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Steve Munroe: Disconnection And Unconferences

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Happy New Year! Another year has come and gone, and we’re still here at the Coworking Values Podcast bringing you news and updates from the coworking world.

For our first episode of the year, we have our guest, Steve Munroe, Founder of HUBUD and Co-founder of CU Asia. He has spent 10 years with the United Nations in various Asian countries and founded HUBUD in Bali, Indonesia, the world’s first destination coworking space, and founded CU Asia to support coworking operators and community builders across the Asia Pacific regions. 

For this episode, Steve will be talking about the disconnection of the coworking communities despite having online interactions and how unconferences help in bridging that disconnect between the coworking community.

What do you think that disconnect is?

Well, I think, you know, I think for all of us, we become a little stuck in the way we do things. Right. So, if you’re used to doing an event, let’s say doing an event in a certain way. And that involves, you know, we’re going to meet at a different place. We’re going to have coffee and cakes and high fives, and that’s how a meetup looks and feels. And it is difficult to change because you immediately focus on all the things you’ll miss, all the things that are going to be deficient in the new format.

I would say what I’ve noticed. Overall looking at the switched online events is, is, I don’t know if it’s that people are either lazy or lack creativity, but there, there seems to be this tendency to try to do things exactly the same way. But just online. Right? 

So it’s a little like when the pandemic started, let’s say in March, in, in Europe, where it really started to heat up and say by the end of the month, you know, most of the people in offices were at home and you had, literally millions, tens of millions of people experiencing, let’s say, proper remote working for the first time and hundreds of thousands of companies and people.

Quickly after the initial euphoria of, Hey, great. I can do this at home, in my pajamas, yada, yada, they, they got, um, I would say a bit disillusioned with it, and they said, well, but this isn’t the same. It’s just not the same. And it’s like, well, it’s not the same. Um, but that’s because you’re trying to do things in exactly the same way that you’ve been doing them for the last two decades, but just in a completely different format and arena. 

And I think that’s the same thing that happened with the event. So people would say, well, we would have this, and we would have it at nine o’clock, and we would have it in different places and people would come and the format would go like this.

And, a lot of those don’t translate into the online world, just in the same way that some types of meetings and some types of team-building things you would do in person don’t directly translate. It’s not that it’s not possible to do them online. You just need to rethink how we achieve the things we want to achieve given this format.

So, with online events, I think. I think for a lot of them, I say after the first two months, the drop-off that most of us experience with interest in going to meetings or going to online events was because they were not well suited to the format.

Links

CUASIA – Coworking Unconference

Steve on LinkedIn

Steve on Twitter

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