The organiser of TEDxSydney is planning to open a membership based city cafe, live events space and rooftop bar in Darlinghurst, Mumbrella can reveal.
General Thinking cafe
The General Thinking city cafe is the brainchild of Remo Giuffre, one of the driving forces behind TEDxSydney.
According to documents seen by Mumbrella, Giuffre has identified a four storey building in Darlinghurst which will become a meeting space, event venue, rooftop bar and seven days a week live video streaming hub.
Mumbrella understands that Giuffre is in talks with a handful of major Australian brands to come on board as partners for the ambitious project, which would then in turn trigger support from City of Sydney.
Giuffre declined to go into detail, but confirmed the not for profit project, saying: “I would anticipate that it would skew towards the creative industries.”
He compared the concept to famed British media watering hole Soho House, but added: “We’re not going to put Soho House prices on membership. You might be able to join for 50 dollars.”
The project has been endorsed by TED’s global curator Chris Anderson who likened the concept to London’s 17th Century coffee houses. He said: “We feel that there is a 21st century opportunity to make places within cities that become part of the fabric of metropolitan/ civic life.”
The plan has also been backed by Droga5 CEO Sudeep Gohil who said: “I love the idea of being able to connect the global thinkers network with partners and potential clients.” Chaser member Julian Morrow is also a supporter of the project.
The General Thinking cafe would see guests able to access the cafe levels of the building, while members would also be able to use workspaces, lounge areas and meeting rooms along with the members roof deck and bar. They would also have access to a concierge service.
The project has already had a formal expression of interest from production house CJZ – the company behind Gruen Planet – in the video content that would come out of the site’s daily talks, discussions and presentations.
The project is seeking support at a number of levels including $10,000 from donors, $25,000 from patrons, $100,000 from founders and a small number of partner organisations who would be asked to commit around $500,000. Among the partner categories, General Thinking will work with one communications brand, one financial services brand, two technology brands and one other undisclosed brand.
Giuffre told Mumbrella: “We’re in the process of identifying an inner circle of founding partners. There are only a handful of seats at that table, but down the track we will be engaging much more broadly with organisations and brands that we would be a good fit.”