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Hub Culture is home base for the world’s knowledge leaders merging the virtual and physical worlds. Stan Stalnaker in ‘Hub Culture – The Next Wave of Urban Consumers’ first wrote about the network of global urban modernists who orient themselves around hub living in 2002. The associated website became the resource and meeting point for these global nomads, and a reference point for the uniquely globalised zeitgeist defining hub culture.

Stalnaker saw the need to move this social network from the digital to the physical and back again with no drama. Asked about the future of social networking he responds, “Getting real! That’s our take on it anyway . . . we see social networks moving off the web and into real life, still powered by the web. Hub Culture is a ‘real network’ that uses social network traits to deliver enhanced collaboration in real life. We see this merger of the metaverse (online) and the universe (offline) as the next big wave to hit society. This emergence of the omniverse will change everything – embedding the web and links into everyday objects and the very fabric of society. As a result, we are trying to lead in this area by taking these components from social networks and embedding them in real world scenarios – whether it’s our Cannes Pavilion overlooking the sea, or in London, where executives gather from around the world to connect and work.”

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Stalnaker describes this urban community of globalised citizens as ‘post national’ as many come from two or three cultures, but operate on a global level with a shared perspective. Most of us have at least one friend who was raised in one culture, completed studies in another, and now lives in a third culture; if not friends that live and work between the world’s major hubs; or know of those who genetically or culturally identify with more than one city. Global hub living is not something in the distant future, it is happening now.

The big cities are the nomadic elite’s hubs around the world. These urban centres are the playgrounds for their chosen lifestyles, so the first permanent Hub Culture Pavilion was opened in Carnaby Street, London this year. The Pavilion radically reduces the cost of workspace and for a monthly or daily fee you can tap into the network of people that congregate to work there. It eases the stresses and strains of mobile living with valet and concierge services, and tries to ground the rootless lifestyle by enabling genuine connections to others in the network.

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Future permanent Pavilions will come to Amsterdam, Berlin, Hong Kong, New York, Punta del Este and Singapore with temporary Pavilions in Cannes, Davos, Ibiza and Miami. Social networks drive global socialisation and the Hub Culture traveling Pavilions have the mobility to move you across your networks (contemporary art) and locations (Art Basel Miami). 

While the Hub ‘connects people, ideas and capital to each other for projects all around the world, always for social progress or integrated mutual benefit’; its mission is to reveal and enhance our collective consciousness. And as Stalnaker explains, “It appears that more and more people are coming to an understanding, driven by technology and other social changes, that there could be a common collective consciousness that exists between humanity. The more connected we become, the easier it becomes to access this collective identity – whether culturally, via communications, or eventually from the very definition of our identities.”  

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The entrepreneur believes a functional collective consciousness will result from instant access to information allowing anyone, anywhere, to access what anyone else, anywhere knows. “That point is perhaps very distant in the future, but our efforts to integrate and engage the hub network – we feel – contribute toward this mission.”

The trading of goods and services in the hub network is based on Ven, the world’s first peer-to-peer social currency. It floats against other global currencies and is tradable online and redeemable at all Pavilions. Ven functions as a karma wallet – somewhere between thank you’s and payments – and is used for good deeds, introductions, or as a way to acknowledge positive social action. 

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And what does this entrepreneur/futurologist see as the future of innovation? “Innovation is the ‘process of progress’ – the way we develop new memes that take hold in the culture or society that propel us forward. Innovation has become the holy grail of many companies and institutions looking to survive an ever more rapidly changing world, so to some innovation is about ‘change’. But change for change’s sake means nothing. We need to be changing toward something better if it is to have a positive material affect on society. Not all innovations are good, so we must consider both the process and the result of an innovation to understand if it’s beneficial to humanity overall. Taking in these ‘externalities’ should be a necessary ingredient of innovation. For me, only this type of innovation – this ‘process of progress’ is true innovation.”

So whether it’s Facebook, the resort on Luxury Island in Second Life, home base in London, or the traveling Pavilion in Ibiza, Hub Culture is the place to interact with others who live, work and travel between world cities on the ‘process of progress’.

This is a new post by David Report contributor Kristina Dryza.

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