I'm a border-crossing guest contributor today at InBerkeley.com, the local-journalism blog started by Lance Knobel and Dave Winer. I don't live in Berkeley, but I did attend last night's "Money, Mobs, and Media" panel discussion at the new David Brower Center near the UC campus*, and I somehow sorta found myself volunteering to file a report.
The event was sponsored by The Hub Bay Area, the first U.S. location of an international network of collaborative workspaces for social innovators. The actual office won't open for a couple of weeks, but the renderings look appealing and the Brower Center is a beautiful and inspirational addition to downtown Berkeley.
A handful of observations I didn't include in my InBerkeley story but thought you'd enjoy:
- One of the group workspaces at The Hub is called The Hubble, which appears to be a portmanteau of hub and huddle. (It does not appear to be connected to the Hubble Telescope, which was named for astronomer Edwin P. Hubble.) Love the name. It has room for eight people and is surrounded by frosted glass walls that form a writeable surface. Love the concept.
- The home page of the Bay Area Hub website includes this phrase: "During the day, The Hub is a dynamic, collision-rich workspace..." Collision-rich? Ow! I hope they have really good liability insurance.
- Last night's panel featured the founders of three prominent social-innovation organizations: Kiva, Virgance, and Change.org. Not only do the three companies represent different approaches to social change, but their names represent three distinct name styles. I'm working on a post comparing the three names.
- Filing my report on InBerkeley.com required my learning the rudiments of WordPress. I'm told it's a vastly superior blogging platform to TypePad (which hosts my own blog), but naturally I felt like a complete oaf. Learning stuff is hard!
- If you find yourself in downtown Berkeley, do check out the Brower Center, which was designed by prominent Bay Area architect Daniel Solomon to the most rigorous "green" standards. (Example: recycled rainwater in the toilets.) Through Jan. 31, 2010, there's a stunning exhibit in the main-floor Hazel Wolf Gallery of the large-format black-and-white photographs of Sebastião Salgado, which span 30 years and several continents. Born in Brazil, Salgado began his career as an economist and taught himself photography in order to document the lives of the world's poor, displaced, and oppressed people. Despite what may seem to be depressing subject matter, the photographs are breathtakingly beautiful. Definitely worth a visit.
* I included the Brower Center's address in the InBerkeley post but neglected to do so here: 2150 Allston Way. Thanks, Jon Carroll, for the reminder.