In the past year the coworking world has grown measurably, both in numbers of spaces and in general population awareness. Starting with the first ever Global Coworking Unconference, organized by our friends at Loosecubes and held in Austin last March, we have had a chance to gather and form a real life community that reaches beyond our Twitter channels and the Google Group. We’ve seen many mobile and online tools pop up over the past year that allow people in search of community to find a place to work nearby. In October 30 people gathered for a space owner’s retreat in LA and discussed topics specific to our unique industry. Our spaces and members have received national press in almost every major news outlet including radio, television, print, and online media. Over 250 people attended the Coworking Europe Conference in Berlin in November and in January a small coalition of spaces launched LEXC which is the first formalized Coworking Visa program with a technology asset.
Whew! We have been busy haven’t we?
Now it’s almost time for the 2nd Global Coworking Unconference and thanks to Liz and her crew this year’s gathering is looking to be a fabulous meeting of many spectacular minds. The conference track is abundant with many speakers and panels discussing topics relevant for both new comers and veterans alike. The unconference will be filled with your brilliant ideas and I’m excited to learn, share and grow with all of you.
The unconference will be based on the traditional barcamp format and we will build the session schedule when we meet based on who’s in attendance that morning. We’ll follow the Open Space Technology norms:
1. Whoever comes is the right people …reminds participants that they don’t need the CEO and 100 people to get something done, you need people who care. And, absent the direction or control exerted in a traditional meeting, that’s who shows up in the various breakout sessions of an open-space meeting.
2. Whenever it starts is the right time …reminds participants that “spirit and creativity do not run on the clock.”
3. Wherever it happens is the right place. …reminds participants that space is opening everywhere all the time. Please be concious and aware. – Tahrir Square is one famous example.
4. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have …reminds participants that once something has happened, it’s done—and no amount of fretting, complaining or otherwise rehashing can change that. Move on.
5. When it’s over, it’s over …reminds participants that we never know how long it will take to resolve an issue, once raised, but that whenever the issue or work or conversation is finished, move on to the next thing. Don’t keep rehashing just because there’s 30 minutes left in the session. Do the work, not the time.
Although we will be building the sessions that day, I though it might be a good idea to grease the wheels of our minds a bit with a place to post session ideas ahead of time. Please check out this Google doc and feel free to add your ideas!
If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you should do so before the prices go up! As with all community events Liz’s team needs as much help as they can get with gathering the necessary money to make this year’s event a success. If you know of any likely sponsors have them contact Claire Rodriguez and she’ll hook them up with all of the important deets.
This year is going to be great! The only thing I’m left wondering is who’s buying the first round of drinks?