BHive a Third Space
Submitted by Natale Dankotuwage on Wednesday, 4 February 2015
The topic area or challenge I would be interested in exploring is third sector innovators and third spaces. With market, government and societal failure on the rise there needs to be practical action on the ground, a coalition of actors and ideas must be forged to discover the alternative. I believe that third sector innovators and third spaces might be the very thing that could create cultural shifts that would change the world.
Third spaces is a term coined by Howard Shultz Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks. They are spaces that are neither home nor work, but rather something that brings the two into perfect harmony. They are usually open common spaces that bring multi-stakeholders together under one roof.
However, as I’ve discovered over the last few years, a third space can be so much more than a coffee shop with free wifi. These spaces, utilized effectively, can be areas that turn the average consumer into a socially conscious creator, collaborator and change-maker that can spark economic, political and social shifts.
Third sector innovators explore the development of projects that ignite collaborative community, development of action, learning and public service.
In the midst of ancient trees and the fine architectural suburban homes of Koramangala, B Hive – an entrepreneurial ecosystem – is coming to life. The co-working space opened it’s doors to the public in early November, when Founder Sheshgiri Rao Paplikar decided to tap into a rising business opportunity in Bangalore: an entrepreneurial spark with no place to work.
Bangalore has been identified by Forbes as India’s Silicon Valley. This sudden surge of start-ups is accredited to various economic and political shifts in India. Some point to the recession, where sudden peaks in unemployement led talented employees to decide to run their own companies. Others suggest it’s the result of the rising number of tech savy and impatient millennials, who make up 60 percent of India’s population, looking to make an impact with their career without having to work up the hierarchy of bureaucracy. And finally some suggest that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is behind it all, welcoming foreign investments and making opening ones own business administratively more easy.
What ever the cause, more and more young professionals are turning to entrepreneurship as a means of furthering their careers. However, where does a bunch of entrepreneurs go to find affordable and supportive work-space?
B Hive is stepping forth as a solution. It’s providing some of the most affordable work-spaces in the whole city and aspires to be one of the largest co-working spaces in all of Bangalore. Having only opened the Kormangala center two months ago, B Hive is soon to open another center in Indira Nagar.
When you walk through the space you find young millennials hunched over their laptops. And a simple hello has them quickly opening up about their aspirations to make a mark in the start up world. In just two-months of being open they’ve brought together Harvard drop-outs, ex-employees of Silicon Valley companies, College drop outs from IIT. These individuals are sick of bureaucratic red-tape and are seeking independent businesses as a means of democratizing the economy, spreading wealth and ensuring more freedom for innovating, creating and impacting the world around them.
And B Hive is working as hard as they can to ensure these entrepreneurs are ensured success. Weekly events are held where experts from across the city drop by to share the essentials for ensuring businesses thrive.
Asst. Community Manager
Natale Dankotuwage was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Graduating from the University of Toronto in Political Science and Post-Colonial History. Over the past few years she has been exploring the development of sustainable inclusive third spaces. She has worked closely with founding members of organizations developing co-collaborative and co-creative spaces across the world. From Roots Hyderabad (recognized by The Hindu) to Free Space (recognized by the White House Champions for Change). As a 2013 Asia Foundation Fellow she worked with Sri Lanka Unites developing a Reconciliation Center (Funded by British High Commission). And as an IDEX Accelerator Fellow is working at BHive as an Asst. Community Manager. All of these spaces are open access, equitable commoning of resources and ideas to foster innovative economic, social and political shifts within their localities. They are projects that aspire to be a safe, productive space where people can pool resources towards collective use and stewardship for the greater community.