Last week marked the conclusion of the first Convergence Workshop. The capstone of the workshop engaged students in a four-day long accelerator program, encouraging workshop participants to synthesize the lessons learned over the past weeks into a focused project or business proposal that could create positive change, both at Arcosanti and in the world at large.
In partnership with SeedSpot, a nationally recognized social impact entrepreneurship organization, we hosted ten students including some residents and one participant from the Phoenix area. Their work involved creating storyboards, testing market assumptions, engaging with potential customers, and finally preparing a one minute pitch that could communicate all of the key aspects of their idea to potential partners or investors.
The week was a blast for both the facilitators and participants. This pilot project reminded us of how powerful Arcosanti can be as an incubator for ideas and creative problem-solving. Not only was the week a great exercise in entrepreneurial thinking, but we gained several very promising proposals for site-specific partnerships next year, many of which seemed both promising and feasible to onsite managers who were in attendance at Pitch Night. Project pitches included a natural building course, a traveling photo exhibition, and an augmented reality tour.
Pitch Night marked the summit of our five weeks with this amazing cohort – a chance to showcase to the community the ideas we had been working to refine. It was amazing to see so many come out to watch as our newest workshop graduates pitched their projects and expressed appreciation for their experience on site. Based off of this success, we look forward to the potential of more SeedSpot programs in 2019!
(Text By Sean P.V., Edits by Tim Bell, Photos by Keven Keleher and Rob Jameson)