB:
13)Will the selfHUB Berlin own one of these rooms,to make a office room with PC´s for Pioneers without any laptops?
14)Will the selfHUB Berlin and the HUB London be famous on the earth one day?
15)Will they make any promotion on TV Television in future for the selfHUB Berlin or the HUB London?
16)If they make any promotions on TV and Internet will it be about their works on changing the world/earth?
17)If they make promotions will it be interesting for the society on this earth to help changing the world in good future?
18)Will the selfHUB make also promotions for the global change on earth?

Questions about society:
19)Does the society think that this is a great idea to help changing the world by every bit you do?
20)Will the society even react positive on let change happend?

Pamela doing her vocational training at the HUB

Hi my name is Pamela, and i´m 15 years old. I go to Comprehensive school in( Moabit )Berlin.
I´m at Year 9 ,and the school is called Moses Mendelssohn.At the moment i do my vocational training in the Self Hub Berlin.My vocational training started on the 18.2.2008 and it is ending soon at the 7.3.2008.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Social Camp Berlin


From 14 to 17 February 2008 AIESEC in Austria and Emersense together with a variety of reputable partner organizations, guests and speakers hosted Solution – a learning platform for sustainable leadership. Building on Theory U – an MIT developed concept for personal and social transformation – this year’s conference aims to enable and empower young people from across the world to take initiative and provide leadership for a meaningful and sustainable development of themselves and their communities. Throughout the four-day conference, about 100 selected participants engaged in an intense experience – marked by the integration of latest learning methods with arts and formal education – to build clarity, confidence, capability and courage to contribute to a sustainable future.

In my role as initiator and one of the founders of self I was invited as one of the guest speakers to attend this exciting conference. I was asked to contribute through my very personal story of realizing my dream and vision in order to inspire others to take charge of their aspirations and encourage them to take action howeever small or big. I was asked to share the tools we used in attracting the resources self needed to get off the ground and talked about the up’s and down’s of a social start-up. But what amazed me most and put me in real awe of the team that organised the conference and was responsible for the quality of the people participating, was the level of meaningful conversations I encountered amongst this group of international students. I felt very humbled to be part of this event and be welcomed not just as an ‘external’ (as the orga committee called it) but as ‘one of us’.

And so I left with gratitude and the sense that there is an immense shift of consciousness happening out there. That people start asking how they can contribute to a better world much at a much younger age than in previous times rather than waiting for ‘midlife crisis’ to hit them and re-frame such ‘crisis of meaning’ into an opportunity to follow our dreams and visions. I’m convinced that I learnt at least as much as the delegates these three days that I had the pleasure of participating in the conference and I am looking forward to many more cooperations with AIESEC in particular and students interested in social innovation and entrepreneurship in general.

For more information on AIESEC, AIESEC Austria or the Solution Conference click here

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The selfSalon - Feb/March

The selfSalon is back. Every Thursday at 19:00, the self community is meeting at the selfHUB to get to know each other, to have meaningful conversation, and to learn about each other's projects. Here are the dates and topics for next week and March:
  • Feb. 28 14:00-19:00 Schnupperarbeiten, 19:00 Film Night "What the Bleep" or "The Secret"
  • March 06 „What do Social Enterprises need to succeed“ - presentation (diploma thesis Intern Babsi) & dialogue
  • March 15 19:30 (Sa!) Nollywood-Film from Nigeria with director present
  • March 20 "Future of Work" short films
  • March 27 14:00-19:00 Schnupperarbeiten, 19:00 Conversation Café in Conversation Week

Saturday, February 9, 2008

All about Hosting – Day 5

In the morning, I went to see Timo from Finnland who has started the LearningHouse with his wife Eliza from the Hub. The Learning House is a 15min walk from the Hub.

The LearningHouse is a centre for learning and enterprise development. They host participative events and training processes, creating space for people and business to grow. It is a space not hosted but users are rather called residents with shared responsibilities for the space.

