Have you ever thought of what makes one city or region different from another? Why are some cities or region striving ahead whereas others stay economically behind?
Is it the big organizations that are visible in media and daily life (when passing by on your way to the office)? Perhaps the smaller shops and SME (Small & Medium Enterprises) with up to a few hundred people, sometimes even the "Hidden Champions" that rule the business in their field? Or the other thousands of "invisible" entrepreneurs and startups that bring new innovations into daily life (which then will be also adapted to by the larger ones)?
What has been the start of the prosperity around Silicon Valley back starting in the 60s?
It certainly was the kind of off-standard kind of living and community. Hippies and people doing things differently to the mainstream kick-started (mostly unseen first by the larger crowd) what now call a truly creative and innovative space. Boston is surely another accumulation point where entrepreneurial and innovative mind gather and CoCreating the future.
Cool new stuff and shifts in present ways of working and living often come from the small pockets within your community, that you are often not really aware of.
MassInnoNights is such a small pocket (at least it started as such about a year ago with just a few bucks on water and some name tags) - innovators around the area of Boston. They meat once a month to share what they have to provide to potential customers and guess what? This has grown into a well respected event where even the big shots in the business of innovation come along (e.g. IBM, SUN, ...).
Based in Dresden, BTW a city you should visit once in your lifetime, there happens to be something that could have happened in the Bay Area some forty years back. You got a bit curious?
These folks don't really fit the common picture of Dresden with baroque, Frauenkirche and even the high-tech SiliconSaxony - no it is definitely DIFFERENT!
The event is once per month (similar to MassInnoNights), it lasts from around 7 pm till (more or less) open end (is that still comparable?), you will meet people with all different background (process designers, product designers, graphic designer, sociologists, Dresden fans, ......).
The concept that UndSonstSo (to present time it is just in German, would there be an innovator creating a tool that directly translates tweets into English or enable this by dedicated people around the world? That would be cool and a story of its own) fosters is new to the City of Dresden and so the ideas that spread from there. If you haven't checked it out, next Thursday, 04.02.2010, there is the next chance (every first Thursday of the month).
undsonstso #5 - see you there;-)