Building Communities in Space

, Always Actualizing

As our lives continue to migrate online we sometimes forget that at the heart of almost every community is a space to gather. Ministers have churches. Sports teams have stadiums. Mafioso have Italian restaurants. Where is your community going to meet? And why? In this class you will learn from an awesome, eclectic mix of community leaders on how they took advantage of unique locations to build an active and engaged community of people. At the end of the lesson we'll break out into groups and develop an action plan around a particular space you may have in mind. And of course, if time permits, there will be some awesome surprises.

This Class Is Designed For Anyone Who:

1. Has a serious passion or interest and needs a place to put it
2. Has a rooftop, basement, kitchen table, or a friend with a bar that they want to put to good use.
3. Is an entrepreneur, nonprofit leader, journalist, or generally curious.

** Proceeds from this class will be donated to The Brooklyn Rescue Mission and HackNY

Our Panel of Teachers:

Reverend Robert Ennis Jackon

Reverend Robert Ennis Jackson

Reverend Jackson is the CEO of the Brooklyn Rescue Mission, a community-based organization in Bedford-Stuyvesant. In 2005 The Brooklyn Rescue Mission broke ground on an abandoned lot in order to grow fruits and vegetables for its pantry recipients. The site, once a neighborhood garbage dump, was transformed into an urban oasis that has served several hundred people since its creation. The farm has become a community gathering space and a classroom to teach neighborhood youth about food growing and community service.

Tony Bacigalupo


Tony runs a place called New Work City, a coworking space where awesome people gather to build awesome things together. Built by its members as a community first and a business second, New Work City aims to make the world a better place by empowering people to make a living doing things they love.

Matt Shampine

Matt Shampine

Matt co-founded WeWork Labs, a co-working space for early stage tech start-ups. In addition to offering entrepreneurs great space to build their own products, The overarching goal of WeWork Labs is to foster collaboration among intelligent, creative and driven individuals who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to connect. Matt is also the CEO of Onepager and co-founder of We Are NY Tech.

Reverend Vince Anderson

Reverend Vince Anderson

Every monday night Reverend Vince and his Love Choir play to a packed house at Union Pool in Williamsburg. His dirty gospel stylings always attract a diverse crowd of people looking for a chance to repent, dance, drink, and seek out some spiritual revival at the beginning of their work week. These electrifying evenings are always filled with surprises. You never know what's going to happen or who might show up. Well into the third year of his residency, Reverend Vince's popularity has only grown and he was even recently memorialized by the Sixpoint Brewery with the introduction of their new beer The Reverend's Instant Pentecostal Apostle.

Elliot Felix

Elliot Felix

Elliot leads brightspot strategy, a consultancy that helps people and organizations thrive. Elliot is an accomplished strategist, expert facilitator, and gifted sense-maker, able to understand the most complex of problems through both creative and analytical means. He has directed projects for leading companies as well as higher education and cultural institutions such as Google, Microsoft, SFMOMA, University of Virginia, NC State University, and several business schools. Elliot frequently writes and speaks about design strategy and also teaches in the Design and Management program at Parsons The New School for Design. Prior to founding Brightspot, Elliot was a director at DEGW.

Jennifer Chinn

Jennifer Chinn

Jennifer Chinn is the Program Manager of Charlotte’s Place, a neighborhood center opened this past March by Trinity Wall Street offering unconditional welcome and hospitality to Lower Manhattan. Programs are focused on bringing people of wildly diverse backgrounds together to share space, ideas, art, and conversation with an emphasis on building the skills we need to break down barriers of separateness. Jenn brings to this work her background in hospitality (restaurants), the arts, and contemplative spirituality.

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Matt Cynamon

Always Actualizing
I have spent the better part of two years exploring New York City and seeking out some of its most innovative and interesting inhabitants. For this panel, I've assembled a handful of them to pass down invaluable wisdom on how to build a passionate group of supporters by using one of our most precious resources - space. I've always been interested in finding enjoyable ways to expand our capacity and this class will be no departure from that end. If you have questions you would like asked please email them to me at least a week before the class is held.
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