Open Coworking: It's time to talk about it!

Open Coworking is a movement. It is the community of coworking spaces all over the world, working in many different languages. WHat we all share is that we have all committed to the same core values: Collaboration, Openness, Community, Accessibility, and Sustainability

We maintain this Google Group. We also maintain:

We work with the Network hub on the Global Coworking Visa Map.

Open Coworking has grown up as the need arose, and was only formally organized a couple of years ago. In 2012, Jacob Sayles took it on and created a nonprofit organization to manage all of the above. At that time we were very excited that we had reached a huge milestone: 1,000 coworking spaces worldwide!

There are now….more than that. Ahem.

So recently, he handed the reins of Open Coworking over to me. And it is time to talk about where we want to go with it. Organizations tend to naturally emerge around a community’s needs and while I am in a great position to get feedback about those needs, a number of people find it to be high time we talked about what we want to do. And where we want to go.

Is it time to get formal with Open Coworking?

This is an all-volunteer movement. And as some of you know, we have been working on a reorganization of the WIki Team for about a half year. We have grown in that time to a team of 65 volunteers worldwide. As a larger, worldwide coworking community, we seem to spontaneously have this conversation every 5 years or so. But a majority of the people now involved in coworking were I think not here for the last one. So it’s time to open up the discussion again I think.

Here is where we are:

We have me, I am still in for organizing Open Coworking, in Oosterhout, the Netherlands.

We have Oren Salomon in Texas USA, busy with establishing a curated Open Coworking community directory based on a map.

There’s our social media, run by Beth Buczynski in Colorado, USA.

There are the Wiki Associates and Regional Partners, listed on the Wiki.

There’s the Global Coworking blog, run by Melissa Geissinger, who is also giving us a much needed facelift (see below for screenshots)

There are a number of other projects and idea which we have been approached to take part in or contribute to.

The projects I hear most about people wanting are:

  1. a mentoring program, space-to-space; 2) a mentoring program, network to network, for coworking communities setting up local networks;

  2. an overhaul of the Coworking Visa;

  3. a marketplace, coworker to coworker.

  4. a best practices “kit” for spaces at different points in the growth curve: starting out, mature and growing, and even end stage. There is also much interest in a best practices “kit” or discussion group for what we can rural coworking, that is, models for coworking in locations other than large cities and also for coworking in specific sectors: retail, hospitality.

I signed on to maintain the Wiki and serve the community where I could and that is what I intend to keep doing.

Here is what I want from you

I want to know what you think. I want to know what you would like to see from Open Coworking. I want you to take part in this conversation.

I also want you to help us get the word out that the conversation is taking place. With your social media, within your communities and within your cities, as soon as the discussion goes up I would like for you to share the word.

We can continue to keep on as we are keeping on: the organization as it is now is sufficient to maintain the Blog, the Wiki, and this group.

It is not sufficient if what the community wants is for Open Coworking to more actively organize and advocate and communicate with the outside world.

Coworking without Borders, the Coworking Visa, and the new Coworking Map have none of them gotten the kind of support they deserve, simply because we lack the reliable resources to support them. The spam problem on the Wiki has been largely cleared up (hurray!) but it is in many areas out of date and needs to be reorganized.

The organization itself should not be a problem;

We are in a unique position as a community to add to the development of Coworking. The real question before the house is this:

  1. Do we want a Global Open Coworking Organization?

  2. What would you like to see it do?

  3. How can we best do this?

I welcome and value your thoughts.

Cheers,

Jeannine

Hi Jeannine,

Thank you very much for your initiative. My name is Jean Baptiste Kattie. I’m the Business Development of Africa Outsourcing here in Senegal. I abm very happy of this kind of talk. For me, I think it’s better to have a Global open Organization where anybody can communicate about the opportunities. Our main objective is to success on our project, so we have to advertise more on this group and why not have a partnership between Coworking Spaces in the world

···

On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 8:30:07 AM UTC, Jeannine wrote:

Open Coworking is a movement. It is the community of coworking spaces all over the world, working in many different languages. WHat we all share is that we have all committed to the same core values: Collaboration, Openness, Community, Accessibility, and Sustainability

We maintain this Google Group. We also maintain:

We work with the Network hub on the Global Coworking Visa Map.

Open Coworking has grown up as the need arose, and was only formally organized a couple of years ago. In 2012, Jacob Sayles took it on and created a nonprofit organization to manage all of the above. At that time we were very excited that we had reached a huge milestone: 1,000 coworking spaces worldwide!

There are now….more than that. Ahem.

So recently, he handed the reins of Open Coworking over to me. And it is time to talk about where we want to go with it. Organizations tend to naturally emerge around a community’s needs and while I am in a great position to get feedback about those needs, a number of people find it to be high time we talked about what we want to do. And where we want to go.

Is it time to get formal with Open Coworking?

This is an all-volunteer movement. And as some of you know, we have been working on a reorganization of the WIki Team for about a half year. We have grown in that time to a team of 65 volunteers worldwide. As a larger, worldwide coworking community, we seem to spontaneously have this conversation every 5 years or so. But a majority of the people now involved in coworking were I think not here for the last one. So it’s time to open up the discussion again I think.

Here is where we are:

We have me, I am still in for organizing Open Coworking, in Oosterhout, the Netherlands.

We have Oren Salomon in Texas USA, busy with establishing a curated Open Coworking community directory based on a map.

There’s our social media, run by Beth Buczynski in Colorado, USA.

There are the Wiki Associates and Regional Partners, listed on the Wiki.

There’s the Global Coworking blog, run by Melissa Geissinger, who is also giving us a much needed facelift (see below for screenshots)

There are a number of other projects and idea which we have been approached to take part in or contribute to.

The projects I hear most about people wanting are:

  1. a mentoring program, space-to-space; 2) a mentoring program, network to network, for coworking communities setting up local networks;
  1. an overhaul of the Coworking Visa;
  1. a marketplace, coworker to coworker.
  1. a best practices “kit” for spaces at different points in the growth curve: starting out, mature and growing, and even end stage. There is also much interest in a best practices “kit” or discussion group for what we can rural coworking, that is, models for coworking in locations other than large cities and also for coworking in specific sectors: retail, hospitality.

I signed on to maintain the Wiki and serve the community where I could and that is what I intend to keep doing.

Here is what I want from you

I want to know what you think. I want to know what you would like to see from Open Coworking. I want you to take part in this conversation.

I also want you to help us get the word out that the conversation is taking place. With your social media, within your communities and within your cities, as soon as the discussion goes up I would like for you to share the word.

We can continue to keep on as we are keeping on: the organization as it is now is sufficient to maintain the Blog, the Wiki, and this group.

It is not sufficient if what the community wants is for Open Coworking to more actively organize and advocate and communicate with the outside world.

