There is no doubt that the coworking community is one of the strongest alliances out there, offering new ways for people to not only work but offering innovative ways for people work together and work better! There are so many amazing initiatives being taken; however, how exciting one launching this fall is The Coworking Compassion Project.
The Coworking Compassion Project is a scholarship program for people who are building collaborative spaces that have a mission focused on supporting people from underserved communities and generally to be doing social good.
Tony Bacigalupo, Alex Hillman, Angel Kwiatkowski, Cat Johnson, Chris Cooley, Iris Kavanagh, Ramon Suarez have conspired to offer a huge suite of resources, education, and coaching services to deserving applicants, free of charge.
Each of these individuals is an established, experienced professional in the coworking world, so the applicant who is selected will have a super team behind them!
Here Tony Bacigalupo, of New Work Cities in New York City, will share everything you will need to know about the Coworking Compassion Project.
How did you discover coworking?
I first discovered coworking when I was working from home for a web development firm in 2007. At the time, the only coworking I could find in NY was a group called Jelly, that met once every other week in a loft apartment in midtown.
My first day coworking was life-changing—I met some amazing people who worked for themselves and they welcomed me! I wanted to be able to have that experience every day, and wanted for others to be able to do the same.
How are you currently involved in coworking?
I run a support network for coworking space owners called the Organizers Club. We share a huge toolkit of resources and do group video calls; it’s awesome!
What is your favorite part about coworking?
I have to pick one? 😉
My favorite part about coworking is the way it contradicts traditional ways of thinking about how people can live, work, and relate. We can collaborate instead of compete. We can each be autonomous without formal hierarchy. We can define our value in the world without having to fit ourselves into someone else’s job description. That and so much more.
What inspired the Coworking Compassion Project?
The project is a response to the tensions we’re seeing in society around us today. In a world where divisiveness is on the rise, collaborative spaces provide a powerful countering force.
There are no racial or political divides in a collaborative space; people treat each other with respect naturally. The more we can foster connections across diverse cross-sections of groups, the more we can reduce fear and hatred.
By offering up our services to people working directly towards addressing those needs, we’re hoping to accelerate the positive impact coworking can have.
If accepted what is included?
Choice of Mastermind:
- Cowork University by Chris Cooley
- Women Who Cowork with Iris Kavanagh
- Collaborative Space Builders Academy at New Work Cities (that’s us!)
Choice of coaching:
- 4 video coaching sessions with Ryan Chatterton of Coworking Insights
- Digital content marketing coaching with Cat Johnson
- One-on-one coaching with Iris Kavanagh
Ebooks and Resources:
- A copy of the Ultimate Coworking Launch Sequence by Angel Kwiatkowski
- A copy of The First Ten by Alex Hillman
- Access to the Coworking Toolkit, with over 50 templates, worksheets, signage, and more by Tony Bacigalupo
- A copy of the Coworking Handbook by Ramon Suarez
- A copy of Coworking Out Loud: Content marketing for collaborative space operators by Cat Johnson
How does someone apply?
The applicants most likely to be selected will be ones who:
- Have an explicit mission to support underserved communities and/or social impact organizations
- Involve some kind of a shared space
- Have demonstrated a commitment to diversity on their leadership team
- Have experience organizing and leading impactful communities
- Have a clear need (not in a position to pay for all this stuff on their own!)
Applications are due by September 15. Winners will be announced October 4 at GCUC Canada in Vancouver.
Why is it important for coworking spaces to work together?
First and foremost: survival! Building a thriving and successful coworking space requires overcoming a lot of challenges, and those challenges have been dealt with by others before you. Why struggle with something somebody else has already solved?
This is at the core of why I offer the services I do. I believe it’s true of my collaborators as well. We want to see more successful coworking spaces everywhere.
Beyond that, a culture of collaboration is intrinsic to coworking itself. Even coworking spaces that might traditionally be thought of as competitors in a local market have so much to gain from finding ways to work together. (I wrote an article about that here)
Any other words of wisdom?
When you see things happening in the world around you that you don’t like, know that there is something you can do about it—even if it’s very small.
So much of the world’s suffering comes from the fact that people feel isolated from one another. We need to belong to something; we need to feel a sense of trust and inclusion.
This is something that you can foster in your neighborhood. Even the smallest act of organizing a gathering and inviting strangers to meet can have a huge impact—that’s how I discovered coworking, and I haven’t been the same since.
So if you want to do something to make the world a better place, summon your love and your passion and put out an invitation. And know that you’ve got a world of people who are here to help.
If you are interested in contributing to the Coworking Compassion Project email Tony@nwc.co !