This post, which could be seen as a companion piece to the recent podcast episode we did with Bernie Mitchell, goes over some of the questions we’ve gotten about the Summit, including why we’re hosting a summit, why now and who it’s for.
So first up, why a Summit, and not a conference or unconference?
There’s a tonne of great conferences and unconferences being hosted throughout the year, many of which are hosted by coworking alliances already.
Where conferences are traditionally great to get informed by thought leaders, and unconferences enable brainstorming of topics for industry colleagues to discuss, a Summit is a little different.
In our opinion, a Summit brings together leaders of their respective movements and communities to discuss the most far-reaching challenges of our time and how we all move forward. Discussions where there are no easy or certain answers, but through which we can create guidelines crafted for the experience and insights of everyone in the room.
Talking about who’s in the room, do see the section below on who the summit is designed for, but note that we never ever wanted pricing to be a barrier for joining the summit. From Pay What You Can passes, to Pay-It-Forward tickets, we truly want whomever wants to attend, to be able to so.
So why now?
(Sometimes also framed as “Hector don’t you already have enough on with Syncaroo and everything?“)
The world of work is changing in front of our eyes, under our laptops and around our neighborhoods.
We’re at a defining moment of how millions of people (many of whom are being given the freedom to pick where to work from for the first time in their careers) will come to understand what coworking is.
Coworking alliances, federations, cooperatives and other representative bodies will have a huge responsibility (read: opportunity) to participate or even lead that narrative, secure regional support and coordinate creative partnerships to help these humans find the right space(s) and communities to do their best work in.
As demands shift and surge, operators will also look to each other, and the alliances they’re a part of, for guidance around technology, inclusivity, scalability, strategy, and best practices.
Supporting and connecting the leaders of these collaborative organizations will have a 10-fold (if not greater) impact on thousands of communities and local economies around the world.
And that brings us to "who should attend?"
In the first Coworking Alliance Summit, Ashley and I made it a conscious effort to bring together coworking space operators and professionals directly involved with the running or launching of local coworking alliances.
This year we’re opening the Summit up a little more, welcoming in leaders of other forms of cooperatives and representative bodies to explore and discuss similarities, challenges, overlaps, insights and best practices.
We’ve even added Industry Professional passes this year for leaders from industries adjacent to or servicing coworking communities who would like to actively participate in the Summit, and engage with other collaborative leaders.