Coworking without Borders, the Coworking Visa, and the new Coworking Map have none of them gotten the kind of support they deserve, simply because we lack the reliable resources to support them. The spam problem on the Wiki has been largely cleared up (hurray!) but it is in many areas out of date and needs to be reorganized.

The organization itself should not be a problem;

We are in a unique position as a community to add to the development of Coworking. The real question before the house is this:

  1. Do we want a Global Open Coworking Organization?
  1. What would you like to see it do?
  1. How can we best do this?

I welcome and value your thoughts.

Cheers,

Jeannine

I’ve spoken to Jeannine about all of this already, so here publicly is my summary of what I think the role of open coworking should be.

Mind you, I’ve only been in the industry for a little under a year.

There should be one universal entity that represents the movement in its purest form. This entity should:

  1. Follow the value model of an open source initiative (aspects of which are freely used, changed, shared)
  2. Uphold and moderate the web technology aspect of things providing resources and opportunities for all that want them
  3. Provide a foundation for the movement and industry through supporting and advocating for members rather than an umbrella organization dictating, defining and restricting what coworking is and who should be included (inclusive vs exclusive).
    From a website perspective, there’s so many resources out there that O.C. runs/moderates. I believe it would really help to establish a coherent brand unifying it all and making O.C. appear like a more reliable authority on coworking.

After giving it some thought, I believe the main open coworking website should keep in mind that people are going to be going there any of the following purposes

  1. I am curious about coworking
  2. I am new to coworking
  3. I am a coworking space that needs resources
  4. I want to directly connect with other space owners and representatives
  5. I want to contribute / brag / tell a story
    Thinking of how O.C. can step up to provide a really clear direction for people to solve problems easily and encourage and facilitate collaboration on a grander scale… that would be awesome.

Final thought: 24 hour Slackathon on Open Coworking some time next week. Who’s in??

Melissa Geissinger

President & COO at WIMP and WIMPspace

Global Collaboration Partner at Open Coworking

@misswimp

···

On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 5:30:47 AM UTC-7, Jean - Baptiste Kattie wrote:

Hi Jeannine,

Thank you very much for your initiative. My name is Jean Baptiste Kattie. I’m the Business Development of Africa Outsourcing here in Senegal. I abm very happy of this kind of talk. For me, I think it’s better to have a Global open Organization where anybody can communicate about the opportunities. Our main objective is to success on our project, so we have to advertise more on this group and why not have a partnership between Coworking Spaces in the world
On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 8:30:07 AM UTC, Jeannine wrote:

Open Coworking is a movement. It is the community of coworking spaces all over the world, working in many different languages. WHat we all share is that we have all committed to the same core values: Collaboration, Openness, Community, Accessibility, and Sustainability

We maintain this Google Group. We also maintain:

We work with the Network hub on the Global Coworking Visa Map.

Open Coworking has grown up as the need arose, and was only formally organized a couple of years ago. In 2012, Jacob Sayles took it on and created a nonprofit organization to manage all of the above. At that time we were very excited that we had reached a huge milestone: 1,000 coworking spaces worldwide!

There are now….more than that. Ahem.

So recently, he handed the reins of Open Coworking over to me. And it is time to talk about where we want to go with it. Organizations tend to naturally emerge around a community’s needs and while I am in a great position to get feedback about those needs, a number of people find it to be high time we talked about what we want to do. And where we want to go.

Is it time to get formal with Open Coworking?

This is an all-volunteer movement. And as some of you know, we have been working on a reorganization of the WIki Team for about a half year. We have grown in that time to a team of 65 volunteers worldwide. As a larger, worldwide coworking community, we seem to spontaneously have this conversation every 5 years or so. But a majority of the people now involved in coworking were I think not here for the last one. So it’s time to open up the discussion again I think.

Here is where we are:

We have me, I am still in for organizing Open Coworking, in Oosterhout, the Netherlands.

We have Oren Salomon in Texas USA, busy with establishing a curated Open Coworking community directory based on a map.

There’s our social media, run by Beth Buczynski in Colorado, USA.

There are the Wiki Associates and Regional Partners, listed on the Wiki.

There’s the Global Coworking blog, run by Melissa Geissinger, who is also giving us a much needed facelift (see below for screenshots)

There are a number of other projects and idea which we have been approached to take part in or contribute to.

The projects I hear most about people wanting are:

  1. a mentoring program, space-to-space; 2) a mentoring program, network to network, for coworking communities setting up local networks;
  1. an overhaul of the Coworking Visa;
  1. a marketplace, coworker to coworker.
  1. a best practices “kit” for spaces at different points in the growth curve: starting out, mature and growing, and even end stage. There is also much interest in a best practices “kit” or discussion group for what we can rural coworking, that is, models for coworking in locations other than large cities and also for coworking in specific sectors: retail, hospitality.

I signed on to maintain the Wiki and serve the community where I could and that is what I intend to keep doing.

Here is what I want from you

I want to know what you think. I want to know what you would like to see from Open Coworking. I want you to take part in this conversation.

I also want you to help us get the word out that the conversation is taking place. With your social media, within your communities and within your cities, as soon as the discussion goes up I would like for you to share the word.

We can continue to keep on as we are keeping on: the organization as it is now is sufficient to maintain the Blog, the Wiki, and this group.

It is not sufficient if what the community wants is for Open Coworking to more actively organize and advocate and communicate with the outside world.

Coworking without Borders, the Coworking Visa, and the new Coworking Map have none of them gotten the kind of support they deserve, simply because we lack the reliable resources to support them. The spam problem on the Wiki has been largely cleared up (hurray!) but it is in many areas out of date and needs to be reorganized.

The organization itself should not be a problem;

We are in a unique position as a community to add to the development of Coworking. The real question before the house is this:

  1. Do we want a Global Open Coworking Organization?
  1. What would you like to see it do?
  1. How can we best do this?

I welcome and value your thoughts.

Cheers,

Jeannine

Melissa,

Whom does coworking serve? What are the benefits of "Open Coworking" to them?

There is an inherent tension between building a sense of community and open coworking to consider. We thought we'd handle it with an "Open Studio" and a "Resident Studio". But after a year in business, to my surprise, the "Open Studio" didn't grow as quickly as the "Resident Studio". In fact, the "Open Studio" is most likely occupied by folks who treat the space as "home" just as much as the "residents" do.

So I wonder if "Open Coworking" is more of a benefit to coworking space owners than members? In other words, a central place for content about coworking for the "uninitiated" and a map of spaces removes the burden to the individual owner of marketing "at the top of the funnel". A central place for sharing ideas about operations, community building, etc. is also of value to "owners". The annual meeting (is GCUC separate or a part of this open coworking initiative?) is a place for meeting vendors and expanding horizons.

