GCUC Unconference 2013 - Possible Sessions
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Proposed session.Proposer's NameWill you lead?Write a blog post for GCUC?NotesEmailPhoneCommentsI'm Interested (put your name)
Hiring Staff for your coworking space Q & A Angel KwiatkowskiSureMaybeWould like this to be a panel discussion. Requested panelers are Susan Evans/Jacob Sayles + any others you can think of.Benjamin Dyett
Harnessing the power of coworkers into a national (or global) "network" that can attract top level brands.Craig McAnsh - Mojo CoworkingYepI have 20+ years in marketing/advertising and sponsor activation. This concept only works when it's a win for coworking spaces and our members ... as well as the sponsor/partner brands. The point of this session would be to present the format/system that I've developed thus far and then discuss with other space owners what a "winning" idea looks like for them. (i.e. ongoing monthly revenue stream? in-kind values? Member perks? etc.)craig@mojocoworking.com828-398-1840Lucrece Borrego, Beth Ivers
Sustainable Coworking GuidelinesCraig McAnsh - Mojo CoworkingSureyes, doneCoworking by nature is already part of the shared economy - which is part of the larger sustainability platform. But the idea for this panel would be to explore ideas for how coworking spaces can up the ante and adopt new practices that continue the march toward greater sustainability. LED Bulbs? Low water toilets? FSC Certified paper products, urban garden, public transportation, biking to work, electric car charging stations, high efficiency appliances, turn off the lights when you leave, etc. We could either nominate coworkers from a variety of cities to begin thinking about this now ... and present at GCUC in March. Or nominate a team at GCUC and have them report back in June/July. I think a solid idea would be to ultimately come up with a Coworking Sustainability Checklist and corresponding "recognitions" that would be awarded for various levels of compliance. craig@mojocoworking.comWe installed LED lights, sun tunnels, on-demand water, motion sensing lights, etc., etc. May have a few ideas. Green is very important for co-work brands.(Barbara); I am a sustainability consultant with a background in green buildings/facilities and events. I spoke with Craig (the person who submitted this) last week and we want to help co-lead this discussion. I agree that a sustainability contest / challenge btwn coworking facilities would be great and also want to help develop a checklist. The big question is which choices have enough of a return on investment for those with small operations budgets and what other practices can we work toward for the future. There is also the fact that many coworkers will start demanding and expecting your space to be healthy, energy conscious etc. (Amy)Barbara Sprenger; Amy King (amargaretking@gmail.com)
Finance workshopRamon SuarezYesYesPractical workshop on how to build your business and help yourself with the use of an spreadsheet to better understand your business and make it sustainable in the long termramon@betagroup.be
Coworking for niche and target marketsDenver HuttYou bet!YupTargeting a niche market (ie: startup, technology, entrepreneurs), with your coworking space can help focus and direct the experience of collaboration. If you’re treading in uncharted waters and educating the general public about coworking as a concept/practice, having a specific niche focus can help jumpstart the community building process within the space, while educating the greater community on the benefits of collaborate work spaces. denver@speakeasyindy.comThis topic combines nicely with those in lines 12 and 27. Maybe there is kind of a panel or discussion.Lucrece Borrego Christine Bartels, Brian Dickman
Coworking for the hospitality IndustryToby MorningYepYesI would like to have a conversation with other to discuss the feasibility of developing coworking spaces in non traditional enviroments like hotels, airports, train stations, and of course pop up spaces. These businesses all have under utilized real estate assets, and can be great potential alliance partners with space owners. toby@connectionssf.com831-295-1482Barbara Sprenger Craig McAnsh
Tools and Technology to manage your spaceToby MorningYesYesAn open discussion on the best tools, technology, and practices for running a profitable space. toby@connectionssf.com831-295-1482We've developed a cloud-based tool for automating running a 24/7 cowork space: access, accounting, reservations, tracking. Love to participate in this one!Caitlin Agnew, Barbara Sprenger, Kevin Leong, Sam Rosen, Cristina Santamarina, Beth Ivers, Christine Bartels, Robert Petrusz
The Built EnvironmentJerome ChangYesYesLet's talk "nuts and bolts": lease terms, construction schedule, permits, budgets
I'm just an architect and operator so I'll need others for other points of view: those who have bootstrapped it; furniture and equipment vendors, contractors
jerome@blankspaces.com323-330-9510Benjamin Dyett, Sarah Snyder, Steve Kinder, Brian Dickman
ExpansionJerome ChangYesYesAdd more space next door? Down the street? Across town? Next time zone?
