Open Space: Free Tech Workspace in Pilsen and Humboldt Park

Instead of working home alone or dealing with coffee houses’ growing backlash against so-called “laptop hobos,” Pilsen and Humboldt Park residents now have a free tech space to call their own. Open Space provides guests with free wireless internet, a comfortable and collaborative workspace, and professional development opportunities. The project is offered weekly at hosted locations in Humboldt Park and Pilsen.

The new initiative is sponsored by Futuro Studio, an online marketing agency owned by Roberto Lopez. Springing off collaborative tech spaces in Chicago like 1871, Lopez saw “the need for a space like 1871 in communities that need more assistance in bridging the digital divide.”

Lopez, a lifelong Humboldt Park resident, has worked with Smart Communities in Humboldt Park, helping local businesses develop technology initiatives. In addition to starting a hosted location in Humboldt Park, Open Space will be hosted every Monday at BLUE1647, a tech and entrepreneurship incubator in Pilsen. BLUE1647 offered to host Open Space as part of their ongoing work with the local tech community.

“We’re always looking for ways to get the community more involved and become a more inviting place for people to collaborate. We wanted one day a week to be open to everyone, and hope to layer in workshops and classes throughout the day to help entrepreneurs and freelancers build their brands and products,” explains Emile Cambry, Jr., founder of BLUE1647. “We’re going to have a special Power Breakfast from 8am-10am for those looking to network, and from 9am-7pm, our space will be open for anyone and everyone to work at no charge.”

Workshops that Open Space will offer include online marketing, business strategy, music and video production, digital storytelling, and software development. Open Space welcomes freelancers, designers, entrepreneurs, developers, writers, and more. For more information, email

Pilsen Open Space

@ BLUE 1647 – Every Monday

Humboldt Park Open Space

@ Nellie’s Restaurant Event/Conference Room 2nd Floor – Every Wednesday

[Photo:  Dan O’Neil]

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