There's my 2 cents.
K-

Open Coworking is a movement. It is the community of coworking spaces all over the world, working in many different languages. WHat we all share is that we have all committed to the same core values: Collaboration, Openness, Community, Accessibility, and Sustainability

We maintain this Google Group. We also maintain:

We work with the Network hub on the Global Coworking Visa Map.

Open Coworking has grown up as the need arose, and was only formally organized a couple of years ago. In 2012, Jacob Sayles took it on and created a nonprofit organization to manage all of the above. At that time we were very excited that we had reached a huge milestone: 1,000 coworking spaces worldwide!

There are now….more than that. Ahem.

So recently, he handed the reins of Open Coworking over to me. And it is time to talk about where we want to go with it. Organizations tend to naturally emerge around a community’s needs and while I am in a great position to get feedback about those needs, a number of people find it to be high time we talked about what we want to do. And where we want to go.

Is it time to get formal with Open Coworking?

This is an all-volunteer movement. And as some of you know, we have been working on a reorganization of the WIki Team for about a half year. We have grown in that time to a team of 65 volunteers worldwide. As a larger, worldwide coworking community, we seem to spontaneously have this conversation every 5 years or so. But a majority of the people now involved in coworking were I think not here for the last one. So it’s time to open up the discussion again I think.

Here is where we are:

We have me, I am still in for organizing Open Coworking, in Oosterhout, the Netherlands.

We have Oren Salomon in Texas USA, busy with establishing a curated Open Coworking community directory based on a map.

There’s our social media, run by Beth Buczynski in Colorado, USA.

There are the Wiki Associates and Regional Partners, listed on the Wiki.

There’s the Global Coworking blog, run by Melissa Geissinger, who is also giving us a much needed facelift (see below for screenshots)

There are a number of other projects and idea which we have been approached to take part in or contribute to.

The projects I hear most about people wanting are:

  1. a mentoring program, space-to-space; 2) a mentoring program, network to network, for coworking communities setting up local networks;
  1. an overhaul of the Coworking Visa;
  1. a marketplace, coworker to coworker.
  1. a best practices “kit” for spaces at different points in the growth curve: starting out, mature and growing, and even end stage. There is also much interest in a best practices “kit” or discussion group for what we can rural coworking, that is, models for coworking in locations other than large cities and also for coworking in specific sectors: retail, hospitality.

I signed on to maintain the Wiki and serve the community where I could and that is what I intend to keep doing.

Here is what I want from you

I want to know what you think. I want to know what you would like to see from Open Coworking. I want you to take part in this conversation.

I also want you to help us get the word out that the conversation is taking place. With your social media, within your communities and within your cities, as soon as the discussion goes up I would like for you to share the word.

We can continue to keep on as we are keeping on: the organization as it is now is sufficient to maintain the Blog, the Wiki, and this group.

It is not sufficient if what the community wants is for Open Coworking to more actively organize and advocate and communicate with the outside world.

Coworking without Borders, the Coworking Visa, and the new Coworking Map have none of them gotten the kind of support they deserve, simply because we lack the reliable resources to support them. The spam problem on the Wiki has been largely cleared up (hurray!) but it is in many areas out of date and needs to be reorganized.

The organization itself should not be a problem;

We are in a unique position as a community to add to the development of Coworking. The real question before the house is this:

  1. Do we want a Global Open Coworking Organization?
  1. What would you like to see it do?
  1. How can we best do this?

I welcome and value your thoughts.

Cheers,

Jeannine

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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···

On Jun 30, 2015 1:30 AM, “Jeannine” [email protected] wrote:

Hey Katherine,

Thanks for your thoughts. I think it’s a perfect reaction because it shows that there are two different ways of interpreting what Open Coworking means to people. As I see it, the organization itself is meant to be a representation of and a voice for the industry and the movement, provide resources and platforms for coworking space owners and facilitators, and the coworking map is going to be the first big thing that bridges the gap to actual coworkers. It’s not meant to promote an open door policy or provide other rules or guidelines for spaces to implement into their business plan.

M

···

On Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 3:57:54 AM UTC-7, Katherine Warman Kern wrote:

Melissa,
Whom does coworking serve? What are the benefits of “Open Coworking” to them?

There is an inherent tension between building a sense of community and open coworking to consider. We thought we’d handle it with an “Open Studio” and a “Resident Studio”. But after a year in business, to my surprise, the “Open Studio” didn’t grow as quickly as the “Resident Studio”. In fact, the “Open Studio” is most likely occupied by folks who treat the space as “home” just as much as the “residents” do.

So I wonder if “Open Coworking” is more of a benefit to coworking space owners than members? In other words, a central place for content about coworking for the “uninitiated” and a map of spaces removes the burden to the individual owner of marketing “at the top of the funnel”. A central place for sharing ideas about operations, community building, etc. is also of value to “owners”. The annual meeting (is GCUC separate or a part of this open coworking initiative?) is a place for meeting vendors and expanding horizons.

There’s my 2 cents.
K-

Hello Everyone,

First and foremost thanks to everyone who gave us feedback on the 10 Year
Coworking Anniversary. We also have completed the master flyer template, tee
design, and the "I Love Coworking" stickers.

Find all the source files here:
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B_QbETsalISEQlNkdjRJRnladlU&usp=shar
ing

We will start registering folks for Coworking Week this weekend, so if you
are a space owner or manager, and your planning an event for Coworking Week,
please email us your event details so we can add it to the eventbrite page,
and to the main Coworking Week website http://www.coworkingweek.com

All you need to do to participate is offer a free day pass to Coworking Week
ticket holders, and BTW, we are NOT charging for Coworking Week tickets,
this year is all sponsor supported.

Please email your event details to Yasemin at: [email protected]

We created all the marketing materials for the community, all we ask in
return is that you use these materials to grow your business, and thus help
expand the global coworking community.

For those who don't want to go through the trouble of finding a local
printer to have shirts printed for your members, for only $15 they can get
one from our Tee Spring campaign here:
http://teespring.com/coworking-week-2015

We are also looking for volunteers to help with Coworking Week, so please
email us if you or any of your members are interested in being a part of the
organizing team, or sponsoring, please email us at [email protected]

Kind regards,
Toby Morning

···

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Citizen Space
Direct: 415-501-9155
Skype: citizenspace
http://www.citizenspace.us
Twitter: http://twitter.com/citizenspace
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/citizenspace
"A Nicer Place to Work"

Thanks for this exploration. As part of Open Coworking, I would value regular check-ins and phone and in-person talk time on specific topics with people who own and manage coworking businesses with similarities to mine. I've been part of small groups (up to 14 people) that meet each week at the same time, with similarities between our businesses and shared interest in actionable learning. I'd like to be in a group with other coworking owner-managers where:
- the business is talked about transparently in a safe space
- the business pays at least a living wage to at least one person full-time
- the values defined previously by Steve King and others on this group for what is coworking are honored
- the coworking places in the group have existed at least 1 year and the people in the group are passionate about learning and building vision somehow for their place and community.
- we meet for at least 10 weeks, an hour each week, and participants are on the calls at least 7 out of the 10 calls.
- there could be a text to read or topics to discuss for each call, where we share what we're working on and get support for, and relate with, our goals.

