Leon Reiner is the co-founder and Managing Director of Impact Hub Berlin. During the concluding plenary session of the political symposium at the European Forum Alpbach, Leon spoke to a distinguished international audience, which included the former President of Austria Heinz Fischer, about the collaboration and cooperation that occurs daily in Impact Hubs all over the world and why this is necessary to bring about positive change in the future.

“In a city like Berlin, the opportunity to work with different organizations is huge.” 

Leon Reiner at EFAUsing Berlin as an example of an Impact Hub, Leon spoke about how before the founding of Impact Hub Berlin, the city’s start-up scene was in its nascent stages. Leon and his colleagues noticed how there wasn’t a space that would bring together the entrepreneurs who think about things differently and do things differently. While co-working spaces already existed, the concept of collective innovation, of working together to create new solutions to the problems that plague the city of Berlin, had yet to be fully harnessed and exploited. Fast-forward three years, Impact Hub Berlin is now thriving with over 200 members with a variety of different backgrounds. From employees at global companies to entrepreneurs who are in the start-up scene, to the next generation of students, everyone at Impact Hub Berlin is driven to make the world a better place through their belief and commitment to the ideals and values of social entrepreneurship.

In order to further deepen the bonds between organizations, Impact Hubs across the world forge partnerships with large corporations and educational institutions to build acceleration programs that foster the innovation and collaboration that is increasingly necessary to solve problems. Through these programs and partnerships, Impact Hub creates the opportunity for different organizations who wouldn’t normally work with one another, to come together and tackle all kinds of issues such as equal rights and climate change. The success of these initiatives is visible and undeniable.

Everyone can see how proximity, the chance to work eye-to-eye, and the bringing together of people works. The European Forum Alpbach is a perfect example. But the constraint of time is ever present and there’s never enough time in this kind of environment to make measurable progress. It’s a small intervention at best. To solve this issue, Impact Hub creates the opportunity for organizations of all sizes to take the necessary time to really go deep on problems and continually iterate until a solution is found.

The vision for the future is to create something on the size and scale that is capable of tackling the increasingly complex problems that face the world. As these problems grow larger, Impact Hub will grow accordingly. Picture a local campus of innovation in every city, where organizations of all sizes can stay, and work on problems. They will be connected to a supportive global network that facilitates the exchange of knowledge, whose mission is to bring forth a brighter future for everyone.


Image source: European Forum Alpbach Flickr

Collaboration, #GlobalCommunity, European Forum Alpbach

Baldwin Tong

Baldwin Tong

Baldwin Tong is a writer specializing in startups and social entrepreneurship. When he's not writing, he likes to meet new people, eat good food, and think about ways to change the world.

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