Unveiling the Future of Flexible Workspaces: GCUC UK 2023 Recap

posted on November 8, 2023 by Emilie Lashmar

In the heart of London’s bustling business district, GCUC UK 2023 brought together over 200 professionals, speakers, sponsors, and partners for a transformative event at Convene, 22 Bishopsgate. The two-day conference, followed by coworking tours at various locations, showcased the passion, insights, and unique community spirit driving positive change in the coworking and flexible workspace industry.

GCUC UK 2023 Group Photo

Passion for Change: The event kicked off with a heartfelt thank you to the attendees for their passion for driving positive change in coworking and flexible workspaces. Acknowledging the contributions that make the industry thrive, the community at GCUC UK exemplified the dedication to creating a dynamic and evolving workspace landscape.


Our wonderful host Alex Young, Director of Projects

Exceptional Insights: A highlight of GCUC UK was the exceptional lineup of speakers, featuring both seasoned professionals and newcomers. Their insights into the evolving coworking landscape added richness to the community, providing a diverse perspective on the industry’s current and future trends.

Unique Community Spirit: The unique spirit of the coworking community was vividly alive at GCUC UK, with collaboration and connections forming the backbone of the event. The vibrant energy reflected the industry’s commitment to fostering meaningful relationships and collaborative efforts.


The Good, The Bad and The Brilliant: A Look at the UK Market

James Rankin and John Williams from The Instant Group

  • Flexibility in workplaces cannot be overstated
  • Impeccable service and strong brand identities are crucial
  • Growth potential lies beyond primary markets, especially in under-invested secondary markets


“Be More Pirate” with Alex Barker

Alex Barker of Be More Pirate

  • A revolutionary movement challenging existing norms in systems and business models
  • Alex Barker shared insights on embracing rebellious ideas and building a diverse community of modern pirates


Innovation, Impact & Income: The Coworking Equation

Keke Patissier CEO of Koho, Josie Baum MD of ARC Club, Vibushan Thirukumar CEO & Co-Founder, Oru Space, Yvonne Eruteya CFO, Huckletree and Jonathan Bevan CEO, Techspace

  • Keke delved into the intricacies of success in the coworking and flexible workspace industry with our panel
  • Attendees gained valuable insights into growth strategies, flexibility, sustainability, and profitability


Place Purpose

Joy Nazzari, Founder & Executive Chair, DNCO & Hamish Makgill

  • Joy Nazzari & Hamish Makgill held a Fireside Chat, redefining community in coworking, emphasising genuine commitment to social and environmental values
  • Honest conversations about the need to reclaim the term “community” for unity rather than mere marketing


Humans + Tech

Chris Weeks, CEO & Co-Founder and CEO, Bounce Technologies, Jessica Samson, General Manager of PLATF9RM and Justin Harley, Regional Director of Yardi

  • The panel discussed the role of AI within coworking
  • The session emphasised the importance of maintaining the ‘human’ element while harnessing technology for the greater good


This Must Be The Place: Community, Hospitality & Design

Danny Babington, Global Lead – Agent & Broker Partnerships at Mindspace, David Adeyinka Director of Revenue, Second Home, Natasha Guerra, CEO and Founder, Runway East and Olaide Oboh, Executive Director, Socius

  • Danny explored the intersection of community, hospitality, and design with our panel
  • The panellists discussed the importance of focusing on people and making spaces that people enjoy spending time in and want to return to. They talked about learning skills from the hotel industry to create a sense of hospitality in their real estate and commercial spaces.


Networking & Roundtables


Our networking session was hosted by Isabel Sachs of I LIKE NETWORKING with roundtable discussions on:

  • How To Cultivate Community – Lara Sheldrake
  • When are your PR moments? – Aceil Haddad
  • Solving your sales, marketing, operational process, and CRM problems – Lindsey Pickles
  • Your Team: Attraction & Retention – Lucy Pickavance
  • Approaching Sustainable Solutions – Tracy Wilson

This was a wonderful opportunity for our attendees to get to know one another, form new connections whilst exploring various topics within coworking.


The Rise of Niche Spaces

Steve Jude, CEO, NewFlex, Christina Disler, Founder / CEO, Werklab, Alex Pellew, Co-Founder & CXO, UNTIL, Shazia Mustafa, Founder, Third Door

  • Shazia Mustafa, founder of Third Door, led a panel exploring empowering environments tailored to specific needs, including NewFlex servicing landlords with their portfolio of brands, spaces for wellness and industry-specific hubs
  • The major insight gained from the panel discussion resonates strongly—being a provider of flexible access to facilities, whether it’s an office or a wellness facility like UNTIL, is instrumental in democratising access. This, in turn, fosters inclusivity and diversity.


Occupiers and Landlords Working Together

Liz Elam, Founder & Executive Producer of GCUC & Dan Higgison, Director, Development and Leasing, Greycoat Real Estate LLP

  • Liz Elam (Founder, GCUC) and Dan Higginson (Greycoat Real Estate) discussed collaboration between occupiers and landlords, highlighting shared expectations and mutual responsibilities.


2023 GCUC UK Team – Liz Elam, Tracy Wilson, Julie Cobb, Lizzy Kaplan, Nia Rangel, Emilie Lashmar & Stormy McBride


GCUC UK 2023 not only sparked new ideas but also laid the groundwork for actionable steps toward creating more diverse, sustainable, and adaptable workspaces. As the event concluded, attendees were reminded of their role in carrying forward these discussions and accommodating the diverse needs of the workforce. The future of flexible workspaces looks promising, thanks to the collective efforts of industry leaders, speakers, sponsors, and participants at GCUC UK 2023.

Continuing the Journey: As GCUC UK 2023 concluded, the call to continue the dialogue resonated. Attendees were encouraged to share takeaways, insights, and connect with others shaping the future of workspaces. Emilie Lashmar, Director and producer of GCUC UK encouraged further discussions, collaborations, or feedback, and emphasised the importance of ongoing engagement.


📸 Ashley Ford