From Social Enterprise to Community Enterprise

I wrote this farewell to the Impact Hub NYC community and figured I’d share it here too. Excited for some pretty cool new adventures coming up!! Will post about those soon.

Setting up for one of our first “Moonlight Society” events at Impact Hub NYC.

To my dear friends, coworkers, and larger community,

At the beginning of February I had a conversation with the Mission Hub Board and said that I felt the time had come to make my transition out of the organization. Two weeks ago I told my team in NYC. On Tuesday, the rest of the Mission Hub staff found out. And today, you.

Next week will mark my final week as Managing Director of Impact Hub NYC. In March, I will visit once a week to help ensure a smooth transition and then, I’m really done.

Three years ago I began an experiment to build a community space where I live in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. It got me introduced to the Mission Hub team and I decided to come onboard to learn the business and manage this wonderful community. I’ve had incredible freedom to play and experiment and you have been champs for putting up with it. Now, I’m taking my education and will return to this original journey.

I’m giving myself some time to finalize designs and models but will happily tell you about the project if you ask. I’ve taken on some strategy clients to bridge the gap — if you want to collaborate, feel free to reach out directly or through my website, samutne.com. My true love is strategy. I love designing and building programming, products, and businesses for and with other people. I have a special passion for understanding how to reach an audience and creating strategy, storytelling, systems, and process to reach and engage a community.

I have learned so much over the past two years and eight months and met so many wonderful people. I want to thank all of you for your support and trust over the past few years. We’ve done a lot and grown a lot. We’ve had countless happy hours and evening events (large and small), we painted on canvas (and walls…and floors). An NBC TV show about a fake coworking space took over our real space and displaced all our real members. We partnered with Squarespace and more than 40 other organizations to welcome 1,500 entrepreneurs to Impact Bazaar. We housed Bard’s Sustainable MBA program and two years of Next Top Makers with NYCEDC (and are partnering with Futureworks this year — see above). The ‘Moonlight Society’ convened their secret meetings here to reveal their passion projects. We partnered with B Lab and the city’s top social impact communities to help launch the Best for NYC initiative. MakeSchool taught 100 kids how to code over two months last summer. Impact Hub NYC, Women@Forbes, EILEEN FISHER, and Dreamers // Doers created a founder cohort program for female entrepreneurs. We opened our space to the organizations in NYC focused on the issues most impacted by the policies of the new administration for daily workshops and ‘100 Days of Impact’. All this while you kept building and producing some of the most incredible and thoughtful organizations, products, and events I’ve ever witnessed. You continue to set an example for how communities can inspire and support each other so beautifully.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working to build a more secure foundation and infrastructure for Mission Hub and all of our locations. We’ve implemented new membership management systems, payment gateways, events systems, inventory practices, and worktrade models. We’ve restructured our staffing chart to have better lines of communication in our core business, community and programming. You all have been incredibly tolerant and understanding as we changed a lot. I believe Mission Hub and Impact Hub NYC are entering a more stable phase that will support the teams on the ground and allow for a new level of community building. I’m truly excited to watch this as it unfolds.

So for now, thank you for this wonderful time. I plan to keep in touch with all of you as best I can and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d ever like to collaborate or simply be social.

Today I say goodbye but I won’t go far. I’ll be around, so say hello.

With love,
Sam Utne

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