“It was inspiring to see the Hub being used by so many people last night. Pauline and I counted about 8 different large groups using the space including a variety of different people and smaller groups in dispersed between them. Blew my mind!”Rory McGhie, Impact Hub Birmingham host

This Monday saw the first Open Project Night of the month, with the space gradually filling up with a range of lively groups as 6.30pm approached. It seemed particularly busy and bustling, and at times I resembled a human signpost with a couple of arms too few, helping people navigate towards their various spaces and sessions upstairs, downstairs and across the yard with the help of Rory. Leading one attendee through to the studio I found myself commenting that there was nowhere more exciting to be on a Monday night, and, looking around at the wealth of Birmingham talent and enthusiasm under the same roof, I smiled with a sense of pride and excitement, before rushing back to answer the phone again.

Frankly, every day is a little bit like that as a member of the Impact Hub community – a collision of ideas and dreams that lead to developments, experiments and practical solutions – but what makes Open Project Night special is that it gives anybody the opportunity to get a taste of that environment and build upon it with their own ideas, drivers and values, making it the perfect time to visit the Hub and see what it’s all about.

With that in mind, here is the 411 on Open Project Night to get you started:

When does Open Project Night take place?
Every Monday evening from 6.30pm. Some groups begin to wind down around 8.30pm, but others keep the party going until close at 10.30pm.

I’m not a member, can I come to Open Project Night?
Yes, we want this night to be completely open. If you want to be involved with an exciting community please come along, whether or not you have a specific session you’d like to attend. Consider this your open invitation. A suggested donation for non-members is £5.

I’m not a member, can I host an event at Open Project Night?
As such there is no cost to hire out the space, we just ask that one member of your group or the group itself is invested in an Impact Hub Birmingham membership, at any level. The entry level membership Mission Birmingham is just £35+VAT. All of the additional benefits of this membership level are available here. If you can’t yet afford this, please get in touch with us and we can see how we could support you. To check out our spaces click here.

What kind of groups will I find at Open Project Night?
To give you an idea of the range of activities you will discover at Open Project Night, here is a run down of who was in the building this week:

Powered By: a platform for young innovators 16-30 to turn their creative ideas into impact through crowd-sourced mentoring, open office space and seed funding of up to £5000
The GAP Arts Project: working on Birmingham’s first arts space dedicated to young people’s creativity
OPN: GlobalNet 21 by Birmingham Humanists
#RadicalChildcare Learning Community: a 21st multimedia book club covering a different aspect of the #RadicalChildcare enquiry every fortnight
The Design Council: a charity dedicated to improving people’s lives through the use of design
NetSquared Midlands: a regular meet-up for people interested in using web or mobile technology for social good
Basic Income UK: a collective of independent people promoting unconditional basic income as a progressive social policy
Public Speaking Workshops

Can I book a specific space for use on Open Project Night?
We operate Open Project Night on a first come, first served space basis. Our biggest room can host up to 70 people, however we would recommend checking in advance if there is space for a large group. You are welcome to set up anywhere in the Hub that is available, but please be respectful towards other users and activities. We believe in and trust those using the space to self-organise and co-create alongside other makers.

Will there be food?
Changemakers gotta eat! The Coffee Shop will be hosted all evening for any beverages you may need, and groups will often bring their own snacks for attendees. Meetings such as the #RadicalChildcare Learning Community, for example, invite each visitor to bring an item of food to share together.

Impact Hub Birmingham was born in coffee shops, bars, libraries and parks, basically anywhere the founders could get together and work on their vision. In the same way, Open Project Night allows the space to be opened up to as many people as possible to help them get their project, group or venture off the ground.

To book your place at this month’s sessions visit eventbrite.