Graphic Design by Zidane Golightly


In 1968, Martin Luther King described the interrelated outcomes of members of an ecosystem:

We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.

As Dr. King so eloquently explained, our success is not only influenced by the collective, but our contributions to the outcomes of others define the landscape of our community.

This February, marked our one year anniversary in this beautiful space. At this junction, we wanted to pause, to celebrate and to cherish the membership that defines our community.

We’ve chosen a selection of organizations and highlighted a variety of moments to tell the story about how our ecosystem unites and redefines what’s possible for the impact initiatives that call our space home. We are humbled, daily, by the accomplishments that come out of this community and it’s our pleasure to look back on the breakthroughs of 2014 with this group of organizations.


These are their stories:

One year ago, Hylo, moved into the building at 2323 Broadway. They came from different places. They had many different roles, skills, and backgrounds; activists, start-up entrepreneurs, technologists, artists, freelancers, social justice advocates, non-profiteers, investors, and more. They were new to each other, and the building was new to them. They brought their skills, their big dreams, and their big challenges. Hylo says:

While we are all unique, we are deeply united by the vision of a thriving Oakland, and a world that works for everyone. Since moving into Impact Hub Oakland, Hylo has gone from being a concept, to becoming a reality.

For Hylo, birthing this product meant building a new kind of online social network to fulfill the promise and potential of collaboration, including that at Impact Hub Oakland, by connecting people through the sharing of skills and through the support of ongoing projects.


According to IHO community member Hack the Hood, Impact HUB Oakland is a reflection of its city. Diversity and cultural expression through innovation, art, social justice and social entrepreneurship are important qualities to Impact HUB. As downtown Oakland develops into an exciting place in the greater Bay Area, Impact HUB Oakland is not only at the center of this creative excitement; it plays an integral part in it.

Hack the Hood, which teaches youth to build web sites for local small businesses, connects them with tech mentors, and teaches them about tech careers, has raised $35,000 in individual contributions, including $18K through Google Gives to make large scale impact possible. Hack the Hood shares the sentiments of a small organization making a big impact.

Hack the Hood has benefited greatly from the creative energy of Impact HUB Oakland. Being in a workplace with so many successful organizations and talented people has inspired us to push our organization into the national spotlight with a very small staff.


Another inspirational member organization, Black Girls Code, communicates similar sentiments about their IHO experience:

We thrive in its positive working environment, and the networking and collaboration opportunities are boundless! As a small organization, it’s nice to have a large home and community.

The organization, which introduces young women from underrepresented communities to coding and technology, receiving a Standing Ovation from Oprah in 2014. They have grown to have chapters and pilots in 7 cities across the globe, having introduced 3,000 girls to coding. When asked about our celebratory catch phrase, BGC said:

‘We Are One” means that we are in this together.

They expanded by explaining that regardless of organization or job title, we are all here to make our mark on the world. For Black Girls CODE, “We Are One” means engaging different members of the community to work together toward a common goal: empowering the tech leaders of tomorrow.


Speaking of working together, in the Fall of 2014 two of IHO organizations, Meridian University and Uptima Business Bootcamp, partnered up to launch a joint program: the Integral MBA in Creative Enterprise + Uptima Business Accelerator. The purpose of this joint program is to prepare students to not only imagine and grow a successful enterprise while achieving their MBA but also to participate in the collective reshaping of our economy, organizations and ourselves as 21st century entrepreneurs.


At this milestone, it is with great pride that we reflect back on the the community that has been created this past year; it is with tremendous humility that we move forward surrounded by the inspirational organizations that are defining our ecosystem to be a beautiful network of mutuality driving impact in Oakland.


At Impact Hub Oakland, #WeAreOne!

Story by Simka Alisa Kostenko and Erin Beitel

Erin Beitel

Erin Beitel

A physics major by training, Erin is passionate about the application of technology to issues of poverty and education. The Teach For America - Oakland alum currently works in the product development and user experience space. Erin founded Ideated.io, an Education Technology startup, which is currently in private beta in Oakland. Erin is a guest blogger at IHO.