Thriving communities and great inspirations from SF

We have seen so many cool projects happening in San Francisco the past two days.

We came across La Cocina in the Mission, a space to encourage entrepreneurship in food. They rent out affordable professional kitchen spaces to people, with an emphasis on encouraging ethnic women into running their own businesses.

We also met a bunch of great people working on the next generation of social media websites in San Francisco and at the Founder Showcase. One great idea was MediaShare, which plans to sell media companies’ shares (like Nascar) directly to the company’s fan base. We heard Elon Musk, a co-founder of  Paypal and now CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, talk about the risks and rewards of backing what at first seem insane ideas with one’s own money.

Another great inspiration for us has been the Crucible, an art-industry-student training workshop across the bay in West Oakland. On the morning we visited, there were over 200 children in the workshops doing summer camp classes. These ranged from casting and welding to glass blowing to mudslinging (also known as pottery). It’s all about inspiring people of all ages to take an interest in industrial production and manufacturing – students have gone on to do apprecentiships in the docks just down the road from the Crucible.


Levi’s print workshop

Our first day in San Francisco and we come across Levi’s pop up workshop in the Mission. A free place for artists and the public to go and create work using its presses. We spoke with Dan, the general manager of the workshop, who explained that the concept was created by an ad agency to allow Levi’s to engage with the city and its potential customers in a new and interactive way.

We were there on a Sunday morning and the place was busy with people experimenting with a range of printing techniques.

We spent a good hour playing with all the different bits and pieces in the workshop – the longest we’ve ever spent in a Levi’s store ! A great advertising concept.