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Backyard Gardening Org. + Social Entrepreneurship Meetup

This is from the non-specific Entrepreneurs' Meetup--they had easily 60 people.

2nd Tuesdays, 7-9:30pm; Revv Oakland, 122 Meyran Ave. Oakland, PGH; Use the Meyran Ave. entrance to the right of  the frozen yogurt place, and walk up the stairs and to the left; Hosted by TransitionPGH

Description: This is a meetup for Transitioners, social entrepreneurs and regular entrepreneurs alike to network, discuss their ideas, and even start planning projects together in the Revv's graciously-donated meeting space! We’ll run this Open Space-style (agenda, tentative, below) with short introductions moving quickly into breakout groups.

More detail: Pittsburgh has far too many social businesses, non-loss nonprofits, and community organizing success stories not to talk about them—Construction Junction's salvaged building material warehouse, Stormworks' rain barrels, GTECH's vacant land reclamation, GrowPGH's urban farming, the Larimer neighborhood's bid for $30-million-plus in federal and local grants, the Environmental Finance Collaborative’s 4-organization split CFO, and all sorts of new ventures will all be up for discussion here.

International successes like Grameen Bank and books likeReinventing FireNatural Capitalism are welcome discussion topics, too!

Expect a repeating event which we can improve if you give us your opinion on what’s working and what to change. I hope to get a balanced mix of successful entrepreneurs, first-time entrepreneurs, idea people, and so on, from all backgrounds: corporate offices, nonprofit, neighborhood activist, academics, new-age hippie farmers, and whatever else. (If this event proves to be a success, I will try to get speakers from such places (who have told me they’re willing!) on 2nd Tuesdays or other dates.)


Agenda for the Open Space meeting (tentative, but shorter the better) (7:00pm to 9:00pm):

6:30pm: Arrival; setting up chairs, people start to come

7:00pm: Intro by TransitionPGH & review of upcoming events

7:10pm: Timed introductions of everyone in the room (less than 30 seconds for sure, hopefully 10 seconds)

7:30pm: Prepare for breakout groups—if people want to discuss a specific topic or plan a specific project, they should raise their hands and say what it is!

7:40pm to, at latest, 8:40pm: Breakout groups discuss topics! (People will be free to just wander and network, but indeed, some groups will have focused discussions or planning.) (Law of Two Feet: move on if you don’t feel like you’re learning or contributing!)

8:40pm: We reconvene and briefly review what was said in each group, so that we walk away with some information & perspective on everything going on in Pittsburgh, not just our topic of interest.

9:00pm (we clear out by 9:30 at the latest): The meeting ends and we all put away our own chairs; Mark locks up.

Later, if project ideas or business ideas come up that need more discussion, post a description to (where, if your idea has traction, it will be announced to the whole group) or the Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs Meetup. Before or after that we can at least give you contact info to set up more meetups at local libraries, universities, churches, and (hopefully!) the Revv.


Why TransitionPGH supports social entrepreneurship: Partly because authors of books like Natural Capitalism and Climate Capitalismmake the case that we're at the start of a new Sustainability-Industrial Revolution, where those who stand to make the most bottom-line profit are those who act like they're terrified of climate change & ecological collapse (regardless of what they believe). TPGH backs this in our own neighborhoods through networking events, films, speakers, classes, and more, trying to connect as many people to businesses and practical initiatives as possible. Supporting social entrepreneurship is a stepping-stone to our ultimate goal: a community-wide initiative in every neighborhood and town in and around Pittsburgh, striving to cut fossil fuel use as much as possible by relocalizing their economies as much as possible.


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  • Justin T.

    Followup from last backyard gardening org. meetup:

    We didn't get to talk too much because the format of the meeting was out of our hands (60-70 people at the regular Entrepreneurs' Meetup didn't help either, there was so much interesting conversation to be had!), but the People's Garden folks laid out some of what they're doing with themselves (just gardening in and amongst friends' backyards, together). They're based out of the Free School crowd: I don't know how entrepreneurial they are or how organizationally capable yet, either--they seem rather un-capitalistic--but they're starting small anyway.

    February 3, 2013

  • Justin T.

    P.S. Definitely look forward to seeing people at the 5th Annual PGE Planning Meeting, along with this. P.P.S. I'm cross-posting this from the Entrepreneurs' Meetup (which is cool and you should check out) and, of course, TransitionPGH's meetup (which is also cool). Got 19 people RSVP'd those places so far :)

    February 3, 2013

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  • Justin T.
    Event Host
  • A former member
    +1 guest

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