August at OpenAccessPHL: The best ideas come from local stories - Generocity Philly


Aug. 17, 2015 10:28 am

August at OpenAccessPHL: The best ideas come from local stories

Featuring CultureWorks, the Philadelphia-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, Microsoft, and PowerCorps PHL

At the August 2015 convening of OpenAccessPHL we heard from Thaddeus Squire of CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia, Vered Nohi of Philadelphia-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, Dave Voyles of Microsoft, and Julia Hillengas of the City of Philadelphia and PowerCorps PHL.

Thaddeus Squire — CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia

Squire explained what CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia is –a  platform for sharing space, technology, and expert human resources—“rented” out in different packages and portions—much like a co-op. He also talked about while CultureWorks has a coworking space (where OpenAccessPHL was held) — space and physical resources is the least of what CultureWorks provides to its members — it provides a business plan bootcamp,  back office services, and more to small arts and culture organizations.

Vered Nohi of Philadelphia-Israeli Chamber of Commerce

Nohi began her talk by mentioning how Israel is second in startups to silicon valley (producing 1000 startups a year)– even though it’s smaller than the state of New Jersey. The Israeli Chamber of Commerce works to create Philadelphia-based partnerships with Israeli businesses and makes a grants each year for innovative ideas, and Nohi herself works as Nohi acts as a matchmaker to help attract innovators to Philly.

Dave Voyles — Microsoft Tech Evangelist

Voyles — who came from New York to work at Comcast — now works as a Microsoft Tech Evangelist to help grow technology here. He’s also taught classes with Girl Develop It.  “I don’t care what you’re using I just want to see tech grow in Philly,” he said, adding that he’s trying to help people, even if it’s not using Microsoft software.  For example? He helped one of his former Girl Develop It students (who works at the Philadelphia Museum of Art) connect with the technology who made Minecraft in Scandinavia for a collaborative exhibit that will be in Philly in September.

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Julia Hillengas of the City of Philadelphia and PowerCorps PHL

Hillengas works with PowerCorps PHL, helping to engages young people to help maintain Philly public spaces. The program annually enrolls 100 individuals, ages 18-26, in a nin-month program: six months of full-time service as AmeriCorps members with City departments followed by three months of intensive job placement support. “If you see a PowerCorps member out, give them a high five and tell them they’re doing a great job,” she said, adding that they’re all incredibly proud of what they do.

Next up:

The next convening will be  Friday September 11 at 4pm at North Highland Worldwide Consulting (30 S. 17th Street, 16th Floor).


  • Ivy Olesh – PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation
  • Shawn Gunn – INRIX, a growing big data technology companies
  • Chris Bennett / Aradhya Malhotra – Skyless Game Studios


Image via OpenAccessPHL


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