The Value Of Getting Together In 2020 – Indy Hall Brain Trust

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Hi folks! We are here with the lively bunch from Indy Hall Braintrust. Who are in the Braintrust? They are IndyHall’s trusty group of people that provides support for their coworking community. Your personal team of coaches that has your back. 

We are going to be talking all about the values of getting together. How it helps and supports the coworking community. 

Alex on the value of Getting Together

“It’s kind of, you know, it’s a habit. It’s a way of life. I’m super grateful to be in this room with these people. Like you said before, this has become a bit of a tradition. There is a lot of ways to come together we as people who work in the industry of Coworking or even things near it. 

Our jobs are to bring people together. But a lot of the times we’re working in relative isolation from each other. We’re lucky, we know some other local operators. Sometimes we have teammates. 

But a lot of times the only opportunities we have to connect with other operators outside of that or other practitioners, other community builders are to go to big conferences where you spend all day getting talked at, and then you hope for some time in between talks in the hallway, where you can actually hang out with those people. 

And so, for the last couple years, we’ve been trying to flip that on its head and create some time to get together with a small group where no one’s talking at anybody, but we’re talking with each other and having more extended in-depth conversations, and I shouldn’t be surprised I’m not surprised.

But I am amazed at the breadth of what a group like this cannon will choose to cover once people get a little bit of time to, open up. So, I think that I wish that more people had opportunities like this, I’m happy to continue organizing groups like this. But for folks that are listening, I encourage you to find a group of peers or if you don’t have them yet.

Find some and invite them to go spend a weekend in a cabin in the woods, and I promise that’s not a creepy invitation.”

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Bernie J Mitchel    0:03  

Welcome to Coworking Values Podcast of the European coworking assembly. Each week we deep dive into one of the values of accessibility, community openness, collaboration, and sustainability.

Bernie J Mitchel   0:15  

Thank you so much for listening to the Coworking Values Podcast, and also thank you to Cobot, which is a coworking software company. They help you they build really slick, gorgeous bouncy software that helps you organize everything, you know, space from meeting rooms to renting desks to opening the door. And they’ve been supporting one of these companies that have been around and grown with coworking they started out by running their own coworking space and built some software to run that coworking space. And that’s how they ended up in the coworking space software industry. I was at a coworking Europe conference a few years ago, and it was a big panel discussion, and someone said, I don’t know how you can run a space without software. So, if you’re one of those people with spreadsheets, apps and bits of string or take up your time, sign up to cobot@cobot.me and you’ll get a one-month free trial. Cobot   integrates with lots of things you use already, like included in slack and Mail Chimp, and you can do everything in one place. So, thanks to Cobot, and thanks for your time spent listening to our podcast here today.

Bernie J Mitchel    01:20  

Ladies and gentlemen, here we are for another coworking values podcast. I have a post. It’s

Bernie J Mitchel    01:26  

Another live episode from the Indy Hall Brain Trust centre in the Indy Hall Brain Trust retreat in sunny just outside of Warsaw. So, we’re recording this just after the European coworking conference in Warsaw in Poland, and then it’s become a habit to have it like a lot of us gather at the Indy Hall retreat run by Adam and Andy.

Bernie J Mitchel    01:54  

From Indy Hall, and in the format of mistakes is we sort of lock ourselves in a remote cabin. It’s a little bit like the shining, but about coworking.

Bernie J Mitchel    02:06  

And we’ve spent the weekend, like chatting about how important it is to get you know, communities together, get two people together and a lot of us in our individual pockets of the world and we go out and introduce everyone in a minute so you get an idea of how important it is to get together. So, what we’ll do, ladies and gentlemen, is we’ll say hello, okay with everyone. And then and then we’ll go around and say, you know, Hello, my name is Alan not getting together to play golf with my funeral director or something like that. 

Alex 02:34  

Hey everybody, my name is Alex, the co-founder of Indy Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Marcella 02:43  

Hello, everyone. My name is Marcella. I’m part of the team that runs tomorrow in London started as community and I’m also running programs.

Catherine chestnut 02:54  

Hello, my name is Catherine Chestnut. I am the founder of alkaloid networks. In Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Carl 03:03  

Hi everyone. This is Carl I’m the presidency of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Centre in Fort Wayne, Indiana. How can

Bernie J Mitchel    03:10  

you have been in presidency like over 25 years.

Carl 03:13  

20 years.

Aaron 03:16  

Hey everyone, it’s Aaron, the lender from Budapest, Hungary, the co-founder and managing partner of Qatar coworking space.

Adam terrorists 03:25  

Hi, I’m Adam terrorists, the lead tumbler and Indy Hall in Philadelphia. United States

Bernie J Mitchel    03:33  

Sounded very good.

Bernie J Mitchel    03:36  

So, Alex, I suppose you’ve got anything to say about getting together.

