Startup Community Innovation Centers
Guest post by Janice Caillet
Some say having a life’s purpose is a great gift. I would have to concur, as my purpose drives me, happily, in so many ways. Until recently when little voices in my head kept nagging and nagging me to fulfill my purpose in a big way... I mean a really big way.
My life’s purpose is to connect people, ideas and opportunities. That should be simple enough to fulfill, no?!? A few months ago those voices in my head came up with an initiative that was so loud I was about to explode. So I kept talking about it, chatting it up, making connections, asking “does anyone know anyone who would be interested in doing this with me?” Funny enough a few people raised their hands.
Last week, we announced at the Conscious Capitalism Conference in Waltham, MA a new movement. A movement to revitalize vacant public school buildings into Startup Community Innovation Centers! If it were up to me I would have 50 of them opened within three months. Thank goodness I have some sane people to work with from the Youth Entrepreneurship & Sustainability (YES) and the Conscious Capitalism Institute. They are great people who are supporting this movement in a very big way.
This will not be a cookie-cutter approach. We firmly believe the communities in which these vacant buildings reside will decide their needs, their distinctive areas of value and innovation. We will provide the knowledge and tools necessary for their innate talents to thrive.
Why old public school buildings? According to Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, “New ideas must use old buildings.” Plus, I personally love the vision of walking into a vibrant center full of energy, watching people play basketball, hearing noise from the local startup café in the what used to be the cafeteria, jumping into a 15 minute TED Talk with roundtable discussions afterwards or a 30 min workshop on high performance teams — and I have not even reached my co-working space on the second floor yet. Once there, I would start working with a team of amazing, diverse and passionate people who would never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. A great vision, to be realized... soon.
Join us in our movement to revitalize vacant public school buildings into Startup Community Innovation Centers. Email Janice@CoachingCircles.com to get involved.