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Revisiting Coworking’s Core Values


coworking-diversity-GCUC-UK

Two weeks ago, GCUC UK supported a community event run by Ouishare and the European Coworking Assembly at Huckletree West in London. The event was designed to instigate conversations about inclusion, diversity and accessibility in collaborative workspaces.

It was one in a series designed to activate conversations around the core values of coworking—values that were developed by people in the early days of the coworking movement. As the coworking industry continues to explode, it’s important that these core values of community, openness, collaboration, accessibility and sustainability not be forgotten.

Coworking Values

While the event was grounded in the core values of coworking, the ongoing conversation is alert to issues that are gathering the voice they deserve in business and society. For instance, Access Chat is one of the biggest chats on Twitter. The goal for each chat is to help people get a deeper understanding of how inclusion and diversity actually play out for each other in a workplace.

You can also contribute to the conversation around inclusivity and diversity in coworking in the Facebook group Creating Diverse and Inclusive Coworking Communities. The group was created to give coworking space operators and champions a platform to discuss how to ensure the coworking industry evolves as an inclusive place to work in, both as an operator and a member.

Founders and Coders Project

Founders and Coders takes a male-dominated industry and, using a coworking space, encourages people to mix, learn and move forward. The community in this particular project makes an effort to ensure that females grow the self-confidence, as well as the coding skills, to set off on their coding career.

Thoughts on Inclusion from Panelist Eric Asare, Managing Director of The Studio in Camden

“With the fundamental belief that coworking is set to grow and will establish itself more as the new way for professionals to work, it’s invaluable for space operators to understand that inclusion puts the theory and practice of diversity into action by creating an environment of involvement, respect, and connection.

The richness of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives are harnessed to generate business values. We cannot discriminate on all the ways we differ, as we are born with some of these differences and have no control over it.

It’s true that all coworking spaces need to be niched to sustain, but the choice of niche should be based on interest and skills, as these are preferences we can influence.”

We’ll catch up with the other panelists from the event over the next few weeks to get their thoughts on this and other important topics in coworking.

Find out more about the panelists and follow their projects here:

Claire Carpenter – Coworking Accelerator Network / Melting Pot (Edinburgh)
Ed Goodman – Cambridge Business Lounge/Freelance Heroes
Eric Asare – The Studio – Camden
Polly Robbins Co-Tech and Space4

We welcome your thoughts and interaction with these topics. Connect with us on Twitter or subscribe to our weekly email newsletter for more information. And keep an ear out for the next event in August!

By Bernie J. Mitchell. Photo: Martha McAlpine

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