Many have opened their 2nd and 3rd spaces, or at least increased square footage. Let's share our experiences
NextSpace, WorkBar, Indy Hall, Link, Citizen Space, [ Mojo ] ...join me
jerome@blankspaces.com323-330-9510I've been exploring JV and franchising as business models as well. Especially as a path for expansion into mid-tier markets (100,000 population) ... would be interesting in discussingBenjamin Dyett
Jenny Poon
Bill Jacobson
Iris Kavangh, Caitlin Agnew, Lana Morisoli, Barbara Sprenger Craig McAnsh, Steve Kinder, Kevin Leong, Robert Petrusz, Brian Dickman
Design Strategy for Coworking SpacesKristine WoolseyYesYesAs the power to choose where work is done moves from employer to employee and big employers begin entering the coworking market, coworking spaces will increasingly be in competition for "customers" who want to work there. Marketing strategies will need to include physical branding and behavioral psychology in order to compete. There are research based methods and data for how the environment impacts behavior that have been driving other sectors for years. I will spend about 15 minutes on an introduction to environmental psychology and showing how it has been used successfully (think milk at the back of the store or lost sense of time at the casino) and then open it up for discussion so that as a group we can create a roadmap for how these concepts apply in the coworking environmentkristine@kristinewoolsey.com;602-418-8134I like the idea of comparing what different owners are doing to "brand their space and reinforce their culture". Barbara Sprenger, Robert Petrusz, Brian Dickman
Ping Pong (or other games)Craig McAnshYesYesWe need to play at GCUC ... so perhaps we could hold a ping pong challenge every year. Think brackets - like NCAA basketball. There could be a cool GCUC trophy to the winner(s)craig@mojocoworking.com828-398-1840
Design to attract your community

Lana Morisoli and Caitlin Agnew - MAKERSYesYesTo speak to the community you desire, your design voice should be unified through branding and interiors. Designing a beautiful functional space and fine tuning your branding might seem like a luxury when starting a coworking space, but it can turn into some of the best dollars you spend. MAKERS online presence and interiors have not only attracted contemporary, creative coworkers, but also an Emmy award winning show, billion dollar companies, and a high-end clothing brand to be featured as a set in their creative productions. This interest has reinforced that our design voice has differentiated us and is reaching our community. We'd love to share what we've learned, and hear how others are utilizing design to build and attract their communities.lana@themakersspace.com206-395-5526Craig McAnsh, Brian Dickman
Coworking Association (Midwest region only or national)Sarah Snyder - Think Big PartnersYesYes - will get someone from our teamDiscuss interest in and aspects of developing a coworking association to provide the opportunity for Health Care benefits and other options to offer to coworkers. Also includes sharing best practices, membership requirements, tool access, education to general public about coworking and any other ideas people would be interested in seeing.sarah.snyder@thinkbigpartners.com402-238-8769I might have a great video to share regarding this topic if it pans out. Sarah - Email me if you are interested in details about that video. -RP robert@bullcitycoworking.com
Helping your members grow and get fundedSarah Snyder - Think Big PartnersYesYes - will get someone from our teamExploring and Revealing new concepts of how to help your members get funded to include coaching, growing, hosting classes, connecting to resources with funders, etc.sarah.snyder@thinkbigpartners.com402-238-8769Beth Ivers
What do economic development organizations want from coworking?Matthew Tuerk - Lehigh Valley Economic Development CorporationYescan doEver late to the game, economic development organizations around the country are finally starting to take note of collaborative workspaces.They have varying motivations for their interest, so I think it would be interesting to have a dialogue between an economic development person and the coworking community. AEDC hosts a space in its incubator building and has helped a makerspace start under the same roof. The incubator has been providing technical assistance to startups and entrepreneurs since 1989.mtuerk@lehighvalley.org610.653.3064BD- I am applying for a rent subsidy program from our local Econ Dev.Robert Petrusz,Brian Dickman
Common legal issues for coworking owners and membersKirk Cesari - Cesari & Reed, LLPYesYesLegal issues related to coworking, including employees v. independent contractors, trademarks, copyrights, NDAs, software development agreements, entities, etc.kcesari@cesari-reed.com512-921-9069Lucrece Borrego, Barbara Sprenger, Brian Dickman
How do Operators find the best coworking space and negotiate the most favorable termsJay Lamy
Aquila Commercial
YesYes - will get someone from our teamFinding coworking space that is attractive for members and negotiating favorable terms to help maximize flexibility, mitigate risk and save money
Are prospects really trying to "negotiate favorable terms" from coworking operators? (Jerome Chang)
Operators not prospects (jay Lamy)
Intellectual Property and Co-working. How to protect your co-working concept ideas and license them for growth.Lucrece BorregoNoWith a leader if available.Unique co-working concepts could work to help develop other co-working concepts if they are able to understand how to protect the significant investment they have made in developing a creative concept.info@kitchenincubator.com713-397-8695Lucrece Borrego
Jerome Chang
Robert Petrusz
