Dear Impact Hub Amsterdam Community,
It is in crisis that a society is brought to face its fears – as well as the new opportunities that might exist beyond those fears. There are lots of “opportunities” but the first opportunity is to let go of fear. We all have the time now to sit with our own fears, and see what they teach us. And we all have the fellow community member to reach out to when needed, and see what we have to teach each other.
First of all, a massive hug of GRATITUDE from our team to each one of you – for how many of you have (in spite of your personal situations) brought leadership and creative thinking to so quickly respond and help members of our wider society: from taking out the trash for elderly too afraid to leave the house to collaborating with each other to get good food out to more families in need. This community is an example of our purpose-in-action: impacting societal issues through entrepreneurial action… and our team has been working hard behind-the-scenes to bring our quality place-making to the virtual space with the digitalisation of program modules, hosting our new food cohort, and working with other Impact Hubs to offer our members more content and hosted conversations online… THANK YOU for your energy and commitment to our shared purpose.
I have two messages for you today:
First, about the why we are ready for these times…
You may hear your partners and wider society calling for collaboration and innovation as a necessary way to respond to the current crisis. You may hear clarity or confusion, or both. You may hear that the only certain thing is uncertainty. Well, be assured, this is the air we breathe as impactmakers – and our way of working is a gift to the world at this time.
We have been practising community and entrepreneurship for a long time – maybe not each of us for so long, but with ALL of us at each others’ backs and the lineage of being an Impactmaker that is part of a global community of 16,500+ impactmakers like you, you can have the confidence and resources to offer what you do to a society that needs it. There is no more rehearsal time, the curtains are up, and we are here and now.
We have been teaching societal transition, how to design processes and host in chaordic contexts, and how to innovate business models. We have been working in a distributed way more like a living system than a bureaucracy. We have built a community of impactmakers by inspiring, connecting and enabling them to make a better world. We understand the convergence of social-economic-environmental dynamics and how to create a values-based business. We have incredible partners that have opened their hearts to work with us in new ways and opened their organisations to learn from us. As leaders in all sectors seek to navigate the crisis, trust that we – as a community with so many other talents you all offer – have all the things that people say is needed in this time: solidarity, agility, creativity, entrepreneurialism, and humanity.
So, secondly, how can we apply what we know already to be relevant to those who need this the most right now?
As this incredible global collective experience is surfacing all our interdependencies, we also realise how we have been trying to change the wheels on our ride while on it! We assumed we can’t stop the world… run a massive experiment… put school all online… take cars off the road… and now we are in a ‘pause’ at an unprecedented level. This gives us space to level up our practice in service of systemic change.
To make our movement visible and call on others to join.
To invite people who are in isolation into engagement and collaboration.
To support each other as entrepreneurs by understanding each others’ real needs and connect each other with resources we can find through our networks locally and globally.
To reclaim (and reshape) what sustainability, equity and a new economy mean.
To show what it is to source authority from authenticity in practise instead of just plans.
To know how to work in ambiguity and complexity.
To reflect on what it means to come from an entrepreneurial state of mind and help all our partners to approach challenges and opportunities with one.
To not let startups be abandoned by partners “because they are having a hard time”.
To make each others’ enterprises visible to the public so people can make more conscious choices about the euros they spend, which contributes to each others’ cash flow.
To continue to be relevant.
Because when this crisis ends, impactmakers will continue to be relevant in moving towards a more just and sustainable society. As a community of social enterprises and aligned intrapreneurs in all sorts of organisations, we have demonstrated it is already possible to marry values and business and have impact.
For corporates who now want to accelerate embedding a greener more inclusive way of operating…
For NGOs who are now desperately seeking to innovate their model….
For citizens across this country who are starting to see a new opportunity in this crisis and want to start a new initiative or enterprise…
For public sector intrapreneurs who need to source innovation in service of the increased societal issues that are emerging….
For impact investors and other funders who want to deploy their capital in more meaningful ways to support ‘the new’…
To any group that wants to have meaningful conversation about impact to find their way forward and need good hosting practice…
… the Impact Hub community is open for business!
As people are searching to create the conditions to hold together the fabric of how we come together in society – we know about that. We can help people move from “jump & fetch” reaction to pro-active co-creation.
Perhaps it is not a new world we need, but just a new horizon to invite others to see with us. And paying attention to those who are working with our society’s most vulnerable, so that our future is built with inclusion and compassion.
And this all starts with your Self… finding your own grounding and moving beyond any fears – tapping into passion that is fed by your heart and not just adrenalin 🙂 Ask for the support you need to move through this, that’s what communities are for. A healthy community is only as healthy as the people in it, and a healthy planet is only as healthy as each of us can be.
Let’s keep building the bridge to the future we envision every day.
With Hub Love,
Co-founder & Director
Impact Hub Amsterdam
April 7, 2020