Started by an independent software developer in San Francisco, the idea started catching on everywhere as more and more people started working on laptops with wifi. Once people were free to work anywhere, they largely decided to start working together.
Over the years, people who rallied around the coworking movement developed free, open source platforms to share their knowledge and discuss their ideas. Decentralized and managed by volunteers, these resources have helped to make coworking a household name.
Now, however, as the movement matures, more work must be done to help maintain and improve the incredible culture that makes coworking so special.
To that end, Open Coworking, was established as a nonprofit specifically to ensure these resources are preserved and continually improved.
WHAT WE MANAGE
We oversee the ongoing maintenance of the following core resources:
- Coworking Blog
- Coworking Google Group
- Coworking Slack Channel
- Coworking Visa
- Coworking Wiki
WHAT WE'VE DONE
In addition to developing the core infrastructure for ensuring these resources stay online and secure in the years to come, we've also:
- Redesigned coworking.com to be a proper landing page for the movement
- Cleaned up the Coworking Wiki to make it more usable
- Redesigned and reengineered the Coworking Blog, so it can be a better content platform for our future efforts
- Developed an iconic starfish logo to symbolize coworking, for anyone to share
- Built a site for our own organization, so more people can know who's behind these efforts and how to get involved
- Raised over $5,600 in annual support from generous supporters
WHAT WE'LL DO NEXT
With your support, we'll tackle the following and more:
The Coworking Visa is being used informally by hundreds of coworking spaces around the world to facilitate connections between coworkers everywhere.
It helps to reinforce and perpetuate the collaborative and open sharing spirit that originally made the movement so special.
Right now, however, joining and administering it is painful and confusing.
With just the right amount of thought and effort, we can build on what exists to make a Visa program that will make it even easier for others to join and participate in.
2. Reach the next billion coworkers through multi-language page support.
All of the resources we’ve developed have been tremendously valuable in reaching and helping the many who have been curious to learn more about coworking and the roots of the movement behind it.
Now, as we look ahead to those who will be discovering coworking in the years to come, one thing becomes very obvious: they’re not all English speakers!
To that end, we’ll continue the steps we’ve taken to connect people to resources in their native language, so the movement can connect with those already doing good work in areas where English isn’t the way people communicate.
3. Reimagine a global coworking directory.
The Coworking Wiki is home to a directory of thousands of spaces in hundreds of cities, making it one of the most comprehensive compendiums of coworking anywhere.
By virtue of being a wiki that’s evolved organically without much supervision for so many years, however, it’s also also unfortunately one of the most outdated and messy such directories you can find.
Overhauling it is a daunting task. To abandon it altogether would be to give up a resource that still reaches thousands of people every month, so a clever new approach must be forged.
We’ve worked to lay the foundation for this shift, and hope in the coming year to crack the formula to finally help this directory take the generational step it must.
We're committed to supporting the healthy growth of a movement that has changed our lives and the lives of so many others for the better.
In addition to embodying and upholding the core values of coworking, we have also made commitments of our own:
- We’ll be open. What we do and how we do it will be shared, as much as we reasonably can, with those who are interested in participating and with the general public.
- We’ll be neutral. So much of the power and beauty of coworking reside in its freedom to be interpreted differently by each person who finds it. We are here to celebrate the entirety of coworking and the good it can do in the world, without limiting the scope of what it can be.
- We’ll maintain a spirit of positivity and goodwill. The movement has been built on a foundation of positivity and collaboration that must be preserved and extended as much as possible, so those who find this movement may better realize their dreams of a better world with our help.