Coworking Europe: this is big.

 

I just returned from an excursion to France, where the start of my trip was completely absorbed with the Coworking Europe Conference in Paris. They call it a coworking conference, but I can tell you confidently that when this group of people got together – 300 people representing 30 nationalities – the conference was about much more than just coworking.

The bulk of conversations surrounding this 3-day event were about connecting to the higher purposes of coworking. How coworking fits into a bigger conversation about our changing world – economically, politically, and socially. We discussed how coworking is – amongst other things – a manifestation of changes we are a part of in every corner of the world.

Coworking and jobs. We heard from Tony Bagicaglupo, Mayor of New Work City, about the ever-evolving “why” of coworking. When so many of us started our spaces, the “why” of coworking was to bring together a community of independent workers who were otherwise isolated in their homes and cafes. But as our spaces evolve, and as coworking spaces from around the world connect, share, and collaborate, we are learning that the “why” of coworking is becoming much, much bigger. For Tony, the “why” has now become a channel through which we can work to fix the job crisis ourselves. His rallying cry to the independent workforce of the world is to stop waiting around for jobs to “be created” by big companies, and instead create the jobs ourselves.

Coworking and political action. Joel Dullroy of Deskmag highlighted the increasing population of freelancers during his presentation on Day 2, and called out coworking spaces as “new political meeting houses” for the independent workforce. For the independent workforce (Joel was speaking specifically about freelancers, but I believe similar conclusions can be drawn to any independent), coworking spaces provide a gathering place and a sharing platform in addition to being a place to work. While on a day-to-day basis this might enable independents to work better and connect with others, coworking spaces also provide a rallying point for independents when they may need it most. He ran us through the story of Germany’s proposed €350 “retirement tax” on freelancers, and how through the power of grassroots organizing (in part via coworking spaces) freelancers were able to raise their voices and strike down the tax.

Coworking and community resilience. I was a part of many conversations about the art of cultivating a coworking community, the beauty of multiple communities emerging out of one coworking space, and how cultivating community is a skill worth learning beyond just it’s implications in the coworking world. The value of a strong, diverse community is possible to see on a day-to-day basis in the form of vibrant conversations, the sharing of skills, and the joy of shared experience. But the power of community is highlighted in an incredibly powerful sense when it is able to demonstrate it’s resilience. Tony Bagicaglupo started off his talk reviewing the quick response by coworking spaces in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in New York. We often talk about how a coworking community isn’t about the space it is in, and Tony gave us a clear view of that truth in practice.

I could continue to wax on and on about the many lessons I learned in Paris and I likely will for years to come. But know this – I’ll definitely be at Coworking Europe 2013. This is a conference not to be missed.

Big thanks to Tilman Vogler and Deskwanted for the use of these photos from Coworking Europe! 

 

 

Member Profile: Lisa Grossman

Lisa Grossman

Member Since: August 2010

Type of Member: Part-Time 10

Lisa couldn’t pick her favorite planet, much less a favorite solar system.  They were all fascinating in their own right and it was impossible to decide which one she would focus on for the rest of her career as an astronomer. It had been her dream, ever since she had learned about the possibility of alien life, to be an astronomer or, to be more exact, an alien hunter.  Unfortunately, such a career path required a specificity that she didn’t want.  Instead Lisa took her Astronomy degree from Cornell and went to UC Santa Cruz where they turn recovering scientists into journalists.

That is how we now find Lisa.  She is a science writer who educates the masses on new research in physics and astronomy in a manner that is interesting and accessible.  While at UC Santa Cruz she spent time interning at The Santa Cruz Sentinel, SLAC National Accelerator Lab and Wired.com. After graduating in 2009, she did some writing for New Scientist and Science News.

Now she has found her way to a new city and new job. “Right now, I think I am living the dream,” she admits.  “I just wanted to write about space for anybody, anywhere.  Just get it out there.”  Wired Science knew Lisa and her work and has picked her up as a full-time writer.   Now Wired.com features regular postings by Lisa.  If you see something regarding space on the website, good chance the byline has her name.

Lisa is an excellent addition to ON.  Collectively, we do a pretty good job of nerding-out over anything science or technology related.  It’s pretty neat to have someone here working for one to the biggest technology sites.  Add to that the fact that she likes board games, hiking and skiing and we’re over the moon for her.

Maybe it’s a bit of a flashback for Lisa and her summer at Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth. “A nerd camp based on 7th grade SATs,” Lisa explained.  “All the kids at the camp had an extra geeky side to them that wasn’t being expressed at home so this was a fun, safe space to be nerdy.”  Does that sound at all like Office Nomads to anyone else?

Lisa, we’re so glad you found us and are thrilled to have you on board as a Nomad!