I would be open to facilitating that group and open to others facilitating instead. It would need at least 6 people.

Alex Linsker, Collective Agency business owner
(503) 517-6900 office | (503) 369-9174 mobile
322 NW Sixth Ave, Suite 200 | Portland, Oregon 97209

Jeannine, I am grateful for your taking charge on this and sharing your thoughts with the group!

Ultimately, I think a lot of this comes down to what you and the other OC leaders want to be spending your time and energy on. Does the development of a more substantial organization sound exciting, or intimidating?

The kind of unification Melissa talks about could help set up the movement to remain healthy for a long time to come. I can imagine something that plays a roughly equivalent role to the NAACP; a champion of a movement it does not itself control.

I could see OC carrying on in its current lightweight form, achieving some of what you and Melissa have envisioned, but only as far as volunteer resources can take it.

I could also see OC raising money to hire people who could work to achieve greater progress towards these goals and more.

I'm personally interested in the latter, but fine with the former as well.

I will say this: while the members of this movement have done well to find each other and continue to maintain a strong sense of culture and camaraderie, there are also a ton of people working in places that they think are coworking spaces who have no idea any of us even exist. I think there is a tremendous opportunity for the people who stand for the values behind this movement to take a more prominent role in showing others what is possible when you build not just a shared office facility but a truly connected community of peers.

Maybe it's the New Yorker in me, but I don't see anything you've mentioned as being too ambitious. I think we could go much further.

As to the specific things mentioned, I like seeing OC focusing on platforms like this group, the blog, wiki, map, visa, etc. I have a harder time envisioning how the mentorship efforts fit in. I see OC focusing on maintaining things that empower people to create things and connect with each other.

I'm excited to see where it goes from here!

Tony

···

On Jul 2, 2015, at 1:38 PM, Alex Linsker <[email protected]> wrote:

Thanks for this exploration. As part of Open Coworking, I would value regular check-ins and phone and in-person talk time on specific topics with people who own and manage coworking businesses with similarities to mine. I've been part of small groups (up to 14 people) that meet each week at the same time, with similarities between our businesses and shared interest in actionable learning. I'd like to be in a group with other coworking owner-managers where:
- the business is talked about transparently in a safe space
- the business pays at least a living wage to at least one person full-time
- the values defined previously by Steve King and others on this group for what is coworking are honored
- the coworking places in the group have existed at least 1 year and the people in the group are passionate about learning and building vision somehow for their place and community.
- we meet for at least 10 weeks, an hour each week, and participants are on the calls at least 7 out of the 10 calls.
- there could be a text to read or topics to discuss for each call, where we share what we're working on and get support for, and relate with, our goals.

I would be open to facilitating that group and open to others facilitating instead. It would need at least 6 people.

Alex Linsker, Collective Agency business owner
(503) 517-6900 office | (503) 369-9174 mobile
322 NW Sixth Ave, Suite 200 | Portland, Oregon 97209

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Hi, Jean Baptiste!

I agree with you that it is very important that Open Coworking continue to provide ways for people to connect with each other, both the coworkers themselves and the coworking spaces. This group works very well for some things, but for deeper colllaboration and so on I think folks would like to see more of it, and in different places as well.

We have got the Coworking Visa, which was originally thought up as a way for people to share all over the world, but it quickly became difficult to work with and has not been updated as it shuld be I think to match up with how people cowork now. So Will Bennis came up with Coworking Without Borders which was the next step in that process. And now I think everyone agrees that it is time to really dig into this partnership/sharing idea across the wrld; but to do that we really need t focus n it, how it should look and how we can spread the word.

A lot of people are pursuing this idea of sharing coworking spaces right now, and several are doing a good job of it. If we want to do it as a community we could certainly partner with some of them. Or we coould set up out own thing. We have to have a look at the issue and the need and see how we can best help and not get in each other’s way.

And to do that, as you know from your experience in your field, we need either 1) time or 2) money or both.

So that’s what this conversation is about, to see what the interest is.

I thanks you for your time and thoughts, and hope to hear from you some more!

···

On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 2:30:47 PM UTC+2, Jean - Baptiste Kattie wrote:

Hi Jeannine,

Thank you very much for your initiative. My name is Jean Baptiste Kattie. I’m the Business Development of Africa Outsourcing here in Senegal. I abm very happy of this kind of talk. For me, I think it’s better to have a Global open Organization where anybody can communicate about the opportunities. Our main objective is to success on our project, so we have to advertise more on this group and why not have a partnership between Coworking Spaces in the world
On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 8:30:07 AM UTC, Jeannine wrote:

Open Coworking is a movement. It is the community of coworking spaces all over the world, working in many different languages. WHat we all share is that we have all committed to the same core values: Collaboration, Openness, Community, Accessibility, and Sustainability

We maintain this Google Group. We also maintain:

We work with the Network hub on the Global Coworking Visa Map.

Open Coworking has grown up as the need arose, and was only formally organized a couple of years ago. In 2012, Jacob Sayles took it on and created a nonprofit organization to manage all of the above. At that time we were very excited that we had reached a huge milestone: 1,000 coworking spaces worldwide!

There are now….more than that. Ahem.

So recently, he handed the reins of Open Coworking over to me. And it is time to talk about where we want to go with it. Organizations tend to naturally emerge around a community’s needs and while I am in a great position to get feedback about those needs, a number of people find it to be high time we talked about what we want to do. And where we want to go.

Is it time to get formal with Open Coworking?

This is an all-volunteer movement. And as some of you know, we have been working on a reorganization of the WIki Team for about a half year. We have grown in that time to a team of 65 volunteers worldwide. As a larger, worldwide coworking community, we seem to spontaneously have this conversation every 5 years or so. But a majority of the people now involved in coworking were I think not here for the last one. So it’s time to open up the discussion again I think.

Here is where we are:

We have me, I am still in for organizing Open Coworking, in Oosterhout, the Netherlands.

We have Oren Salomon in Texas USA, busy with establishing a curated Open Coworking community directory based on a map.

There’s our social media, run by Beth Buczynski in Colorado, USA.

There are the Wiki Associates and Regional Partners, listed on the Wiki.

There’s the Global Coworking blog, run by Melissa Geissinger, who is also giving us a much needed facelift (see below for screenshots)

There are a number of other projects and idea which we have been approached to take part in or contribute to.

