Soofa CEO Co-Hosts Inaugural Change Maker Conference at The HUB Presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance on City Hall Plaza

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David Sun Kong &
Sandra Y Richter

Change Maker Conference Co-Hosts

The Soofa team is humbled to be a part of HUBweek, an annual gathering on Boston’s City Hall Plaza of thousands of artists, entrepreneurs, change makers, and scholars—the humans who are building our future.

HUBweek Change Maker Conference Launched this Year

This year marks the first-ever HUBweek two-day Change Maker Conference, which Soofa’s Co-Founder and CEO Sandra Richter co-hosted with David Sun Kong, Director of the Community Biotechnology Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. The folks at HUBweek invited Sandra to host the Conference because of her connections in Boston, smart city work globally with Soofa and the Media Lab, and her passion for making the Boston community of innovators and change makers even stronger.

The Change Maker Conference centered around building community and sharing ideas. By encouraging participants to stand up and introduce themselves to the group with a simple “hello my name is...” Sandra and David set an intention for the group around participation and collaboration.


Highlights from the Change Maker Conference

Dr. Stefan Oschmann with David Sun Kong

Dr. Stefan Oschmann with David Sun Kong

The Conference kicked off with a keynote from Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, on the Practice of Change. Joi is a long-time supporter and inspired Sandra to found Soofa.

We also heard from Dr. Alaa Murabit, a UN High-Level Commissioner and CEO of The Omnis Institute. Dr. Murabit spoke about inclusion and diversity, giving a beautiful closing keynote on Reframing Inclusivity.
Day two started with participants’ choice of cosmic yoga or laughter yoga, both in the spirit of building community. Then the inspiring Cleo Barnett from Amplifier opened the central stage and showed us how to get a message across with art, sharing some inspiring posters with the audience.

The HUB layout in 2018

The HUB layout in 2018

A very special guest came all the way from Germany, so Sandra taught the audience to say “welcome” in German. The audience’s “herzlich willkommen” sounded lovely, and Dr. Stefan Oschmann, the CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, was smiling. Stefan told us how Merck—a company older than the United States—strives to succeed. Curiosity is key. The principles of curiosity he shared were:

  1. Take pleasure in learning

  2. Recognize gaps in knowledge

  3. Stay open to other people’s ideas

  4. Explore the new and understand this comes with stress and anxiety—embrace it!

Sandra was also excited to introduce Jeff Bussgang, a partner at Flybridge Capital, founder of HACK Diversity, and partner at XFactors (a fund to support female entrepreneurs). Jeff reminded us we can’t all be catalysts, but we can all contribute.

As the week continues, we’re looking forward to creating meaningful connections, attending inspiring breakout sessions, experiencing art exhibits—and of course enjoying the food trucks, silent discos, and happy hours!

Over 100 HUBweek events are free and open to the public. See you there!

Sandra Richter