Next is the Host Team Meeting at the Hub. Maria who has been hosting with guest hosts for the past 2 years is hosting the hosting team now with 2 hosts, Holly and Jo, and the Operational Manager Manfred. As a team, they are still learning and defining the financial and IT processes.

Before I rush off to catch my flight back to Berlin, I sit a bit more with Maria to talk about the software, IT issues, and to review my week at the Hub.

It has been a pretty fast week, lots of learnings, and a great opportunity for a host from another Hub to exchange ideas and to learn about the Hub culture. A big thank you to Maria and the rest of the Hub team and members for their time in answering all my question!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Hub governance and Zero Carbon Britain – Day 4

This is a calmer day and I spent the morning looking at some of the Hub administration stuff (email lists and the Hub wiki) and gather my notes from the day before.

During the lunch break, I visit Cath who gave the talk on Tuesday evening in her Unpackaged shop on Amwell Street. I am blown away by the cute little shop she has: nice wooden and marble interior with organic food nicely displayed.

I spent some time with Manfred to talk about the Hub governance and the set-up of self in Germany.

Working with two women at one desk for a whole day, I discover that I sat together with The Nag team who have a similar approach like We Are What We Do to use little actions to change the world.

In the evening, I went to a talk about Zero Carbon Britain. It was good to be reminded again about the massive behavioural personal change that is needed to tackle climate change. Peter Harper was questioning us about what would it be like? If every citizen will have his/her own personal carbon budget? If there will be a very electric Britain powered by marine energy, wind power, and bio-energy? What are the implications for farming and land-use?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Meeting The Hub Members – Day 3

Yesterday, I spent some time on meeting (former) Hub members and got the chance to visit their projects. I started in the morning with a little trip to Brixton. A borough in the south of London with a multicultural population and lots of issues for social innovation.

I met Sofia and the team of Melanin for office breakfast. They are currently creating a space for community empowerment and school social enterprises in Brixton. Knowing Sofia from Pioneers of Change, she is currently working on inter-generational dialogue, the confluence model and the Muhammad Yunus social movement in the UK “Creating a World Without Poverty”.

Coming back to the Hub, I went straight into a Hub Lunch with Abigail Tripp on “Marketing and Communication for Social Enterprise”. For one hour, we work on a case study from one of the Hub members. Elemental will launch their product – wecoach - in June: how can it be a launch with an impact?

In the afternoon, I learn about some member attraction strategies of the Hub. Again, I find some food for thought in the Hub toilets ;-)

And I finish the day off by talking to the Hub member Justin who is looking for partners in Germany for his business. Justin has developed an online tool to measure social impact of organizations by looking at how much of the organization’s income is spent locally.

670 qm, 31 events, 4 days, 1 vision – the selfHUB kicks-off with an opening celebration

From the 24th to the 27th of January we celebrated our opening with a big party, 31 workshops, seminars and spaces that were self-organized by the growing self network and some time to test the selfHUB working conditions.

During the selfSpeeddating 30 social pioneers got the chance to exchange ideas and get to know each other in a few minutes. They had time to deepen their conversations while having a drink at the party and listening to some Jazz music of the band “Local Time”, or the lyrics of “Sternabwärts".

The Open Space event, organized by Boscop made it possible for all of us to share our ideas, discuss our burning issues and find companions for further action. Topics ranged from “How to become a social pioneer”, “What is needed to be successful?”, “What can self offer?” to “Synergies 1+1=3” , “Success Teams” and many more.

Additionally to the deep Open Space process and outputs other events, discussion groups and workshops completed the picture. To name just a few - we learned how to earn our own money, got to know 11 organisations in 20x20 seconds each during the PechaKucha, discussed about “Who we really are” as well as “How we can facilitate our future” and learned about different projects and organizations like the “Museum des Glücks” (museum of happiness) or the “Provinz international”.