The projects I hear most about people wanting are:

  1. a mentoring program, space-to-space; 2) a mentoring program, network to network, for coworking communities setting up local networks;
  1. an overhaul of the Coworking Visa;
  1. a marketplace, coworker to coworker.
  1. a best practices “kit” for spaces at different points in the growth curve: starting out, mature and growing, and even end stage. There is also much interest in a best practices “kit” or discussion group for what we can rural coworking, that is, models for coworking in locations other than large cities and also for coworking in specific sectors: retail, hospitality.

I signed on to maintain the Wiki and serve the community where I could and that is what I intend to keep doing.

Here is what I want from you

I want to know what you think. I want to know what you would like to see from Open Coworking. I want you to take part in this conversation.

I also want you to help us get the word out that the conversation is taking place. With your social media, within your communities and within your cities, as soon as the discussion goes up I would like for you to share the word.

We can continue to keep on as we are keeping on: the organization as it is now is sufficient to maintain the Blog, the Wiki, and this group.

It is not sufficient if what the community wants is for Open Coworking to more actively organize and advocate and communicate with the outside world.

Coworking without Borders, the Coworking Visa, and the new Coworking Map have none of them gotten the kind of support they deserve, simply because we lack the reliable resources to support them. The spam problem on the Wiki has been largely cleared up (hurray!) but it is in many areas out of date and needs to be reorganized.

The organization itself should not be a problem;

We are in a unique position as a community to add to the development of Coworking. The real question before the house is this:

  1. Do we want a Global Open Coworking Organization?
  1. What would you like to see it do?
  1. How can we best do this?

I welcome and value your thoughts.

Cheers,

Jeannine

My own coworking space is entirely pivate, we only have non-members in on a very occasional basis. And I know that when I made that decision I was very worried about whether they would throw me out of Open Coworking. Because that is of course closed.

So I of course brought it to this group and it turns out that openness is the least clear of the values, prbably because of a certain amount of founder bias. The original people involved in open coworking were mostly in IT and they think of openness as in, open source code. Not as in, anybody can come in. Though in many spaces that is true also.

To unpack that a little, openness includes ideas like transparency of operation and the ability for the coworkers to make their space, their commnity, what they want it to be. My coworkers bring in their own furniture, decorations, pictures, whatever, and may use the space in any way they like (assuming compliance with building codes). We had a circus once. We had a yoga class once. It’s a tabula rasa office, and the coworkers get to color it in.

That’s what Openness means. (They didn’t throw me out of Open Coworking. Yet.) Here’s Alex Hillman on the subject

You are right, Open Coworking as a community has always been dominated by space owners. Or as long as I have been around anyway. And the dicussion and prjects tend to focus there also. Though we do have several very dedicated coworkers on the Wiki who maintain the listings for their cities.

So while coworkers are always welcome, as are space managers, I think it is indeed correct to say that the group is dominated by owners.

I thanks you for your time and thoughts, and hope to hear from you some more!

···

Hi Toby,

Did you mean to put this in its own thread?

I think it certainly deserves one.

If you meant to put it here, I would be pleased to check with the Volunteers on the Wiki to see if they would liek to help, and I think it is fair to say that we would be interested in working with you on any kind of Coworking Day projects.

Drop me an email!

···

Hi, Alex,

This is the kind of initiative I see a good bit of interest in, I would mentally file it under “mentoring” though it is peer mentoring I suppose.

And this is just the kind of thing that we as Open Coworking could facilitate, as a pilot project say, with enough you know, either 1) time or 2) money. As you note, someone has to identify the candidates, and somebody has to qualify them, get them together, lead the group itself, and report back on how it went so other peopl can learn from it.

I can certainly see its potential. The thing is, with the current projects we are about at the limit of our you know, 1) time and 2) money.

We can put it on the blog if you want to write an article; you can develop your ideas on the Wiki also. And of course this group seems to me a good place to explore finding thiose other folks.

I thank you for your time and thoughts, and hope to hear from you some more! (fixed that typo finally lol)

Cheers,

Jeannine

···

On Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 7:38:07 PM UTC+2, Alex Linsker wrote:

Thanks for this exploration. As part of Open Coworking, I would value regular check-ins and phone and in-person talk time on specific topics with people who own and manage coworking businesses with similarities to mine. I’ve been part of small groups (up to 14 people) that meet each week at the same time, with similarities between our businesses and shared interest in actionable learning. I’d like to be in a group with other coworking owner-managers where:

  • the business is talked about transparently in a safe space
  • the business pays at least a living wage to at least one person full-time
  • the values defined previously by Steve King and others on this group for what is coworking are honored
  • the coworking places in the group have existed at least 1 year and the people in the group are passionate about learning and building vision somehow for their place and community.
  • we meet for at least 10 weeks, an hour each week, and participants are on the calls at least 7 out of the 10 calls.
  • there could be a text to read or topics to discuss for each call, where we share what we’re working on and get support for, and relate with, our goals.
    I would be open to facilitating that group and open to others facilitating instead. It would need at least 6 people.

Alex Linsker, Collective Agency business owner
(503) 517-6900 office | (503) 369-9174 mobile
322 NW Sixth Ave, Suite 200 | Portland, Oregon 97209

Hiya Tony,

I think pretty nearly everybody at OC wants to see the group develop into a more substantial organization. I think almost nobody is really crazy about Just Another Membership Organization with a Paywall. Nevertheless, I think everyone agrees that we are doing as much as we can do with what we have.

I myself am fond of the idea of a cooperative structure (co-op), where instead of membership fees people actually buy into the organization. I think it is the fairest way and also the most flexible internationally speaking – that is what it was invented for after all.

We can go much further, I agree. But not with our present resources. We are I think at the outside of what we can accomplish on the respources we presently have. And we have done a lot with what we have. But it is not a patch on what we could do, I agree with that 100%

As for mentorship: we as Open Coworking know …if not everybody, then quite a lot of people. And a lot of the people interested in mentorship come through our doI think with a very little interest and effort we coould facilitate mentor relationships as well as coaching and so on.

I also see a number of initiatives launched and think, damn, I wish they had let me know, because so and so is also doing such and such, and they really should know about each other.

···

On Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 11:49:07 PM UTC+2, Tony Bacigalupo wrote:

Jeannine, I am grateful for your taking charge on this and sharing your thoughts with the group!

Ultimately, I think a lot of this comes down to what you and the other OC leaders want to be spending your time and energy on. Does the development of a more substantial organization sound exciting, or intimidating?

The kind of unification Melissa talks about could help set up the movement to remain healthy for a long time to come. I can imagine something that plays a roughly equivalent role to the NAACP; a champion of a movement it does not itself control.

I could see OC carrying on in its current lightweight form, achieving some of what you and Melissa have envisioned, but only as far as volunteer resources can take it.

