(1) City Paper talks about Philly as a new hot spot for social enterprise and environmental sustainability. Our success stories include a bike-powered laundry service, a social entrepreneurship business accelerator, and a "B Corp" certifying body.
(2) Grid Magazine talks about SEPTA harnessing the energy from subways braking at stations to power the lights at those stations. (Love, though, how the article calls out SEPTA for still selling tokens in plastic baggies.)
Why is Philly on the map in this way at this point in time? Off the top of my head, and in no particular order, I'd go with the following reasons:
(1) Huge density of really smart people, thanks to all of our world-class universities.
(2) Way cheaper than DC or New York, but close enough that we can leverage ties to those hubs.
(3) A legacy of innovation melded with civic engagement and social responsibility. (Thanks, Ben Franklin!).
(4) An improving political culture, such that young'uns no longer necessarily feel they have no place to contribute.
(5) Not being flush with resources or attention creates a "starving artist" mentality, in a good way.
(6) We put something in the water. (Just kidding. Or am I?)
Whatever the reasons (and I'm sure I left out about 10), it's looking up for Philly. If you've been away for awhile and think otherwise, you should reconsider.