“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” —Albert Einstein
The motto of the City of Birmingham, dating back to 1839, has been ‘Forward’, a statement which has famously propelled Birmingham through the industrial revolution, to greatness and growth, but also seen much of the familiar and loved parts of the city’s past vanish over time, and inequality deepening in the wider city whilst the city centre continues to progress and develop.
Wanting to be a progressive, forward-looking city is fantastic, but if we’re always asking: What’s next? What more can we do? How much further can we go? then how often do we take time to savour the moments we share together, to take stock of how far we’ve come, and contemplate and connect around ideas of how to move forward in the best, most supportive, most equitable way possible, together?
Throughout our years at Impact Hub Birmingham we have explored the notion of what it takes to disrupt the flows of power just as a pause (or caesura) disrupts the flow of a melody. In this musical context, pauses are moments for singers to catch their breath, something we want to create collective space for as we prepare to close Impact Hub Birmingham in a matter of months. In modern European poetry, a caesura is defined as a natural phrase end, which also nicely describes how we feel about the end of our time in this space, and we want to take a deep collective breath before beginning a new and exciting phrase altogether.
We firmly believe in pausing to look around the place you call home and sticking it out there to try and make it better; something that we’re absolutely dedicated to continuing despite moving on from our current building. We have also focused every day of the last 4 years on creating a caring, nourishing environment to power up people who work, invest and dream relentlessly in the city, creating Impact Hub Birmingham as a place to take a pause from the wider systems and challenges we are part of with warm hearts and a yellow mug of hot coffee waiting for everyone who comes through the door.
“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”
As many of you will know, our work itself is absolutely not taking an extended pause despite the imminent closure of our current space. You can read more about our bold vision for CIVIC SQUARE here, which we will all be continuing to move towards and making into a reality throughout Impact Hub Birmingham’s final months and far beyond; work we are incredibly proud to be manifesting. It’s an honour to continue working for and with the people of the city, a city filled with creativity, of everyday extraordinary actions, warmth and hope, and we’re excited to get more proximate and make a deeply embedded long-term investment into what we think is most important.
PAUSE resists the temptation to propel forward and leave our current reality and past work behind, which is the opposite of what we seek to do with our closing festival. It will be an absolute mix of reflection on what we’ve learnt and what’s changed, celebrating the best of what we’ve achieved together and what we’ve helped to platform, a deep opportunity to give every kind of thank you humanly possible to the countless people who have been part of the journey, as well as dreaming wildly together for all that’s to come beyond these Walker Building walls. We’d love for you to join us, whether it will be your first time visiting or you’ve been part of the story since day 1.
To mark the season finale of Impact Hub Birmingham we invite you to join us at our Closing Festival: PAUSE
Monday 28th October – Monday 4th November
Reflect || Celebrate || Give Thanks || Dream
PAUSE is a week-long festival to collectively reflect, celebrate, give thanks and dream together. The week is packed full of some of the best moments we’ve shared over the course of Impact Hub Birmingham’s history, celebrating with ultimate versions of our regular community programming such as Open Project Night and #HubTalks, mission takeover days to share the evolving ideas of #RadicalChildcare, DemoDev and Creative Resistance, as well as a chance to reflect, futuregaze and party hard over dinners, performances, workshops and more.
Throughout the week The Walker Building will be packed to the rafters with faces old and new and, as throughout our final and best year ever, there will be an emphasis on the ability for ideas and connections started here to spread far beyond this time and place and into any context they can have a positive impact. Whatever your connection to or interest in Impact Hub Birmingham, we’d love you to join us to make it a week to remember, be present with one another and imagine all that is possible for Birmingham beyond this particular chapter we’ve shared.
Full programme of PAUSE events to follow, but in the meantime save the dates, with particularly Saturday 2nd November PM one to watch as we’ll be having a big unforgettable party.
What has Impact Hub Birmingham meant for you?
As part of the closing period we will be gathering and sharing responses to what Impact Hub Birmingham has meant to you over the years. If you’d like to contribute thoughts and reflections, you can do so via our google form, in person at the hub, or tweet us at @ImpactHubBrum.
There is also still plenty of opportunity to use our space to catapult your ideas to new places, and there will be free space available in the final months to projects that need it. With further details to follow about PAUSE and available space, for now we warmly invite you to save the dates, and get in touch with us at email@example.com if there’s anything you’d love to make happen or want to see.
We also encourage you to check out our latest post on the future: From Impact Hub Birmingham to CIVIC SQUARE for more context, and follow along with our blog and social media accounts @ImpactHubBrum for updates about our next steps as and when we have them.
Thank you – as always,
The Impact Hub Birmingham Team