This week's guest blog comes from Marie Janiszewski of Public Coffee who has taken the idea of getting together for coffee and talking and put a whole new spin on it. Check it out!
I’m Marie Janiszewski and I am facilitating the collaborative development of a mobile non-profit coffee shop, called Public Coffee. Built out of a trailer and arranged as a food truck, Public Coffee seeks to generate conversations and community engagement in order to foster social innovation. It will visit various neighborhoods throughout Denver, Colorado (with the intention of expanding its scope in subsequent years) to serve coffee and start meaningful conversations. Public Coffee has structured its course of travel in pursuit of accessibility and inclusivity. Locations will be demographically diverse and varied in proximity to local coffeehouses. Public Coffee’s financial model embraces the pay-what-you-can system, where monetary payment is not required for customers to participate in projects and discussions.
The idea for Public Coffee was constructed through conversations in coffee shops. In our impromptu meetups, we debated whether the atomization of individuals in our societies should be attributed to our technological capacities, current economic system, and urban sprawl. Either way, we decided that our gatherings held some weight. We were composed of designers, social artists, educators, coffee visionaries, social workers, businessmen, a farmer’s market director, and an architect. Our shared perspectives substantiated our individual work while generating entirely new projects.
Together, we envisioned a single structure that could allow more people to develop bigger and better ideas through conversation. This structure - Public Coffee - is now taking shape through the strategic work of a core team of passionate collaborators. We are Marie Janiszewski, Samantha Kogle, Faith Williams, and Jeff Wahl. Our team is further collaborating with other groups around the city to make sure it becomes a contributing part of Denver’s community. We are also continuously looking for more people to join our team, and more groups to collaborate with.
Public Coffee continues to be collaboratively built because it wants to operate in a completely collaborative manner. It wants its surrounding city to tell it where to show up. It wants communities to take charge of it for their events. It wants neighborhoods to move and utilize its furniture and equipment in a way our team never imagined. Public Coffee is, quite frankly, for the public!
That is why Public Coffee wants to be funded by the public.
Public Coffee is currently in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to generate the start up costs through a crowd-funded approach. We see each and every donation as a stamp of approval from the public. Each dollar is a charge to bring this vision to life. No donation is too small. A dollar from 12,000 people would sure be a testament to the need for this project! Public Coffee would be honored to be commanded by the community. Please tell your friends and neighbors to give Public Coffee the go ahead to pop up in the city.
Check out Public Coffee’s kickstarter campaign here: kck.st/publiccoffee