Togetherness creates power in this working model
The idea of “co-working spaces” emerged after the 2008 crisis. At that time, many people were leaving institutional life for individual work. Some started working freelance, others set up their own business, while yet some others became entrepreneurs.
There may be certain disadvantages to individual work because of isolation, but co-working spaces turn them into advantages; they serve as venues providing exchanges of information. People enter an environment where they can interact with different people from different sectors.
One of these co-working spaces, which are rapidly becoming popular in Turkey, is Impact Hub. One of the founding partners of Impact Hub in Turkey, Ayşe Sabuncu, said they were using the physical venue as a tool to reach a target. They want to take the lead in gathering entrepreneurs from different sectors and facilitate creating projects that would contribute to society. “We are highlighting ourselves as a social innovation platform,” she said.
They want people with a high level of social awareness to get together at Impact Hub and contribute toward a positive change in Turkey. They have people from many different fields among their members, for instance, from a graphic designer to a sex therapist.
Selective, not automatic
They do not accept members automatically. They are selective in choosing their members.
They do not only want to be venue providers. For this reason, they expect newcomers to be somehow prepared, somewhat equipped for this environment.
People who are open to interaction, those who are not only takers but who are also givers are selected as members. They value diversity.
Impact Hub supports its members based on the belief that an effect can only be created when united, when acted together, not in isolation; there is safety in numbers, they believe.
One of the ways for this, for instance, is the “Hackathon” activity. Creative minds and social entrepreneurs get together for 48 hours and develop joint ideas, or they take an idea and advance it to further dimensions…
A person who joins this activity with a simple idea in his/her mind can walk out of the activity with the support he or she has received, totally having adopted the idea from its mission to its branding, and find themselves setting up its website.
Or for instance, Impact Hub staff may contact members one by one and can find other members they can interact with; they function as a “concierge” in some way. If a creative mind needs a new investor, they weave the network by saying, “It may be good if we introduce this person to that person.”
As a matter of fact, the approach of Impact Hub is not in the form of donations for social issues or voluntarism, but creating solutions with an entrepreneur mindset.
They want everyone to be aware that they can make a difference with the job they are doing. They are creating the environment where a person can say, “I also can support the elimination of negativities.”
They say that one does not need to be a volunteer to do a good deed. One can contribute to the society with the job one does. “With your current job, you can advance your country and the world.”