I could also see OC raising money to hire people who could work to achieve greater progress towards these goals and more.

I’m personally interested in the latter, but fine with the former as well.

I will say this: while the members of this movement have done well to find each other and continue to maintain a strong sense of culture and camaraderie, there are also a ton of people working in places that they think are coworking spaces who have no idea any of us even exist. I think there is a tremendous opportunity for the people who stand for the values behind this movement to take a more prominent role in showing others what is possible when you build not just a shared office facility but a truly connected community of peers.

Maybe it’s the New Yorker in me, but I don’t see anything you’ve mentioned as being too ambitious. I think we could go much further.

As to the specific things mentioned, I like seeing OC focusing on platforms like this group, the blog, wiki, map, visa, etc. I have a harder time envisioning how the mentorship efforts fit in. I see OC focusing on maintaining things that empower people to create things and connect with each other.

I’m excited to see where it goes from here!

Tony

On Jul 2, 2015, at 1:38 PM, Alex Linsker [email protected] wrote:

Thanks for this exploration. As part of Open Coworking, I would value regular check-ins and phone and in-person talk time on specific topics with people who own and manage coworking businesses with similarities to mine. I’ve been part of small groups (up to 14 people) that meet each week at the same time, with similarities between our businesses and shared interest in actionable learning. I’d like to be in a group with other coworking owner-managers where:

  • the business is talked about transparently in a safe space
  • the business pays at least a living wage to at least one person full-time
  • the values defined previously by Steve King and others on this group for what is coworking are honored
  • the coworking places in the group have existed at least 1 year and the people in the group are passionate about learning and building vision somehow for their place and community.
  • we meet for at least 10 weeks, an hour each week, and participants are on the calls at least 7 out of the 10 calls.
  • there could be a text to read or topics to discuss for each call, where we share what we’re working on and get support for, and relate with, our goals.

I would be open to facilitating that group and open to others facilitating instead. It would need at least 6 people.

Alex Linsker, Collective Agency business owner

(503) 517-6900 office | (503) 369-9174 mobile

322 NW Sixth Ave, Suite 200 | Portland, Oregon 97209


Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Hi Toby!
We’re excited in Seattle for coworking week 2015.

We will start sending information for Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance events next week. I notice that the coworking week website still shows 2014?

Thank you!

Marnee

···

On Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 10:01:06 AM UTC-7, Citizen Space wrote:

Hello Everyone,

First and foremost thanks to everyone who gave us feedback on the 10 Year

Coworking Anniversary. We also have completed the master flyer template, tee

design, and the “I Love Coworking” stickers.

Find all the source files here:

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B_QbETsalISEQlNkdjRJRnladlU&usp=shar

ing

We will start registering folks for Coworking Week this weekend, so if you

are a space owner or manager, and your planning an event for Coworking Week,

please email us your event details so we can add it to the eventbrite page,

and to the main Coworking Week website http://www.coworkingweek.com

All you need to do to participate is offer a free day pass to Coworking Week

ticket holders, and BTW, we are NOT charging for Coworking Week tickets,

this year is all sponsor supported.

Please email your event details to Yasemin at: [email protected]

We created all the marketing materials for the community, all we ask in

return is that you use these materials to grow your business, and thus help

expand the global coworking community.

For those who don’t want to go through the trouble of finding a local

printer to have shirts printed for your members, for only $15 they can get

one from our Tee Spring campaign here:

http://teespring.com/coworking-week-2015

We are also looking for volunteers to help with Coworking Week, so please

email us if you or any of your members are interested in being a part of the

organizing team, or sponsoring, please email us at [email protected]

Kind regards,

Toby Morning


Citizen Space

Direct: 415-501-9155

Skype: citizenspace

http://www.citizenspace.us

Twitter: http://twitter.com/citizenspace

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/citizenspace

“A Nicer Place to Work”

Re: [Coworking] Re: Coworking Week 2015 Update
Hi Marnee,

Can we jump on a call Friday, would love to chat. I think we have a very awesome alliance to facilitate for the Seattle spaces, and would love to share.

Looking forward to speaking to you soon!

Kind regards,

Toby

···

On 7/8/15, 8:02 PM, “Marnee Chua” [email protected] wrote:

Hi Toby!

We’re excited in Seattle for coworking week 2015.

We will start sending information for Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance events next week. I notice that the coworking week website still shows 2014?

Thank you!

Marnee

On Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 10:01:06 AM UTC-7, Citizen Space wrote:

Hello Everyone,

First and foremost thanks to everyone who gave us feedback on the 10 Year

Coworking Anniversary. We also have completed the master flyer template, tee

design, and the “I Love Coworking” stickers.

Find all the source files here:

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B_QbETsalISEQlNkdjRJRnladlU&usp=shar

ing

We will start registering folks for Coworking Week this weekend, so if you

are a space owner or manager, and your planning an event for Coworking Week,

please email us your event details so we can add it to the eventbrite page,

and to the main Coworking Week website http://www.coworkingweek.com

All you need to do to participate is offer a free day pass to Coworking Week

ticket holders, and BTW, we are NOT charging for Coworking Week tickets,

this year is all sponsor supported.

Please email your event details to Yasemin at: [email protected] <javascript:>

We created all the marketing materials for the community, all we ask in

return is that you use these materials to grow your business, and thus help

expand the global coworking community.

For those who don’t want to go through the trouble of finding a local

printer to have shirts printed for your members, for only $15 they can get

one from our Tee Spring campaign here:

http://teespring.com/coworking-week-2015

We are also looking for volunteers to help with Coworking Week, so please

email us if you or any of your members are interested in being a part of the

organizing team, or sponsoring, please email us at [email protected] <javascript:>

Kind regards,

Toby Morning

Thanks a lot Jeannine for such a thorough and we'll crafted email and for once again taking the lead . Thanks also to all the rest for your thoughtful contributions.

For the discussion about the coworking week I would like to suggest a new and separate discussion, so that things don't get mixed up.

You can count on me to work and on the support of Betacowork and the European Coworking Assembly.

I would suggest a task for the first year that we can discuss in the coming coworking conferences too: write our definition of coworking and use it in Wikipedia articles and everywhere. We already had a few discussion about this in the Google Group and it lead to the one we are using for the Coworking Week Belgium and the European Coworking Assembly: http://coworkingbelgium.be/2014/05/22/belgium-coworking-spaces-map/ (link to original group discussion in text). Not all Collaborative and shared working spaces are coworking spaces. If we dilute the core and the target too much we will be irrelevant, and we want to have impact.