Member Profile: Eric Von Blon

Eric Von Blon

Member Since: The beginning

If you have been in Office Nomads, you have met Eric.  It would be near impossible to miss him.  He’s a bit of a favorite around the office.  In the early morning he is the one who comes in and makes Office Nomads presentable for all of you.  He is also known for cooking up some mean waffles which pairs nicely with the hot coffee he gets going for all of you.

Eric came upon us after a long friendship with Jacob and a serious need for a place outside of his home.  Jacob told him about his plan to open Office Nomads and Eric jumped. “I had been working from home for 8 months and was going absolutely mad. It was really serendipitous.”  And so, Eric showed up and has been part of Office Nomads ever since.

In actuality Eric is trained as a Circuit Provisioner.  “I wouldn’t know where to begin to actually explain it,” he confessed.  The quick explanation involved ordering, tracking, and turning-up telecommunication circuits.  Yes, turns out Eric is a complex individual.  He is on the hunt now for a fresh gig in that field and until then he has taken up many activities to fill his time.  He does Quality Assurance work for Ryan Salva and Capitol Media.  That entails reviewing the websites they have designed and making sure nothing is broken.  At the same time he is a rock star in the house cleaning biz.  A number of Nomads have hired him and have welcomed Eric to work shirtless (yup) to make their homes sparkling.

If you haven’t befriended Eric yet, you really should.  He always seems to be involved in interesting stuff.  Many of us have seen the photos of him from the Zombie Walk in Fremont.  The cocollage features him taking a bit of Jacob’s head, it appears.  He acts as Fire Safety for Fire Spinners of Spinnery Arts.  That really means that he makes sure that nobody is lit on fire or hurt in any other way so, in other words, he’s the most important guy to have around when playing with fire.

Next time you’re in Office Nomads, make sure you chat up Eric.  Maybe he’ll make you waffles and tell you about the fancy chickens his mother paints.  Maybe you’ll hear a funny story from Burning Man.  Whatever the topic, it’s sure to be interesting.  That’s just how Eric rolls.

Member Profile: Tatyana Mishel

Tatyana Mishel

Member Since: February 2010

Type of Member: Part-Time 5 but has been known to be a Part-Time 15

Website: http://everydaycreative.net/

Sadly, people don’t often associate the word “fun” with their jobs.  We spend at least 40 hours a week working yet people don’t often jump up and excitedly tell you about how enjoyable their work is.  Tatyana wants to change that.

Tatyana says that she has worked with all sorts of companies and found herself observing the people around her and wondering, “Why are people going to a job and not liking it? Why are they accepting that?”

She found that she loved working with people to help them express themselves.  Following a contract position at Microsoft in which she tried to bring more fun into the workplace while coaching there, she entered a coach training program and became certified.  Tatyana stepped back out into the workforce with her own business, Everyday Creative, and with the goal of helping people put their true creative selves into their jobs.

Well, actually, Tatyana does more than that.  First and foremost, she is a writer and has been a writing coach.   Now she is a coach for professionals who are stuck, in a rut, and burnt out.  “I help them tap into their creative resources and become more engaged and start down the path to work they would love to do.” She knows that we are all creative beings, “we just have our own styles.” For her, the work she does is “about people loving their work and having fun with their work, on their own and with others.”

If you’ve had a conversation with Tatyana, it’s obvious that her line of work suits her.  She lights up when talking about it and was more than excited to share her work at Office nomads in the form of a workshop entitled “The Fun Experiment”.  To say the least, we are really excited to see how she can inspire us.

Besides spending her working hours inspiring people, Tatyana loves to get out and be active.  She loves to swim and most mornings can be found with her Masters Swim group.  Trail running is also a favorite activity which allows her “inner Pocahontas” to shine.  With a 50K run on her resume, she adds to the ranks of super athletes in-house.  At the same time, she shares the passion for travel that many have at Office Nomads.  Past trips to Spain and Ireland left her with wonderful memories and have inspired her to travel more.

Next time you are in Office Nomads, you should make a point to seek out Tatyana for, at the very least, a little inspiration.  Together we are all going to find some fun in our work with her on Tuesday, June 29th and you should definitely make a point to stop by.

Member Profile: Holly McHugh

Holly McHugh

Member Since: October 2009

Type of Member: Basic

Holly makes it to Office Nomads about once a week to be surrounded by a community of like-minded folks.  She will carpool in the 45 minutes from Maple Valley with her boyfriend, Troy, so as to take advantage of the HOV.  Then she settles in at ON while he’s off to OR.   Talking to Holly, it is a bit of a surprise to learn that she lives out in Maple Valley as she exudes the urban green lifestyle many of the folks of Seattle lead.  Instead, she’s a country girl, well, a displaced city girl in the country.

