About Gateway

Gateway was the community newsletter of Pratt Institute published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement through spring 2014. For current Pratt-related news, visit the News page on Pratt’s website.


Hello Etsy at Pratt: Reimagine the Marketplace

The premiere purveyor of D.I.Y. products Etsy co-sponsored “Hello Etsy at Pratt: Reimagine the Marketplace,” a weekend-long conference held from March 22-24 aimed to empower independent, creative business owners—and those who soon will be—to explore new methods of production, new patterns of consumption, and more lasting, purposeful ways of working.

Jaime Stein, a visiting assistant professor who heads the masters program in Urban Environmental Systems Management, moderated the panel “Re-imagining Community.”

“The existence of both virtual and physical communities was striking, so I felt it would be interesting to explore how physical and virtual communities interact/synergize,” said Stein. “There was a remarkable fusion and synergy between technology-driven, virtual spaces, such as Etsy, and physical spaces, such as neighborhoods/public spaces/Pratt,” said Stein.

A number of the Etsy talks looked at big picture issues affecting creativity and productivity. Alumna Ashley Berger (B.F.A. ’06, M.P.S.’12), who is also senior alumni outreach officer at Pratt, attended “Making Fear Your Best Business Partner,” led by corporate executive and mindfulness teacher Michael Carroll, who taught participants how entrepreneurs can use mindfulness to embrace fears.

“Carroll asked the audience to think of one word, the first word we could think of when we are asked the question: ‘At work I want to be _____,’” said Berger, recalling that the number one answer is typically “happy.” According to Carroll, a fearless mind thinks that vulnerability is power. “Rather than trying to buffer our lives with artificial deals, we need to be willing to be completely vulnerable and exposed because the essence of being human is being vulnerable.”

“At the end of the talk, Carroll had the entire auditorium participate in a mindfulness meditation where the entire group sat still and silent for at least 15 minutes,” said Berger. “It was a pretty powerful participatory experience at the end of a long day of talks and networking.”

Text: Bay Brown

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