People and placemaking – reassuring takeaways from the GCUC coworking conference

Earlier this month, CBRIN Office Manager Candace Rhind joined a bunch of high energy community builders for the Global Coworking Unconference Community (GCUC) in Sydney.  GCUC (pronounced “juicy”) is the largest coworking conference series in the world, and this event in partnership with flex space peak body Flexible Workspace Australia (FWA) promised an exciting lineup!

Optimism and focus on community was central, with each speaker touching on how community evolves with need.  Insights ranged from the practical, “make your walls easy to move” to the aspirational, “maintain your values as you expand”.

Starting the day with keynote speaker Jess Scully was an inspired move; her opening address set the tone for the day. Author of Glimpses of Utopia, an optimistic treatise on how humans can intelligently and creatively problem-solve.  Jess spoke in particular about reimagining communal spaces and designing in consultation with communities.  Rather than “form from function”, Jess coined the term “form from fraternity”, which resonated strongly with the crowd.

Jess Scully speaking at GCUC Conference

Community managers are passionate about what they do and invested in the wellbeing of their people. The theme of “values” reverberated throughout the day, through each panel, and into conversations over breaks, even during after-dinner drinks.  Even talks of KPIs centered on values and mission, with success measured by continued integrity and happiness of the community members.  As Jess so delightfully put it: human flourishing is the “core KPI for society”.

A number of Sydney coworking spaces opened their doors for tours during the conference,  Tour highlights included:  The Work Project’s breathtaking Harbour Bridge views, Spaces’ versatile work areas, and Aeona’s inviting rooftop terrace and collaborative-entrepreneur vibe.  Don’t worry, we took notes and photos, gathering inspiration for CBRIN’s upcoming expansion to Level 4, 1 Moore Street!

Flexible Workspaces Australia released the FWA Futures 2023 Industry report, providing a snapshot of the current coworking world, and what we may expect to see in the future. Hot tip: the most important KPI for the future is sustainability!

Interestingly, the Industry report found that 80% of coworking spaces are owned by independent operators, which is perhaps not surprising in an industry that values close connection and supports entrepreneurship.   The report also featured candid stories by community managers and operators, reiterating the focus on people and placemaking in coworking.

It’s validating to hear that the “secret sauce” to a successful coworking space is a commitment to values and building a community with purpose.  The Canberra Innovation Network is deeply committed to the mission to empower entrepreneurs, and all plans, programs, and events are created with conscious alignment with our values.  We feel that is evidenced through our incredible community full of innovators and dream-makers.

If you would like to find out more about how CBRIN’s coworking values, and become part of the community, book a of our space today!