I’ve operated a successful and profitable Coworking space for almost (gasp) four years! Like most operators, I often field calls and requests for meeting from others thinking about opening a Coworking space. I’m happy to talk and encourage but I get enough requests that I have to limit my engagement. I have now run a successful and a little profitable Coworking conference for over (gasp) three years. I started to get calls for other regions of the world asking for advice. I began to work with a few people in Asia and talked to them about doing GCUC Asia. I thought we could share ideas, they could us the same website (helping to cover the costs), we could collaborate and share idea and I could help! How fun!
Then I thought… wait a minutes… I have some good friends that have conferences I wonder if they would be open to working together? We could even get together once a year and think tank on the future of Coworking, work and have some fun! Then my fear came slinking in the door… it said ‘they won’t want to re-brand’ and ‘who do you think you are?’
I decided that fear was a liar and at GCUC in KC, I asked Ashley from Foundery in Toronto, Brad from HUB Australia and Jean-Yves from Coworking Europe if they would be interested in working together (I know that all seems obvious now – Coworking – working together). I was elated when Ashley was willing to ponder it, thrilled when Brad said it made sense and over the moon that Jean-Yves would even consider it. We had a great discussion and we’re still working out the kinks but I wanted to let you know, we’re moving forward. We don’t have final signed agreements and things are still in getting worked out but…
Coworking Europe is on board for collaboration but won’t be changing their name. You’ll see more defined engagement in 2015 (2014 was well on it’s way when we started discussions)
Coworking Australia is also on board for collaboration. It’s slated for March 2015 and Brad will be presenting the GCUC collaboration to a local meet-up of operators next month. “Our first coworking conference was all about growing our community and learning – what better way to maximize this in future conferences then to connect it globally through GCUC” says Brad.
GCUC Canada is slated for September 2015!
GCUC USA is still slated for May 2015
We’re talking to our friends in Asia. We hope to add GCUC South America, GCUC Middle East, GCUC Africa etc. etc.
I believe that if you start to talk about something and start to work towards it and it’s meant to be it might just happen. I’m thrilled to be working around the globle with people I already consider friends and people I respect.
Jean Yves and I have been collaborating for years and he has been an important sounding board and inspiration to me. The day after every GCUC and every Coworking Europe we have a standing lunch date where we review the conferences (good and bad) while it’s still fresh in our minds. Jean-Yves has taught me a lot about running a successful conference I will be forever be in his debt.
I met Ashley at Coworking Europe in Paris and we instantly identified with each other and became friends. Ashley stayed at my house for GCUC 2013 and helped keep me sane. She has volunteered at every GCUC since and we met every year at the European Coworking Conference. If you’re lucky enough to get to know you will discover a shy, strong, warrior with a heart of gold. I feel fortunate to have her in my life.
Brad is one of the people that I marvel at… how does he do it all? He flies across the pond and doesn’t appear jet lagged at all. He opens multiple Coworking spaces in different cities and maintains a personal life. I can always learn from Brad and he is always willing to help out on GCUC. Brad is also one of the many people I call when I need some strategy talk and that accent makes him easy to listen to…
When I opened a Coworking space, it never occurred to me that I would be gaining friends not just in the US but all over the world. Travel is one of my passions and having friends to connect with in the far flung corners of this earth is a real blessing in life. Coworking has bought be me many blessing the best is the people that I get to work and call my friends, not just in my space, not just in my city, not just in my country but around this amazing beautiful globe. I want to share that – let’s really go GLOBAL.
Best – Liz
Liz Elam is the Executive Producer of GCUC, a Coworking enthusiast and lives in Austin, Texas.