Alex 03:41  

It’s kind of a you know, it’s a habit. It’s a way of life. I’m super grateful to be in this room with these people. Like you said before, this has become a bit of a tradition. There is a lot of ways to come together we as people who work in the industry of Coworking or even things near it. Our jobs are to bring people together. But a lot of the times we’re working in relative isolation from each other. We’re lucky, we know some other local operators. Sometimes we have teammates. But a lot of times the only opportunities we have to connect with other operators outside of that or other practitioners, other community builders are to go to big conferences where you spend all day getting talked at, and then you hope for some time in between talks in the hallway, where you can actually hang out with those people. And so, for the last couple years, we’ve been trying to flip that on its head and create some time to get together with a small group where no one’s talking at anybody, but we’re talking with each other and having more extended in depth conversations, and I shouldn’t be surprised I’m not surprised.

Alex 04:54  

But I am amazed at the breadth of what a group like this cannon will choose to cover once people get a little bit of time to, open up. So, I think that I wish that more people had opportunities like this, I’m happy to continue organizing groups like this. But for folks that are listening, I encourage you to find a group of peers or if you don’t have them yet,

Alex 05:24  

Find some and invite them to go spend a weekend in a cabin in the woods, and I promise that’s not a creepy invitation.

Bernie J Mitchel    05:32  

Marcella, how do you get together? what’s going on here? What’s the meeting with your industry peers?

Marcella 05:41  

So, I’ve been meeting with industry peers for a while online. So, this is officially my first opportunity to be with a group of people in person, and it’s been extremely valuable beyond what I could have predicted. But beyond that, I’ve only had been doing like one on ones with people that are You are otherwise online in bigger groups, I didn’t think that it would be as intensely valuable as it has been. So, every second of this has been blowing my mind. So, it’s definitely something I want to do more of.

Bernie J Mitchel    06:16  

When you’re covering space. And I have How do people get together there? What do you see people doing? And how do you see them interacting the value they get from that.

Marcella 06:26  

So, it goes both ways. There’s a lot of organic stuff happening, and we try to do the kind of manufactured serendipity as much as we can. So, creating events and situations just to bring people together. And I find that in the most kind of casual format is usually what works best. So, people have time to talk to each other and hear each other. And there’s no specific agenda. But for us, it’s been a mix of kind of creating those situations having a space that it’s somewhat conducive for that so physical space that has pockets of spaces where they can meet and gather, and then trying to encourage that people give their time to support and help each other as well.

Bernie J Mitchel    07:09  

Beautiful. The Catherine from Atlanta’s red Hawk coworking space, what I think you might get people together to deal with Coworking, how do you do that? And what do you think they get from it and what do you get from it?

Catherine Chestnut 07:24  

Well, my, my experiences throughout my entire life, I’ve always come from a place of there’s lots of abundance for all of us. And when I first started getting involved in the Coworking community at large, so, you know, globally or at first nationally, there were conversations about alliances and I kept thinking, why don’t we have one in Atlanta, so I actually started one this year and it’s been really So far incredibly powerful for the, for everybody that there are 10 spaces that are involved and a couple of them are very small and fairly new and the community managers are feel very isolated and they have been incredibly grateful for this new alliance to be a part of their lives. And I am excited about that. 

Catherine Chestnut 08:30

But I will say that when I came to this particular retreat last year, and I’ve been to retreats in the past, but nothing that was around coworking, I had no idea what to expect. And I remember calling Alex or being on slack and having met most of all of you on zoom or whatever, it’s completely different being here. I didn’t know what to expect. I said what should I expect, and I can’t I remember what you said it was pretty vague. And I just said, damn the torpedoes I’m going. Here I am. And it was a really powerful experience, and I got a lot out of it. And I think the power of this going into the woods with your friends, is not creepy. 

Catherine Chestnut 9:28  

Sounds a little creepy, 

Catherine Chestnut 9:36  

But I think the power of small groups gives us the opportunity to relax and gives us the opportunity to be very genuinely authentic with each other, and to come from a place that’s very real, and what’s very important to us. And that is what I think makes this super, super powerful. Because we get to feel that authentic piece of each other throughout the weekend.

Bernie J Mitchel    10:08  

Beautiful. And thank you for the cornbread, chili and continuing on which project

Bernie J Mitchel    10:21  

What do you got to say? I can’t think of a key question for you. So, you just got to, you know, mix everything for me. 

Carl 10:26  

All right I’ll try my best. You know, I think each year I try to work on myself and work on the organization. I think that’s how you keep it relevant, interesting and fun, and so opportunities

Bernie J Mitchel    10:38  

Can you do the indication of the scale of your organization because, it’s not like four desks in anyways

Carl 10:47  

It’s not a system. It’s an ecosystem. So, it’s a Technology Park that offers a lot of different entrepreneurial and innovation services. So, we support that everything from pre company through second or third stage large businesses. And so, we do that through a variety of programs, acceleration, incubation, coworking corporate innovation, and lots of specific programs focused on certain types of entrepreneurial segments as well. So, so a fairly broad program to support kind of our community’s transformation away from manufacturing to get in, in that knowledge-based economy.

Bernie J Mitchel    11:25  

What have you got from like the universe, someone who’s got quite a long history of getting together with other people? What was the magic for you?

