How To Hub: How the Hubonauts are keeping our universe together
by Céline Tykve
A Hubonaut — what is that? I guess most people in our community struggle with this word when they first hear it. What is a Hubonaut? Who is one? How do I recognize him/her? What does s/he know? What can s/he help me with? As the Hubonauts have a highly important and valuable role in our universe, it is time clear up all the questions.
Hubonauts are an integral part of the Impact Hub Zürich team and play a decisive role in the well-functioning of the Impact Hub. They are the voluntary hosts of our spaces and the friendly and fantastic glue holding the community together. We use the words host and Hubonaut interchangeably and mean the same thing: Your first point of contact when at Impact Hub Zürich. Generally, we divide their tasks into two categories: people hosting and space hosting.
A place like home
One of their most important roles is to make the coworking space feel like home; they welcome you, help you with pressing questions and make sure that the space looks presentable. They are the (in-)visible good folks that load and unload the dishwasher and make sure that the coffee is strong on Mondays in Arch D at the Viadukt. The Day-Hubonauts will be present one day per week, whereas the Event-Hubonauts will support us for events only. But their job is basically the same: creating an open and collaborative atmosphere where people feel encouraged to connect and love to spend their time. In short: they have one of the most important jobs at Impact Hub Zürich.
A unique learning and networking experience
In exchange for their voluntary service for four months, we offer them a unique learning and networking experience by being part of the Impact Hub and our vibrant community of changemakers. And they get unlimited access to our space to work on their own projects and connect with members during their time as Hubonauting — no wonder that many of them are entrepreneurs themselves! Let’s hear from Ayal and Larissa, two Hubonauts from our last batch, what their experience was like:
„I became a Hubonaut for two reasons: I wanted to connect with likeminded (/-hearted) people and I wanted to grow my network to potentially find a project to join, a partner to build something up with, or to be inspired and do something on my own. The first few weeks were quite exhausting. If you are like me and you want to know each and one of the Hubbers that show up during your hosting day, you will get to know a crazy amount of stories, names and personalities. I think there is not one single person who showed up on Fridays that I haven’t talked to about their reason for being here. And for me that’s the biggest value and fun of it: you can easily talk with inspiring people without having to do some smalltalk first.
It actually did feel like I was the host and not just the person who answers the phone and makes some coffee. Of course you take care of the space, but more important is your welcoming attitude when a new person enters the space, your optimism when a Hubber has a bad day or your enthusiasm when they found an investor. Impact Hub really became a place I love to spend time at. I made great friends and gained clarity about what venture I want to embark on next. Mission accomplished.“
– Larissa Hämisegger, Friday Hubonaut at Viadukt
“As long as I remember I loved solving problems for the people around me, from hands on “build it yourself” solutions to helping my friends and family overcoming creative roadblocks of any kind. And then I found Impact Hub… For me it made total sense to surround myself with a caring community that takes on solving problems for the greater good on a daily basis. Here I could learn and share my knowledge and experiences — it was a perfect fit!
Like in any work environment or close community, I had great experiences during my time as a Hubonaut and sometimes a little less great ones. No matter the outcome of a situation, I always felt that the environment held value in the actual process of doing things. Being open-minded is emphasized and people are always willing to learn something or to try something new. Therefore the Impact Hub allows all parties involved to be creative in their own way, which I appreciate very much. Thanks for a great time! I enjoyed the ride and it was an honor to serve you and learn from a community that’s shaping the future of business. Keep doing what you guys are doing the best — unless you can do it better.”
– Ayal Mizrachi, Tuesday Hubonaut at Colab
The Hubonauts are the essential ingredient in creating the atmosphere at Impact Hub that you like so much. Their hosting and their readiness to help and connect you is what differentiates us from other coworking spaces. So at this point we would like so a huge thank you to all Alumni- and current Hubonauts — you are doing a fantastic job!
And to our members: if you meet one of them in our space any time soon, make sure to say “hi” and have a chat. We all know it’s the small gestures that count.
Originally published at zurich.impacthub.ch on January 26, 2016.