When we get together for GCUC, we tend to be people who are involved in the industry or movement of coworking. We tend to be space owners, service providers, researchers, or otherwise passionate leaders.
What’s missing from these conferences are the many reasons we care so much about this coworking thing – the people who comprise these coworking communities, filling them with the culture and meaning that makes them special.
This year at GCUC Canada, we’ll be bringing these two world together. We’ll be doing this by partnering with IndieCon, an unconference event in which independent workers share best practices, discuss common challenges, and form valuable bonds. IndieCon will be taking place in The Foundery Buildings on Saturday September 19, the day after GCUC Canada ends, with overlapping workshops taking place on September 18th.
The goal? Give people in the coworking movement a chance to connect directly with the people who they are here to serve, and give the people a chance to gain better insight into how they are a part of something much bigger than themselves or their own local spaces.
Right now, members of coworking communities have little direct connection to the global movement they’re a part of. This partnership gives us a chance to explore how these people can play a more prominent role in shaping the future of a movement that is, ultimately, here for them.
Join us as we make history at GCUC Canada and IndieCon Toronto this September.
When I first launched Creative Blueprint in 2006, my mission was simply to inspire and empower. We began by listening carefully to the needs of local artists and entrepreneurs, and in response we created our first collaborative workspace. As the community became more established, we grew along with them, launching additional locations along with a contemporary art gallery and event space. Partnering with Foundery in 2011 allowed us to expand our vision and to provide coworking space, professional services and support for a wider range of independent workers in Toronto and now Seattle. Our network may have grown many times over the years, but the mission remains the same. We are always looking for opportunities to inspire and empower.
I discovered the Coworking Google Group and Coworking Wiki accidentally one day, and through these channels I realized that there was a larger network out there, that there were others who shared my mission and vision for the future of work. I began meeting some of these people online, and a few even showed up at The Foundery Buildings in Toronto – what a lovely surprise that was! I began to connect with other coworking communities in Toronto and around the world before discovering that there was an annual coworking conference in Europe and another in the USA. I knew immediately that I needed to attend.
Although I expected to find some kindred spirits and to learn a few things when I walked into my first coworking conference, I had no idea my entire life was about to change.
I listened to many unique and inspiring speakers, I watched captivating presentations, and most importantly I met my peers. I found my tribe.
After a full day absorbing information and ideas I felt like I was bursting with excitement. My vision had expanded; my knowledge had doubled, and I could barely contain myself. I was so grateful for the Unconference on Day Two so that I could speak with the other delegates and share my enthusiasm. My first Unconference was also memorable. I had no idea the audience was so full of talent and experience! I learned even more that day, directly from my peers. I left with one hundred actionable tasks and tips that I could bring home to my coworking community and implement immediately. I also left with three hundred new friends. I’ve attended every Coworking Europe Conference and every GCUC Conference since – I wouldn’t miss them for the world. The knowledge we all share is priceless, and the friends I’ve made are still by my side.
These annual gatherings have become a highlight of the year, and as coworking grows around the world we have also seen exciting growth in the industry here in Canada. Many Canadians would love to participate in global conferences but are unable to travel to attend the European or American editions, and we’ve heard many requests for a local production over the years. We are still listening. And we are excited to announce that we are bringing GCUC to Canada this fall.
Creative Blueprint will partner with the Global Coworking Unconference Conference to present GCUC Canada in Toronto, Ontario from September 16th – 18th, 2015. The first Canadian coworking conference will inspire and empower as we share our collective experience and collaborative achievements with an international audience.
Industry leaders and talented delegates from around the globe will join forces to share best practices and shape the new work landscape. Speakers, panelists and performers will explore the complex nature of the independent workforce, self-employment, shared workspace, community building, the sharing economy and our rapidly expanding industry. We also have a few surprises in store! You must experience it for yourself.
If you are interested in coworking, community and collaborating – trust me, you don’t want to miss this event. It just might change your life.
I can’t wait to meet you there!
Great things happen when people come together.
Last night was the first broadcast of the Open Coworking talks about the five coworking core values, starting with collaboration since it was International Collaboration Day. We heard Melissa Mesku and Shuli Hallak, members of New Work City in New York, elaborate on collaboration between members of their space. Following that, Rachel Young from Camaraderie touched on how and why the CoworkingOntario collective started and Ashley Proctor from Foundery explained how COHIP came to be the biggest project of our collective to date.
Jacob Sayles from Office Nomads wrapped this up wonderfully by saying:
“It really does push the question about what kind of impact can your next collaboration have. If you have ideas stewing around in your brain, how can you collaborate with others and how can that accelerate your success?”
Thanks to everyone who made this talk happen, both on screen and behind the scenes. We’re looking forward to future talks to keep the core values in the conversation.
You can sign up for future talks at http://coworking.com/talks.
On Jan 16, join Ashley Proctor from Foundery and Rachel Young from Camaraderie as we discuss the core values of coworking, the Coworking Ontario collective, and COHIP in the first session about the core values of coworking, featuring collaboration.
The talk starts at 7:00pm eastern, and will also include members from New Work City in New York. Future broadcasts will feature the other core values and will vary in time and spaces represented.
Sign up for details and the broadcast link at http://coworking.org/talks.
Independents, freelancers, start-ups, artists and entrepreneurs – we’ve got you covered!
COHIP is the first association insurance plan available for all members of the Coworking Ontario collective.
We have been working hard to create an affordable and accessible package of Health, Dental, Disability, Travel, & Life insurance options for our members. We are excited to announce that we are now accepting applications!
You can speak directly with your coworking space community manager about COHIP.
Application packages will be available in all of the participating spaces by mid-month.
Visit our COHIP page for more detailed information and PDF application forms.