Originally, Holly hails from Portland but left there to work in China for 8 years in the manufacturing capitol of the world.  “I wasn’t living healthy there and my body wasn’t handling it well.” She returned stateside, back to Portland before meeting a lovely man who lived in Maple Valley and, so, she moved up there.  Such a shift from a city of 13 million to a town of 20,000 can be hard.  “People drive to their mailboxes!”  That does sound like the country.  Although living so far from Capitol Hill, Holly is hooked and loves to come to ON on days when there is yoga. “I like a place where I can do yoga and there are ‘Your Mom’ jokes.”  She is lending a helping hand to Sustainable Capitol Hill by giving them some worms for their worm bin projects.  “If there was a Sustainable Maple Valley, I’d be involved.”

Life brought Holly back to the states where she continues to do similar work as she did abroad. “The company I work for works with brands and their importers to help their manufacturing partners, factories or an agent meet the requirements of local labor law in China…For example, let’s say, a women’s clothing brand is our client. We do classroom training for all their suppliers. We also get a select group of their select manufacturing partners and we do training specific to them to help them build compliance capacity.  And, we work directly with individual factories to help them meet requirements of the local labor law.” Turns out, Chinese labor laws are actually stricter that US laws so Holly and the consulting firm for whom she works, advise the companies and factories as to what can be done and what needs to be done so the partnership is beneficial for all.

Her job sounds like it takes a lot so she knows how to have fun.  Holly loves to mountain bike, and the family is a big fan of going bike camping.  With 3 kids in the house, life is busy and it sounds like it’s pretty fun.  “My daughter is a rockin’ guitarist. “  Holly gets a proud look on her face, “She’s learning Enter Sandman.”

With her life full of family, music, yoga, and bikes, it’s easy to understand how Holly always is buzzing with positive energy.  We love having her at Office Nomads and can’t wait for the next Wednesday when we see her again!

Member Profile: Jacob Sayles!

Jacob Sayles

Member Since: Inception

Type of Member: Co-Owner

Website: http://www.officenomads.com

We’ve started seeing Jacob at Office Nomads a lot more.  In the past he had perfected the juggling act of a full time job elsewhere in the city and being a co-owner of Office Nomads.  It was all fairly impressive.  But January saw an end to the back and forth and he has taken up at Office Nomads full time.  “How cool is it that I can walk away from 15 years in software and have this community around me?  I didn’t even bat an eye about it,” he said.  When Office Nomads started in 2007, building a community he could count on was not the plan.  “[Starting Office Nomads] seemed like the right thing to do.  I just wanted to jump into a big project I believed in.”

Jacob is all about big projects, and that is one of the reasons we love having him around. Big ideas come to him and he strolls to the front and informs us he wants to build a Wall of Achievement, tear down the wall in the Green Room, install new lighting, make a Big Idea Board, or make a trebuchet out of office supplies.  His great energy inspires the rest of us and, just maybe, we’ll harness all of it and take down that big green wall.

Jacob is a bit of a Swiss Army Knife of talents.  No tech problem is too big for him.  Every construction or maintenance project is something he can easily tackle, as is evidence by his awesome house.  Apparently he has ‘mad yo-yo skills’ and holds Steve Brown up as his hero.   At the same time, he has mastered the title of Nomad.  Starting at the age of 17 with a trip to Japan, he has hopped around to all different parts of the world.  Most recently he found himself in Brazil for two weeks enjoy sun and paradise while the rest of us put on our rain jackets and galoshes to fight the Seattle rain.

Come on by the space and see if you can notice the positive changes that have occurred since Jacob came back full time.  If you can find them all, you get a free cup of coffee!  Wait, coffee is always free?  Eh…

Now Introducing…Buckley!

The next time you come into Office Nomads, make sure you make a beeline to Susan’s desk. You lift an eyebrow and ask me why. Well, it’s not her wit or her thoughtful commentary (although those are pretty great, too) that makes me suggest you stop by there, but more for Buckley.

Buckley is Susan’s 5-month-old black lab. He is a solid 35 pounds of cuteness. Now, don’t think of a stereotypical bouncing black lab when you picture this guy. Mellow is an excellent way to describe him. ‘Adorable’ works, too. He likes to laze about the office, taking full advantage of Office Nomad’s open napping policy. Usually he happily wanders up when called, plops down on his bottom and shows off his big brown eyes until people give in and scratch his head. He’s a pro and will reduce you in no time into one of those people whose voice jumps a couple octaves and makes funny faces as you pet him. Great entertainment is tossing a tennis ball for him and watching him prance and pounce his way to the ball until he scoops it up and trots back. A true lab, this one.

