Stories & Beer with 5M and HUB Oakland on “Creating Place”

Welcome to our live broadcast of this month’s “Stories & Beer” event from The HUB in Berkeley California.

This month, Nick Aster talks to Ashara Ekundayo from the HUB Oakland project and Andy Wang of Forest City.  Both of these organizations are involved in the wholesale transformation of entire city blocks into thriving ecosystems of conscious capitalism and cultural renewal.

In San Francisco, the 5M project, spearheaded by Forest City will develop a four-acre site (between 5th, Mission, and Howard Streets) to become a mix of low, mid, and high rise buildings for living, working, and playing.

HUB Oakland is the cornerstone of a similarly ambitious project in downtown Oakland.

Tonight we will talk about the details of both projects, but also how companies and organizations can collaborate to “create place” in society for the benefit of people, planet & profit.

UPDATE: Here’s the video in case you couldn’t make it last night.

Ashara Ekundayo

Ashara Ekundayo is an Oakland-based cultural worker of the urban landscape and has served as catalyst, curator, educator, and producer for more than 20 years. Through her company BluBlak Media Consulting, she has worked with local and national organizations to build capacity for increased community engagement through the uses of creative practice, exhibition, strategic communications design and project management. She is a serial entrepreneur and activist committed to social change, and has supported individuals and grassroots companies in the redesign of their brand strategy through permaculture principles and is an expert at negotiating collaborative space within the intersections of the public and private sector.

In 2009 Ashara was selected by the Ashoka Foundation and the City of Denver in the U.S. launch of the “Change Your City” Campaign as a social innovator “stimulating the green economy” being manifested through her local programmatic work in food justice and green jobs design, and has held Fellowship positions with the U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs and Green For All.  She currently serves as the Marketing Director for the San Francisco Green Festival, is a member of the ”Future of Soul Think Tank” at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, is the STEAM Curriculum Developer for, and is a burgeoning food blogger at ”Grits & Greens.”

Ashara is a member of the Founding Team for Hub Oakland opening in Fall 2013, follow her on Twitter @BluBlakwomyn

Andy Wang
Andy Wang joined Forest City in summer 2012, and is helping to get the company’s groundbreaking 5M Project in San Francisco designed and approved. He was drawn to the project for its combustible mix of collaboration, design, and above all, its celebration of the urban. He has a master’s degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree in international development studies from UCLA. Andy’s prior professional life was in both print and online publishing, where he learned the power of narrative. The city writes its own collective story every day, and he has seen his job, whether as writer or as planner, as capturing and telling that story — or even, lately, taking part in writing it.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

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