Encouraging membership diversity in your coworking spaceRena TomYesyesEverybody wants more members but what efforts are being made to curate the mix? If your membership skews one way (in terms of gender, business type, age, etc), how do you address it, if at all? I'd like to discuss the pros and cons of organic growth, being inclusive, and targeted marketing, while maintaining the unique feel of your coworking space.rena@makeshiftsociety.com347-834-6991
The Culture in your Cowork spaceSteve KinderSurewith assistancePeople+Space = Culture. Like any succesfull business, it's the people that create the culture. How to think about culture and use it to attract the right kind of people and create a community.steve@LOFTwall.com214-215-0494Christine Bartels, Brian Dickman
Global Coworking Directory and Alliance
** Sorry, i run out of time curating a directory for the conference - Kevin **
Kevin LeongYesYesWe are building a free global directory for coworking spaces. You can list your coworking space, edit content, upload photos, sync events and communicate with other coworking managers. There will also be a mobile app to locate nearby coworking spaces. We think we can do more in the directory, like allowing you to form alliances with other coworking spaces. Let’s talk about requirements. What do you want?kevin@taptin.com415.854.0168
Conversation, collaboration and sharing ideas beyond membership software Kevin LeongYesYesRecently 500 Startup opened a coworking space in New York City to bolster an offline community to go with its online platform www.dashboard.io - an internal forum where 1,000 founders and 200 mentors communicate daily. The dashboard is a place to ask questions and get best answers from peers and mentors. Is such a tool important for coworking spaces? We thought so based on our coworking experience in San Francisco. What do you think? Let’s have a conversation about how to spur conversation and collaboration, and to share ideas. kevin@taptin.com415.854.0168We have built such a tool and would like to share it with everyone - www.coworkingdashboard.com.
Fostering Culture through Design : A Case Study at WorkbarBill Jacobson and Vince PanYesYesSince its inception, Workbar has nurtured a vibrant culture that is unique in the local co-working landscape. As they prepared to expand, it was critical to foster this culture in a new location. Using an experience-based design approach that combines branding and interiors, we leveraged a deep understanding of the existing culture to design a new experience that is still distinctly Workbar. On the eve of the opening of this new location, join both the client and designer in a dialogue about the process of fostering culture through design.bill@workbar.com
YACS (Yet Another Coworking Space): Differentiation, Innovation, and the Maturing of the Coworking EcosystemSam ChuaHappy toAssuming something worth writing about comes out of itSo, coworking. Like many new categories, it's a bit of a catch-all for many different activities, functions, and needs (although with a few common threads). But not all coworking spaces are alike, and not just in a different-demographic way -- there are all sorts of bundles of needs to be addressed in the coworking space, and (my take is that) we're just scratching the surface. So the idea for this session is to do a bit of gonzo futurism, and imagine what a mature (diverse, differentiated, specialized, evolved) coworking *ecosystem* might look like. Are there new coworking models? Networks? Spaces? Networks of spaces? What fundamentals drive them? What disruptions (and/or standardizations) await? Inspired in part by http://www.forbes.com/sites/venkateshrao/2011/10/21/the-social-graph-as-crude-oil-go-ahead-build-that-yasn/.sam@samuelchua.comBeth Ivers
Kristi Woolsey (see my proposed session above - similar - and love the forbes article - I think coworking will be the new normal for large companies...that is the gasoline to todays kerosene)
Operations Roundtable: Lets compare some mundane details of our operations to learn from each other, ie; check-in process, on-boarding of new members, dealing with late paying members, rude members, where to score good deals on furniture, mail service, billing software, accounting software, calendar systems. If you're interested, email me. We can do an online survey about these types of issues, and then use an anonymized print-out of the results as a springboard for our discussions. Robert Petrusz,suresureThis might be a nice complement to the "Tools and Technology" topic listed above on line 9. Maybe we could do it right before or right after. robert@bullcitycoworking.comBrian Dickman
How to start a coworking spaceChristine Bartelswould like help from someone with experiencesureDiscussing all the steps needed to get a successful coworking space started: find location, community, communication, pricing, amenities, tools, business plan, financials, contracts, defining culture, finding niche, PR,...wsofficejunction@gmail.comBrian Dickman
Ups and Downs:
1 in 6 Coworking spaces closed in the US in the last 2 years - Presentation into why this happens and how to change it.
Julianne Beckeryesyes-Presentaion of newest figures in opening and closing of spaces.
-A look at the current US market potential for filling spaces.
-Trends in successful marketing strategies - i.e. partnerships, public support, education, etc.
Open Letter -
Coworking representatives respond to Yahoo! memo, talk of home working, and our perspective.
Julianne Beckeryes - along with others who have already agreed to participateyesThe community will work together to write an open letter - to be sent to major news organizations around the world - highlighting the benefits of flexible work, what we think about the Yahoo! proposal, flexible options, home working, etc.
We would include current research and our voices
Great time to hook onto the international discussion and promote coworking.