DMV (Pt. I)
By Britney T-M
TRIPPIN’ is a summer blog series featuring coworking spaces, as BoxJelly intern Britney T-M travels to attend George Mason University’s Social Innovation Program. Follow the trip on Google Maps.
So this is it; the reason I’m TRIPPIN’. I approached The Social Innovation Program with the question: “How am I going to learn more about social innovation?” The answer: by doing it. The first week was packed with speakers that presented on everything from accounting to the “myths of social entrepreneurship“. Then for the following four weeks, we broke out into teams and performed consulting projects and created our own lean-startup models. Our team consulted for a performing arts organization and a service center, and attempted to address the gap in technology education for undeserved communities. Other consultation projects included work with organizations from farmers’ markets to community discussion platforms, and lean startups that addressed issues of ex-offender re-entry and social innovation education at the elementary school level. What a trip!
Co-living and co-working is a large part of how we were able to deliver so effectively in such a short period of time. We’re seeing this paradigm shift of the way we work, which also includes shifts in the way we live.
By living this way for the 5 weeks of the program, I was confronted by my expectations, and the unexpected. Expectation: I won’t use Twitter until more of my friends do. The Unexpected: I’ll make new friends that will prompt me to up my Twitter game, and I’ll realize how much professional potential there is to unlock (thanks Ramzy!). Expectation: I’ll get to know my roommates, and we’ll learn to live with each other. The Unexpected: My roommates will get to know me, and we’ll have to learn how to live without each other. As a graduate with no “real job”, it was discouraging trying to find opportunity. Having all securities such as prospects, predictability, and instantaneity fall from under you is admittedly scary. But the thrill teaches you, and in the clarity of zero gravity, I have come to what so many others realize: opportunity is created. Expectation: The world is a big place. The Unexpected: The world is infinite.