We are already looking forward to:
Schnupperarbeiten – every last Thursday of the month
selfSalon - every Thursday at 19:00

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Meeting Marathon – Day 2

09:00 The Hub opens its doors and the hosts Holly and Maria prepare the space for the working day: checking the toilets, washing dishes, arranging papers, refilling copying paper, etc. Lucy from the FunFed starts preparing the pancake dough.

09:30 Maria, Holly, and me sit down to have a quick chat about hosting tasks this week. Holly has just been a host for about a month now and she is naturally living the principles of hosting. Afterwards, Maria and me design my learning process for the rest of the week: we organize my questions, arrange meetings with the rest of the Hub team, and I get assigned to a little Hub project for this week.

13:00 It’s pizza Tuesday today. The Hub has arranged a special deal with a pizza place and members can order pizza together every Tuesday. I have a chat with Keith over lunch about the Social Enterprise Academy from Scottland.

15:00 I meet again with Maria to discuss roles, responsibilities, competencies, and selection of Hub hosts.

16:00 We go straight into the next meeting: the weekly Hub Team meeting. 9 people attend and the main topics are updates from the Hub in Bristol and the Hub King’s Cross. We spend quite some time discussing the question for King’s Cross: which companies does the Hub want to work with? The Hub is backing ideas/people vs. getting funding from corporates.

17:45 Within seconds the meeting room is converted into a larger space for 30-40 people who arrive for the Hub Evening and Pioneers of Change gathering “Disruptive Social Innovators”. We explore these questions together:

  • How to create and maintain truly systemic social change?
  • How do you disrupt people’s value systems?
  • As social entrepreneurs, do we want a social franchise (taking control) or a social movement (letting go)?

And we meet Cath with her little shop Unpackaged. Her project was born in the Hub (her shop is now just around the corner from the Hub) and it is very inspiring to listen to her story that is only at the beginning.

21:00 The last meeting of the day is with Lesley and Alex from the London Pioneers of Change hosting team. They share their experiences of the recent “Art of Hosting Pioneers of Change” workshop with me.

Monday, February 4, 2008

At the Hub in London - Day 1

So, I made it to the Hub this morning, after I have spent 2 hours on the bus from Standsted to the City, which was actually longer than the flight.

Despite the early hour, though, I managed to get some reading done on the plane: I discovered the variety of great initiatives started in the OpenSpace at the selfHUB Kick-off 10 days ago while reading the OpenSpace documentation.

Furthermore, I gained some ideas on strategic learning by reading “Path to Empowerment” (and an essay by Ian Cunningham on Self-Managed Learning.

Otherwise, my computer accepted the IT-infrastructure at the Hub right from the start and I was able to work just like every other Hub member today (around me are roughly 20-30 people working): getting used to the space and the people around me.

In the afternoon, a familiar face arrived: Lesley from South Africa, currently setting up Africa++ in London and a fellow pioneer in Pioneers of Change.

And guess what, where do you find the most relevant information in the Hub in London? Here is a picture from the toilet ;-)

And don’t forget, it’s Pancake (Tues)Day tomorrow! And I will probably dive deep into hosting issues with Maria.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Frauke goes Hubbing in London

On Monday, I will get up at 04:30 in the morning in order to catch a flight to London. A full week of learning about hosting is lying ahead.

As usual, when I am going to chaordic places, I have packed some questions to meet Maria and the London hosting team:

  • How does the atmosphere for social innovation look/feel like? How do we create that atmosphere in the selfHUB in Berlin? How to create the selfHUB culture in Berlin?
  • How is the London hosting team learning together and exchanging experiences? How do the hosts work together?
  • What are selection criteria/competences for new hosts?
  • How are new hosts introduced to the Hub culture?
  • How to invite Hub users, hosts and network members to co-create? What has been the tipping point for the Hub London?
  • How to balance a business attitude with social innovation?
  • How do I facilitate self-organization?
  • What skills does one need to host other hosts?

Please come back on Tuesday to read about my first day at the Hub in London ;-)