A New Epicenter for Social Impact
October 26, 2012 marked the grand opening of a new epicenter for social impact.
Earlier this year, Social Venture Partners (SVP), Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), and the HUB Seattle teamed up to launch a new space for innovation, sustainability and social good in the heart of downtown Seattle. Housed in the historic Masin’s furniture building in Pioneer Square, this unique facility now hosts one of the largest concentrations of social entrepreneurs and engaged philanthropists in the country.
The HUB, BGI and SVP forged this new partnership to spark connections and cross-pollination among entrepreneurs, nonprofits, philanthropists, and social investors in Seattle.
While the HUB strengthens and educates would-be social entrepreneurs with their capacity-building events and curated mentoring, BGI continues to provide a higher education platform for those interested in pairing business and sustainability. Just across the hall, SVP connects people who want to give back with the nonprofits that make change possible – cultivating effective philanthropists and strong organizations that deliver greater impact, together.
“Entrepreneurs, nonprofit innovators, and creative people of all kinds are all-too-often isolated from one another while pursuing their dreams to make the world a better place,” said Will Poole, the Lead SVP Partner, BGI Trustee, and HUB Seattle investor who helped to lead the charge to create the new facility.
“We plan to bring people together under one big --newly refinished-- roof in a beautiful and creative space. And better yet, we’ll have the widest cross-section of world-changers anywhere.”
Highlights from Our Grand Opening
- The opening ceremony started off with a story of collaboration from SVP Partner Shaula Massena, who has been involved with all three organizations (SVP, BGI, and HUB) at one point.
- Paul Shoemaker talked about the spirit of the new space.
- Gifford Pinchot, co-founder of BGI, gave the audience a glimpse of what the nation's first sustainable MBA program is all about.
- Brian Howe, founder of the HUB Seattle, talked about his motivations for helping to build the space.
- Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn concluded the series of speeches by reminding everyone that this year was the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World Fair and what it means for us today.
- Mayor McGinn, Bob Masin (of whom the Masin's Furniture Building is named after!), Gifford Pinchot, Brian Howe, and Paul Shoemaker cut the ribbon, officially launching the space.
- We had over a thousand attendees throughout the evening visit all four floors, including SVP Partners, BGI students, HUB members, local leaders, local businesses, and friends and family.
- Live music was provided by the popular band Dearborn and Ethan Jennings.
- Delicious food and drinks were served including local beer (Pike Place Brewery), wine (Proletariat), and sustainable appetizers from Upper Crust Catering.
- Social enterprises and nonprofits from the HUB and BGI were presented.
We’re In! What Comes Next?
After a successful launch, what's next? Why is this new home important for SVP's mission? As Paul Shoemaker said in his remarks at the Grand Opening:
“This is not so much a place with an address, but a space with an aspiration for positive change; it isn’t just a building, but a shared belief in the power of collaboration; and we are not just co-tenants with The HUB and BGI, we are all connectors bringing together the people and ideas to make our community a better place.”
Additionally, after meetings with many people in the area, it is clear that SVP, BGI, and the HUB have an opportunity to play a very positive role in Pioneer Square area and in its revitalization. That’s not a goal of SVP’s per se, but it certainly lends to an unexpected feeling of being a part of something bigger than ourselves.