It’s easy to see that this is a budding puppy food model we have here. If that job doesn’t pan out then he is open to being a food tester, mainly for the meat industry. Young Buckley, or Buck if you’re comfortable, is a major outdoor enthusiast. He enjoys long walks along the waterfront and weekends at his country home in the North Cascades. This young stud is single but isn’t looking for anything serious. If you want to stop by and shower him with love for only a short period of time, he would

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be thrilled.

And that, everyone, is our new adorably fantastic Nomad. His full name is Sir Buckley Danger Dog, but you can call him Buckley.

Member Profile: Kevin Moore

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Kevin Moore

Website: www.kevinmooreconsulting.com

Member Since: January 2010

Type of Member: Resident

When most people are nine, they are mastering the early squiggles of cursive writing and are confident that their urges to eat paste are well gone in their past. At the wee age of nine, Kevin Moore was already tapping away at a keyboard in the early stages of his programming career.  By the time he was in high school he was doing professional web development. A visit to a career fair in college led to an internship at Microsoft, which blossomed to a career, which was a step along the way to his current freelance software consulting.  He was lucky enough to figure out what he liked doing early on and has been able to make a career out of it.

Kevin is a new addition to Office Nomads and he is fitting in perfectly. He became familiar with ON after participating in Green Drinks and Sustainable Capitol Hill. Every entrance and exit he makes in the space involves a fist pound with other Nomads. He’s a positive addition to the space, sharing his James Brown with everyone and enthusiastically joining in on the fun when we’ve gone to Happy Hour or had other events.  There are rumors that he has a singing and music background and we are eagerly anticipating the day when he decided to share that with us.

Like many other Nomads, Kevin is a bit of a world traveler.   This summer he is off to explore Argentina and Peru.  Lucky for him, his business is mobile so in between the tango dancing and exploration of ruins he can continue his freelance software consulting business, Kevin Moore Consulting.  We all are eagerly anticipating his reports on eating cuy (guinea pig) and drinking chicha (corn beer).

We are thrilled to have Kevin at Office Nomads.  Not just because he has the magically ability of fixing our computers just by looking at them, but because he is a pretty stellar individual.

Open House Success!

Wow! The January Open House was a great time!  Thanks to everyone who stopped by.  It was great to see everyone and catch up.happy

For those of you who missed out, I understand the weather was rather terrible that evening.  But, you missed out on some pretty spectacular fun.  Josh, from Bluebird Ice Cream, scooped out some incredible ice cream for everyone to try.  He very quickly ran out of the vegan coconut mint chocolate chip and there was a good reason why.  I had no idea vegan ice cream could be so fantastic!  The Stumptown ice cream and the snickerdoodle were also really delicious and it was all finished off by the time the night came to a close.    Mychal Richardson’s photography was a great conversation piece and had many people quietly going from one photo to the next reading about how each individual pictured fought for their rights.  I think we all came away inspired.  See more of his work on his website or stop by and check them out!

A big thanks must also go to Andy Aupperlee of Explosion 5000.  He took over the Green Room and shot portraits of our Open House attendees and their New Years Resolutions.  The results are rather amazing and you should make sure to read about it on his website and look at his Flickr page.

A big thanks to all of you who could come out.  Hopefully see you all at our next Open House!

Thanks to Flickr user Sukanto Debnath for use of the above photo through the Creative Commons License

January Open House

It’s January so that means it’s time for our January Open House!  Fitting, right?  Well, we are really excited for this month’s open house on January 14th from 6 PM to 9 PM when we’ll open our doors to the wholecommunity to celebrate art, coworking and each other.

office nomads

What: January Open House

When: Thursday, January 14th from 6 PM-9 PM

Where: Office Nomads- 1617 Boylston Ave, Second Floor

Food and Drink: We’ve got the goods, just bring your pint glass!

We are proud to be part of Capitol Hill Art Walk again this month and are featuring the beautiful photography of Mychal Richardson of Lost Photography.  His show, “Faces of Washington” was created for the ACLU and includes seventeen 36″ by 36″ black and white portraits of courageous individuals from all across Washington State who fought for their rights and the rights of others.  It is an inspiring show and one not to be missed.

Something we are very excited about is the opportunity to be part of the art!  Andy Aupperlee of Explosion 5000 will be here taking photos of you and your New Years Resolutions.  Andy is really excited to have some fun with these photography so bring a big smile and your creativity to be expressed in the photobooth.  At the same time, we have partnered with a couple local businesses in an effort to tempt you away from some of those New Years Resolutions. Ice cream from Bluebird Ice Cream and beer from Elysian Brewing always are incredibly delicious and will both be here.  Make sure your bring a sweet tooth and your pint glass!

The only thing that could make the Open House any greater would be you!  We hope you can join us and bring along your great friends and family.  What better way to celebrate winter, photography and the neighborhood than with our community?  We look forward to seeing you!