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Venture Café

The Future of Neighborhoods

Thursday, Jul 20, 2023 | 4:00 PM-8:00 PM

Learn from experts about the latest trends and innovations in creating safer, more vibrant communities.

This thought-provoking event features interactive discussions offering valuable insights and practical tools for concerned citizens, local business owners, and community leaders who are interested in creating healthier, more sustainable neighborhoods.

5:15P - 5:30P

Insights From Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Livability Index

Are you ready to imagine the future of our neighborhoods together?

This session on the Metropolitan Livability Index serves as the kick-off to our “Future of Neighborhoods.” It offers a comprehensive look at the key components and methodology behind the Index and its practical applications for policymakers and urban planners.

Gain a better understanding of the factors that contribute to a livable metropolitan area, such as access to amenities, transportation options, and environmental sustainability. The session will also provide valuable insights into the strengths and limitations of using the Index as a tool for evaluating metropolitan liveability and driving urban improvement. Join us as we explore what changes can be made to enhance the livability of our communities and what the future of our neighborhoods could look like.

This session is valuable for all audiences, residents, and city planners, as it provides a deeper understanding of metropolitan livability and a platform for discussion and the exchange of ideas.


5:30P - 6:00P

Imagining Our Neighborhoods: The Art of Speculative Design

How can we use our imagination to build a better tomorrow? Discover the power of speculative design in shaping our communities and informing actions today.

In this dynamic session, we’ll kick things off with an enlightening overview of speculative design. Hear directly from talented artists as they share how this approach intertwines with their own artistic process. Gain insights into how to use speculative design to unlock possibilities and drive real-world impact.

But that’s not all. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and embark on a hands-on journey. Engage in an interactive exercise where we’ll guide you in creating your own speculative design. Unleash your creativity and be part of envisioning a future that’s inclusive, sustainable, and community driven.

Explore how speculative design can revolutionize the way we design our neighborhoods and empower us to shape a brighter future together.


6:00P - 6:30P

"Mapping" Better Outcomes

Join us as we shine a light on the inspiring community organizations and neighborhood leaders who are creating positive change across Philadelphia. Through their tireless work, they are building stronger,safer, and more vibrant communities, with a focus on improving the well-being and future prospects of residents in their respective neighborhoods.

Throughout the session, you will hear from a diverse range of organizations representing Philly neighborhoods from all corners of the city, including West & SW Philly, North Philly, South Philly, Kensington, Germantown/West Oak Lane, and Northeast Philly.

For those who want to dive deeper, the final 20 minutes of the session will be reserved for audience questions and opportunities to build meaningful connections with these changemakers.

Celebrate the inspiring work happening in Philly and discover how you can play a part in creating a brighter future for all Philadelphians.


6:30 - 7:15P

Transforming Communities: The Power of Place-Based Development

As our neighborhoods continue to change and evolve, it is increasingly important to take a community-driven, place-based approach to development that prioritizes the needs and priorities of residents. Grassroots organizations are uniquely positioned to lead this type of development, leveraging their local knowledge, expertise, and networks to create positive change in their communities.

This discussion will explore the importance of grassroots place-based development in creating our future neighborhoods and provide practical strategies and approaches for community-based organizations to lead community development initiatives. Through a focus on community engagement, collaboration, and understanding the community, panelists will highlight the opportunities and challenges associated with this type of work, and share insights and lessons learned from their experiences. This session will be of interest to community developers, neighborhood leaders, policymakers, and grassroots organizations looking to build stronger, more equitable neighborhoods that reflect the needs and aspirations of their residents.


7:15 - 7:30 pm

Meditation for Change

Together, we’ll explore the healing potential of mindfulness and delve into practical techniques for fostering unity and resilience in our neighborhoods. Through this guided meditation session, you’ll learn how to cultivate inner peace, compassion, and empathy, essential qualities for fostering understanding and connection. Join us as we delve into a collective journey of self-reflection and envision a future where our communities thrive. Unwind, find solace, and tap into the profound strength of communal healing. Let’s come together, support one another, and explore the transformative possibilities that lie within. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to embrace the power of meditation as a catalyst for positive change. Save the date, bring an open mind, and join us in building a stronger, more compassionate community.


*Pre-Registration for sessions is encouraged but not required