Regarding the target, I think that for most of the properties we are talking about space operators. Coworkers can benefit of the wiki and spalecially the visa, but mixing everybody in the Google group only ads noise, making it harder to contribute, help and have meaningful conversations. If people absolutely want to have coworkers discussing, it should be in a different group that could be also created and managed by Open Coworking, but I think this is too much work for little value. I think that for them it is much more interesting finding out about the coworking visa: creating personal links around the world will do much more than any online experience (as we all have experienced in the conferences, and as a former AFS participant I reckon).

An idea for the visa would be to add a voluntary longer exchange, that could be as easy to signal as adding an asterisk by the name). I was thinking about one week.

When it comes to mentoring we do a lot in the conferences and through the connections we make there. On top of it there's Andy's seminars and podcast, the Coworking Handbook, many people doing consulting, and other ressources. I don't think personalized free tutoring is needed, but I would love to participate in some scheduled open hangouts.

It is important to have a legal structure with motivated and hard working people in the board to move forward and to manage some visit financial operations, such as renewing the domain name registration and taking he members fees.

Those that want to be part of the organization should pay an annual fee. Ressources can still be open, but the more committed and those that walk the walk should decide.

The cooperative idea sounds good specially if it is a non profit. You are the lawyer, I trust you know well this :slight_smile: What is important to me is that the people taking the lead are not personnally liable, as it would be the case without any kind of organization. Limited liability please :slight_smile: If a new entity is created, the old one should transfer assets to the new one.

It is important that he ownership of he domains, group, and the wiki is transfered to whatever legal entity we use. I've seen too many cases where not knowing who had to renew the domains and inaction have ended up in losing them. They are too valuable to loose them.

To participate you don't need membership, but some things have to be limited to the members, who have a higher engagement and commitment. And basic commitment equals annual fee :slight_smile:

Cheers,

Ramon Suarez
Founder Betacowork.com
Author CoworkingHandbook.com
President CoworkingAssembly.eu
Founder CoworkingBelgium.be
And coworking apasionado :slight_smile:

Thanks Jeannine, Toby and Ramon for the great lead and round up of information to help us engage with Coworking Week 2015.

We’d recently begun chatting at Workfrom.co about how we can best participate and would love any feedback here. As a website and community for remote workers, we commonly facilitate coworking, whether that’s at a dedicated coworking space or out “in the wild” at a cafe, park or elsewhere. We also showcase the places people cowork and the people who work in those spaces. We’d love to help promote the week, events, people and in that sense be a media sponsor. In looking at the sponsors page, I couldn’t find information on who to contact and thought that someone here would know?

Cheers,

Jewel Mlnarik

Founder, Workfrom.co

Workfrom Anywhere. Explore Everywhere.

@workfromco | @juellez

···

On Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 4:59:17 AM UTC-7, Ramon Suarez wrote:

Thanks a lot Jeannine for such a thorough and we’ll crafted email and for once again taking the lead . Thanks also to all the rest for your thoughtful contributions.

For the discussion about the coworking week I would like to suggest a new and separate discussion, so that things don’t get mixed up.

You can count on me to work and on the support of Betacowork and the European Coworking Assembly.

I would suggest a task for the first year that we can discuss in the coming coworking conferences too: write our definition of coworking and use it in Wikipedia articles and everywhere. We already had a few discussion about this in the Google Group and it lead to the one we are using for the Coworking Week Belgium and the European Coworking Assembly: http://coworkingbelgium.be/2014/05/22/belgium-coworking-spaces-map/ (link to original group discussion in text). Not all Collaborative and shared working spaces are coworking spaces. If we dilute the core and the target too much we will be irrelevant, and we want to have impact.

Regarding the target, I think that for most of the properties we are talking about space operators. Coworkers can benefit of the wiki and spalecially the visa, but mixing everybody in the Google group only ads noise, making it harder to contribute, help and have meaningful conversations. If people absolutely want to have coworkers discussing, it should be in a different group that could be also created and managed by Open Coworking, but I think this is too much work for little value. I think that for them it is much more interesting finding out about the coworking visa: creating personal links around the world will do much more than any online experience (as we all have experienced in the conferences, and as a former AFS participant I reckon).

An idea for the visa would be to add a voluntary longer exchange, that could be as easy to signal as adding an asterisk by the name). I was thinking about one week.

When it comes to mentoring we do a lot in the conferences and through the connections we make there. On top of it there’s Andy’s seminars and podcast, the Coworking Handbook, many people doing consulting, and other ressources. I don’t think personalized free tutoring is needed, but I would love to participate in some scheduled open hangouts.

It is important to have a legal structure with motivated and hard working people in the board to move forward and to manage some visit financial operations, such as renewing the domain name registration and taking he members fees.

Those that want to be part of the organization should pay an annual fee. Ressources can still be open, but the more committed and those that walk the walk should decide.

The cooperative idea sounds good specially if it is a non profit. You are the lawyer, I trust you know well this :slight_smile: What is important to me is that the people taking the lead are not personnally liable, as it would be the case without any kind of organization. Limited liability please :slight_smile: If a new entity is created, the old one should transfer assets to the new one.

It is important that he ownership of he domains, group, and the wiki is transfered to whatever legal entity we use. I’ve seen too many cases where not knowing who had to renew the domains and inaction have ended up in losing them. They are too valuable to loose them.

To participate you don’t need membership, but some things have to be limited to the members, who have a higher engagement and commitment. And basic commitment equals annual fee :slight_smile:

Cheers,

Ramon Suarez

Founder Betacowork.com
Author CoworkingHandbook.com

President CoworkingAssembly.eu

Founder CoworkingBelgium.be
And coworking apasionado :slight_smile:

Hi, Jewel!

Citizen Space has taken the lead on organizing Cworking Week again this year, they do a great job too!

To connect as a sponsor you send an email to [email protected].

Events and celebrations at coworking spaces are registered with the website by contacting [email protected] .

Cheers,

Jeannine

···

On Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 7:23:14 PM UTC+2, Jewel Mlnarik wrote:

Thanks Jeannine, Toby and Ramon for the great lead and round up of information to help us engage with Coworking Week 2015.

We’d recently begun chatting at Workfrom.co about how we can best participate and would love any feedback here. As a website and community for remote workers, we commonly facilitate coworking, whether that’s at a dedicated coworking space or out “in the wild” at a cafe, park or elsewhere. We also showcase the places people cowork and the people who work in those spaces. We’d love to help promote the week, events, people and in that sense be a media sponsor. In looking at the sponsors page, I couldn’t find information on who to contact and thought that someone here would know?

Cheers,

Jewel Mlnarik

Founder, Workfrom.co

Workfrom Anywhere. Explore Everywhere.

@workfromco | @juellez

On Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 4:59:17 AM UTC-7, Ramon Suarez wrote:

Thanks a lot Jeannine for such a thorough and we’ll crafted email and for once again taking the lead . Thanks also to all the rest for your thoughtful contributions.

