We are thrilled to be open, AND then receive such great press. A big thank you to Lori Kozlowski for her savvy coverage and nuanced understanding of how we are using a membership club model and physical space as a means to drive social innovation and positive change.
FORBES ARTICLE: A Place For Big Thinkers: Local Community, Global Change
It’s at the intersection of the disciplines that we see the greatest innovation. Where art meets science, where tech meets business. The key is to actually have the two lines of thinking run into each other.
The idea for a place called The Hub originated in London in 2005, as a space for innovators to meet. Hubs now exist in over 25 cities worldwide, including Johannesburg, Melbourne, and Sao Paulo.
By bringing together what they have dubbed “impact professionals” (social entrepreneurs, policy makers, artists, activists, scientists, and technologists) in one collective membership club — they are a place where big thinkers and change agents can meet and work together.
They are focused on entrepreneurs who wish to change the status quo in some way — typically in social or environmental causes.
The place came to fruition due to the vision of CEO and co-founder Elizabeth Stewart, who once worked at the original Hub in London. With a graduate degree in Urban Planning and Sustainability from UCLA, and a background in international development in Africa, she thought about how to bring a greater sense of community to Los Angeles.
“I started to think: What if we had spaces where professionals who were best-in-class, cared about their country, and cared about creating positive change could gather. They could resource one another, talk about ideas, and cross-pollinate ideas from city to city — all from a global perspective,” she said.
When she experienced The Hub in the United Kingdom, all of her imaginings came together in a practical fashion, in a single physical space.
The Hub L.A. brings to the city’s sprawl, a needed sense of togetherness. In a city so wide, central shared working spaces are crucial for people to even meet in the first place, let alone share ideas, passions, and visions.
“Los Angeles needs this kind of next-generation infrastructure to drive new economic models and new models of development,” said Stewart. “This city is extremely diverse. Due to the diversity factor and the cosmopolitan nature, if innovation happens when things intersect and when people come together from different backgrounds, L.A. should be the epicenter of innovation.”
“We need places that bring people together — period. But my trajectory has always been around causes and using business to address causes. Following the triple bottom line, being more about people and planet — alongside profit.”
Using space to bring people together around those topics. This city seemed primed for that kind of discussion,” she said.
With over 4,000 square feet of creative industrial space, the loft provides all the openess needed for social entrepreneurs and creatives to learn, work, connect, and socialize.
Their membership club model has three tiers, at three different prices ($25 per month; $50 per month; and monthly pricing for more full-time office space — unlimited hours are $510 per month). Membership not only includes shared work space, but also extensive programming. Their cultural offerings include art and music performance evenings, yoga and meditation classes, and mezcal and wine tastings. Their business acceleration services include office hours with social enterprise attorneys and investors.
By next year, The Hub L.A. hopes to open a second location on the Westside of Los Angeles. Eventually, they’d like to establish three or four Hubs across L.A.
In a time, when we talk so often about social connection, local initiatives, mobility, and the global economy, The Hub L.A. is touching on all of these areas simply by offering an alternative brand of shared workspace and inviting in like-minded individuals.
“It’s really about thought-leadership. We want people to be part of the conversation and to start conversations,” Ann Le, CFO of The Hub L.A., said.
Stewart said, “We hope people are inspired, that they don’t feel alone, that they feel connected to a community in Los Angeles, and begin feeling more effective as individuals as a result.”