Meet the CIO Event #3 – “Open Spaces that Spark Innovation: Co-Working and Hacker Spaces”

By Office of Innovation
In Uncategorized
Sep 6th, 2013
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On September 19th, from 5-7 p.m., the City of San Leandro will host the third of four Meet the CIO events taking place in 2013.  To register for this FREE event at the San Leandro Main Library, click here

Soon after joining the City of San Leandro in February of this year, I was persuaded by Judi Clark, San Leandro resident and Lit San Leandro consultant, to schedule a series of events designed to introduce myself to the San Leandro community.  Brilliant recommendation on Judi’s part — it would prove to be a great venue for sharing my excitement about my the work we are doing to attract and expand an innovation and technology-based economy in San Leandro.  It is also a wonderful way for San Leandro residents and business owners to talk to their new Chief Innovation Officer  — important, as I am San Leandro’s first CIO and there is a lot of curiosity about what I do.

These gatherings also provide me with the opportunity to hear from people I don’t meet in the normal course of my work day.  Our first Meet the CIO event in April attracted 15 curious San Leandrans to the library to meet me — I was delighted with this turnout as I didn’t realize I had inadvertently scheduled this event on the first day of the Downtown Farmer’s Market!

Well, we got better.  For the second event in July, “Transforming San Leandro into a Center for Innovation”, with the help of our event team (Judi Clark and Mary Foster with City Manager’s Office), we put together a panel that included representatives of the Westgate Center, Bay Fair Shopping Center, the proposed Downtown Technology Campus on Alvarado by the Downtown BART Station, and the Library’s Millenial Academy.   Each of these representatives confirmed that the advent of Lit San Leandro’s fiber optic network is changing how the City views its economic opportunities:

  • new ways to view real estate development opportunity sites (24/7 communities, dense living and working, walkable, fun!)
  • the types of new business that can be attracted (especially those that need fiber optics to move big data, fast)
  • learning how to develop new real estate, and transform older industrial and retail spaces, to meet the needs of businesses working in the New Economy, and
  • the importance of engaging our workforce to ensure the development of skills needed for the changing business environment.

76 people joined us for Meet the CIO #2, including business representatives from the cities of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland.  To view the highlights of this event, courtesy of Cherry City TV, click here.

Several weeks ago I took the opportunity to write about co-working spaces.  The looming BART strike presented San Leandro with the opportunity to offer displaced workers a temporary place at the San Leandro Main Library to work.  Co-working spaces such as The HUB (San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley), Skydeck (Berkeley), Tech Shop (San Francisco, San Jose, San Mateo), Port Space (Oakland), and NextSpace (Berkeley) are centers that bring together people who want to work in a collaborative environment.  Quite often, these become launch pads for startup companies.  “Hacker Spaces” are similar, but are uniquely community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects.

On September 19th, we’re going to explore some of these innovative open work environments.  Joining us will be a panel of four people who are founders and/or managers of their unique spaces:

Gina LujanHacker Lab: Located in downtown Sacramento, Hacker Lab provides over 3,000 sf of dedicated space for hardware fabrication and prototyping with equipment such as: drill press, soldering station  mill, grinder, band saw, metal bending unit, oxyacetylene welding station, full electronics lab (dc power, signal, multi meter, oscilloscope, computer), circuit prototyping board, 3D printers and more!  Founder and CEO Gina Lujan, joining us on the panel, is a Social Entrepreneur and Social Engineer.  Gina focuses on community and business development at Hacker Lab, with 15 years of technology experience and is also the principal at her Bay Area design firm, Webify Lab.

Erin Griffin

  • NextSpace:  Its flagship location was opened in Santa Cruz in 2008 by founders  Jeremy Neuner, Ryan Coonerty, and Caleb Baskin.  Expanded to 9 locations, its new Berkeley location is connected to the internet by Lit San Leandro’s gigabit fiber optic network!  NextSpace provides an innovative physical and virtual infrastructure that provides a collaborative community for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creative class professionals.  NextSpace will be represented by Erin Griffin, Community Curator of its Berkeley location.  Erin’s career began in the retail banking industry, moving on to investment banking, and then took a turn into becoming the COO & Events Manager for her best friend’s culinary school in Berkeley.  Now, as Community Curator of Berkeley’s NextSpace, she has more access to all the creative minds in and around the Bay Area, and a space she can use to help revolutionize the downtown Berkeley core.


Michael CarilliThe Port: With two locations in Oakland’s Jack London District, The Port offers traditional co-working memberships along with small office space and ready access to the restaurants and activities available on the Jack London Waterfront.  Developers Joel Pool and his partner Michael Carilli of The Oakland America Company saw the potential of taking some of the industrial buildings in this waterfront district to create co-working space.  First the former American Broom Factory at 317 Washington Street, then the Overland House at 101 Broadway, Joel and Michael have taken advantage of Oakland’s waterfront district to revitalize blighted, abandoned buildings and create working communities.  OAC’s founders combine decades of achievement in architecture, urban planning, construction, project management, investment management and international trade.  Michael Carilli will represent the partnership on this evening’s panel.



  • Eddan KatzSudo Room: Located at 2141 Broadway in Oakland, Sudo Room is a hacker space, as described by the first line on its web site: Make. Do. Act. Create.  The focus is people coming together who have ideas about developing a specific project and are looking for a creative, collaborative community to work with.  Its unique quality is described on its web site: Sudo Room is a creative community that has open membership, and is non-hierarchical and collaborative. We are all types: tech developers, citizen scientists, activists, artists, and all combinations inbetween and beyond. But most importantly: we are all human beings interested in and working towards positive social change. Our goal is to create an inclusive, dedicated hackerspace in downtown Oakland and to share ideas and projects in the following areas:
    • the creative use of technology
    • citizen science
    • digital citizenship and literacy
    • environmental sustainability
    • community engagement
    • self-government

    Joining us on the panel will be Eddan Katz, one of the collaborative founders of Sudo Room, who has a passionate interest in protecting civil rights in the information society.  In this regard, he has been a Board Member of European Digital Rights, International Affairs Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Visiting Fellow for Access to Knowledge (Information Society Project at Yale Law School) and founder of Network of Trust, where he offers Alternative Business Development consultancy.   Eddan is also a practicing attorney.

Registration and Networking: 5 – 5:30 p.m.

Panel Presentation and Audience Participation: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Networking: 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Registration Link: Click Here

As always, light refreshments will be provided.  Interested in developing co-working and collaborative work spaces in San Leandro?  We’ll end by giving you some insight into what we’re working on — so Join Us by registering for this event NOW — no cost!




One Response to “Meet the CIO Event #3 – “Open Spaces that Spark Innovation: Co-Working and Hacker Spaces””

  1. […] very excited to be hosting a panel of innovators from other cities who have developed unique work spaces that support collaboration and […]

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