For the discussion about the coworking week I would like to suggest a new and separate discussion, so that things don’t get mixed up.

You can count on me to work and on the support of Betacowork and the European Coworking Assembly.

I would suggest a task for the first year that we can discuss in the coming coworking conferences too: write our definition of coworking and use it in Wikipedia articles and everywhere. We already had a few discussion about this in the Google Group and it lead to the one we are using for the Coworking Week Belgium and the European Coworking Assembly: http://coworkingbelgium.be/2014/05/22/belgium-coworking-spaces-map/ (link to original group discussion in text). Not all Collaborative and shared working spaces are coworking spaces. If we dilute the core and the target too much we will be irrelevant, and we want to have impact.

Regarding the target, I think that for most of the properties we are talking about space operators. Coworkers can benefit of the wiki and spalecially the visa, but mixing everybody in the Google group only ads noise, making it harder to contribute, help and have meaningful conversations. If people absolutely want to have coworkers discussing, it should be in a different group that could be also created and managed by Open Coworking, but I think this is too much work for little value. I think that for them it is much more interesting finding out about the coworking visa: creating personal links around the world will do much more than any online experience (as we all have experienced in the conferences, and as a former AFS participant I reckon).

An idea for the visa would be to add a voluntary longer exchange, that could be as easy to signal as adding an asterisk by the name). I was thinking about one week.

When it comes to mentoring we do a lot in the conferences and through the connections we make there. On top of it there’s Andy’s seminars and podcast, the Coworking Handbook, many people doing consulting, and other ressources. I don’t think personalized free tutoring is needed, but I would love to participate in some scheduled open hangouts.

It is important to have a legal structure with motivated and hard working people in the board to move forward and to manage some visit financial operations, such as renewing the domain name registration and taking he members fees.

Those that want to be part of the organization should pay an annual fee. Ressources can still be open, but the more committed and those that walk the walk should decide.

The cooperative idea sounds good specially if it is a non profit. You are the lawyer, I trust you know well this :slight_smile: What is important to me is that the people taking the lead are not personnally liable, as it would be the case without any kind of organization. Limited liability please :slight_smile: If a new entity is created, the old one should transfer assets to the new one.

It is important that he ownership of he domains, group, and the wiki is transfered to whatever legal entity we use. I’ve seen too many cases where not knowing who had to renew the domains and inaction have ended up in losing them. They are too valuable to loose them.

To participate you don’t need membership, but some things have to be limited to the members, who have a higher engagement and commitment. And basic commitment equals annual fee :slight_smile:

Cheers,

Ramon Suarez

Founder Betacowork.com
Author CoworkingHandbook.com

President CoworkingAssembly.eu

Founder CoworkingBelgium.be
And coworking apasionado :slight_smile:

Re: [Coworking] Re: Coworking Week 2015 Update
Hi Jewel,

We are planning another conference call tomorrow, I will send out the details to the group later today. If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, you can always email me directly.

Kind regards

Toby

···

On 7/9/15, 10:23 AM, “Jewel Mlnarik” [email protected] wrote:

Thanks Jeannine, Toby and Ramon for the great lead and round up of information to help us engage with Coworking Week 2015.

We’d recently begun chatting at Workfrom.co http://Workfrom.co about how we can best participate and would love any feedback here. As a website and community for remote workers, we commonly facilitate coworking, whether that’s at a dedicated coworking space or out “in the wild” at a cafe, park or elsewhere. We also showcase the places people cowork and the people who work in those spaces. We’d love to help promote the week, events, people and in that sense be a media sponsor. In looking at the sponsors page, I couldn’t find information on who to contact and thought that someone here would know?

Cheers,

Jewel Mlnarik

Founder, Workfrom.co

Workfrom Anywhere. Explore Everywhere.

@workfromco http://twitter.com/workfromco | @juellez http://twitter.com/juellez

On Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 4:59:17 AM UTC-7, Ramon Suarez wrote:

Thanks a lot Jeannine for such a thorough and we’ll crafted email and for once again taking the lead . Thanks also to all the rest for your thoughtful contributions.

For the discussion about the coworking week I would like to suggest a new and separate discussion, so that things don’t get mixed up.

You can count on me to work and on the support of Betacowork and the European Coworking Assembly.

I would suggest a task for the first year that we can discuss in the coming coworking conferences too: write our definition of coworking and use it in Wikipedia articles and everywhere. We already had a few discussion about this in the Google Group and it lead to the one we are using for the Coworking Week Belgium and the European Coworking Assembly: http://coworkingbelgium.be/2014/05/22/belgium-coworking-spaces-map/ (link to original group discussion in text). Not all Collaborative and shared working spaces are coworking spaces. If we dilute the core and the target too much we will be irrelevant, and we want to have impact.

Regarding the target, I think that for most of the properties we are talking about space operators. Coworkers can benefit of the wiki and spalecially the visa, but mixing everybody in the Google group only ads noise, making it harder to contribute, help and have meaningful conversations. If people absolutely want to have coworkers discussing, it should be in a different group that could be also created and managed by Open Coworking, but I think this is too much work for little value. I think that for them it is much more interesting finding out about the coworking visa: creating personal links around the world will do much more than any online experience (as we all have experienced in the conferences, and as a former AFS participant I reckon).

An idea for the visa would be to add a voluntary longer exchange, that could be as easy to signal as adding an asterisk by the name). I was thinking about one week.

When it comes to mentoring we do a lot in the conferences and through the connections we make there. On top of it there’s Andy’s seminars and podcast, the Coworking Handbook, many people doing consulting, and other ressources. I don’t think personalized free tutoring is needed, but I would love to participate in some scheduled open hangouts.

It is important to have a legal structure with motivated and hard working people in the board to move forward and to manage some visit financial operations, such as renewing the domain name registration and taking he members fees.

Those that want to be part of the organization should pay an annual fee. Ressources can still be open, but the more committed and those that walk the walk should decide.

The cooperative idea sounds good specially if it is a non profit. You are the lawyer, I trust you know well this :slight_smile: What is important to me is that the people taking the lead are not personnally liable, as it would be the case without any kind of organization. Limited liability please :slight_smile: If a new entity is created, the old one should transfer assets to the new one.

It is important that he ownership of he domains, group, and the wiki is transfered to whatever legal entity we use. I’ve seen too many cases where not knowing who had to renew the domains and inaction have ended up in losing them. They are too valuable to loose them.

To participate you don’t need membership, but some things have to be limited to the members, who have a higher engagement and commitment. And basic commitment equals annual fee :slight_smile:

Cheers,

Ramon Suarez

Founder Betacowork.com

Author CoworkingHandbook.com

President CoworkingAssembly.eu

Founder CoworkingBelgium.be

And coworking apasionado :slight_smile: