I, or other members, ask people what they very much want, and when 3 members RSVP (verbal commitment to show up and RSVP on a signup sheet in the kitchen and/or online and often to invite other members) then we make it happen.
To facilitate that, I say what I want, now and then, as the rudder/overall vision for the ship.
People tend to imitate what they see, so one happy hour game night will lead to requests for more happy hour game nights. New people will bring new ideas, and asking people about things that relate to what they’re passionate about and great at, leads to volunteering.
To nurture connections, in-person conversations at more formal events lead to friendships over time.
For our first 5 years, lunch has been the most frequent ‘event’, it’s the same time each day. Almost everybody knows how to do lunch, and almost everybody eats. So it’s a good way here to have recurring events that lead to recurring conversations outside the events, and friendships. Also the optional member meeting (which started as civics), and Lighting Talks (which turned into Works-in-Progress Sharing), and happy hours (which come and go in frequency), and overhearing conversations here in the Loft and joining in, or people saying hi in the kitchen and starting conversations, have been the best ways to meet people.
Collaborations: various members have met other members, became friends, and then been hired, either a year later, or much sooner or later. Members have asked other members for advice, such as on book cover design, or website design, or business, parenting, spouse/life-partner, or a buying a house. At least one long-term couple has met here. A crafting circle formed here, started by members requesting a sewing machine, which was brought in, which led to a member-led workshop, which led to a weekend group that met at that members’ house.
Our biggest collaboration (with the most people involved) has been around governance; whether re-organizing parts of the Loft at a happy hour, or writing our Constitution when we started, or rewriting the membership page and setting the rates. Workplace democracy is the best way for large groups of people to become friends at work here.
-Alex Linsker, Collective Agency http://collectiveagency.co/
On Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 9:22:31 AM UTC-7, Carolyn Cirillo wrote:
I am working on a blog post on how co-working spaces build community between members and would love to hear some ways you nurture connections at your space (e.g events such as happy hours, member list-serves, etc.).
Would also love to hear any success stories about collaborations that have emerged from members meeting each other.
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