In order to address the growing interest of coworking across other sectors and industries, TILT alongside the European Coworking Conference organised a new global series called ‘The Social Workplace’. The first of the series took place in London, in October 2015, and was a solid day of keynotes, workshops and networking.
As the day began and people trickled through the elevator on the fifth floor of The Office Group’s Henry Wood House an eclectic mix of various people from different businesses, industries and countries were welcomed to the inaugural Social Workplace Conference. Upon arrival, the attendees and organisers were greeted with delegate packs and then taken through to network, have a quick bite and of course; a mug of coffee (or tea!). At this point it is was clear that a wide scope of individuals andthe businesses whom they represented had gathered.The potential positives that could emerge from this day was immense. This day was to be a departure from the typical coworking conference.
Once everyone was settled, we all headed into the plenary room to begin the keynotes. From current coworking communities to future technologies/systems there was a wide spread of expertise and discussion. Facilitated by both Oliver and Jean-Yves of Europe Coworking and Global Enterprise, the plenary session featured presentations across the emerging “trend” as so often described by the current media.
There was a lot to take away from the initial sessions. Some of the keynotes tackled the subject from the point of view of those who have founded different coworking spaces. People such as Alex Hillman of IndyHall or Edu Forte of Betahaus demonstrated the community that has developed and been bought to life through the coworking movement. Focusing in on the social aspect of the ‘social workplace’ was a good juxtaposition when compared to analysing the current needs of some businesses/corporations to adapt and change their more traditional workplaces. Séverine Jazdzewski of the French branch of the Orange network covered the current efforts in embracing the modern workplace movements. From Villa Bonne Nouvelle (a coworking space started by Orange) to “feel-good” managers, Orange is definitely on track. A recurring theme of the conference was on the future of work. From IDEO’s OIengine to Kontor, the technologies that bind the #futureofwork together are vital and seeing some upcoming examples was a great way to finish up the keynotes.
Following the plenary session was lunch and a quick and swift reshuffle of the conference room to make space for the workshops to begin. With six workshops to choose from people had the opportunity to choose three that ranged in varying topics from community to technology.
Finishing up the day was a talk panel hosted by Kursty Groves Knight featuring Steve Pette of Central Working, Tom Day of Scaale Inc and Marcel Baetigg of Bow Arts. It was a conclusive and fantastic way of wrapping up the day as well as wrapping up the working week. Afterwards, everyone headed down to the bar where there was wine, canapés and plenty of people to either meet or reconnect.
The London Social Workplace will be on the 10th of June, 2016. The idea of this conference series is to take it where the local coworking movements can collide with global efforts. So if you are reading this from anywhere else and are interested in taking the Social Workplace to your locale, send an email to [email protected].