Carl 11:33  

Yeah, I think, you know, always for me is it’s trying to seek out insights and connect dots and see around the corners. So, you know, I think my job and in the leadership role that I play is to try to see around the corners as best I can to kind of call the future shots that I think are going to be essential for us to be successful and that means kind of assembling and connecting dots and maybe putting them together differently. So, you know, each year I try to focus on certain types of challenges or opportunities for the organization and go deep and just try to gain insights from people. 

Carl 12:08

This is a people business, despite everything, you know, we do all the technology, we use all the ways that we communicate and interact at the end, at the very essence, it’s still a really people oriented business, and you know, the insights and things you can learn from your peers in different environments, and then the magic is taking that and figuring out how it’s relevant and works in your community because you just can’t take it and apply it. You have to take it and tweak it and apply it.

Bernie J Mitchel    12:35  

Yep. And then we’ve talked a lot about, we’re gonna get a blog post on weight loss is going to be published in January. So yeah, so we talked a lot about book recommendations, which was really exciting. I just felt the urge to say that there as I was talking to you, so Aaron, this is your first this is your first in person. thing. Okay, so far, it’s currently holding up okay.

Bernie J Mitchel    12:58  

Are you are holding up okay? 

Bernie J Mitchel    13:00  

So, what can you say? Why you wanted to come to a retreat with other coworking people? And what you’ve got out of it and thinking about your own coworking space? What you can take that?

Aaron 13:12  

Yes, so we’re up and running since almost eight years. And originally, I thought, I’m coming to the fourth year of conference and to this retreat, to work on a specific project, which is creating a global platform for coworking spaces. And I get so inspired here that we are connected so many levels, like from redound to verse, pretty practical stuff still, to the very meta level where how we, as human beings are involved in our own personal perspective in the future. So, I ended up found myself more in the conversation, what I’m really actually wanted to achieve in my life on the subject of dealing with coworking space, so yeah, this corporate changed here.

Bernie J Mitchel    13:58  

Was there anything was there any particular Remember you enjoy the kind of work in you from your coworking Europe conference.

Aaron 14:04  

I mostly enjoyed really the breaks this usually happens with me in international conferences that I really enjoyed getting into meaningful conversation quickly with people’s really nice people I found there. One if I need to pick one session, I like there was a guy Josh from the state. He had an interesting workshop on how to purchase your own real estate very run your coworking space. 

Bernie J Mitchel    14:32  

So, thanks very much.

Bernie J Mitchel       14:34  

Adam. This could be this could be the continuation of our 2015 the LAN podcast that the batteries run out on this very recorder.

Adam 14:43  

Yes. And I don’t remember what I said in 2015. So, I hope it’s not the continuation because I don’t recall what that was about

Bernie J Mitchel    14:50  

It something about leaving in the hall because you didn’t like the pasta.

Aaron 14:53  

Yeah. That panned out great

Bernie J Mitchel    14:58  

Briefly sir, what gets you together?

Adam 15:02  

Getting together? Ah, it’s hard for me to pinpoint one thing about Indy Hall and people getting together that I like, because there are so many different ways in which people gather and form community and express community. And I think that’s amazing. I like most of all, seeing people discover that they don’t have to be lovely. I think I like seeing people learn that they don’t have to be lonely. And I say the word learn because I think they have to learn that. And in the United States, at least in Philadelphia, at least a lot of us have gotten used to doing things on our own, for better or for worse. Doing things independently is great, it’s empowering. You can be your own boss, you make your own decisions, you have agency and autonomy. And that’s wonderful.

Adam 16:00

 And at a certain point in time, we’ve heard get to spend time with one another. And we also forget to spend time with ourselves and to be introspective and to learn about ourselves and what we need and what we want, and to learn about other people around us. And at Indy Hall, I love facilitating interactions in which people gradually learned that they don’t have to be by themselves. And that’s amazing. It’s an incredible feeling. But not everyone does it the same way, whether it’s over a podcast like this, or it’s in our drink and draw where you bring a beer and a sketchpad and you doodle with someone else, or it’s over a meeting in a conference room or lunch. I mean, it’s, it’s there are so many variations of people discovering that they don’t have to be alone. But that’s so human. We all learn that we don’t have to be alone. And before I was a part of the hall, I don’t know if I knew that explicitly. And I do now. So, my joy comes from sharing that with Other people.

Bernie J Mitchel    17:01  

Some reminds me of a podcast to do with the Mr. Mike LaRosa, which is about how coworking saved my life. And a part of it is just, you know, getting out his house and going to a coworking space and not working alone. And it turns out a lot of people have a story not dissimilar to that. The other thing I’d like to draw your attention to listener is the coworking What do we call an artist coworking forum that will cover the global coworking forum, which is 10,000 people, between eight and 10, our good days, 1000 people, you know.

Bernie J Mitchel    17:35

and that’s, we started a Google group about 10 or 15 years ago. And it’s just, if you ever want to know about coworking and are afraid to ask a human being to go to that group, and you can go back 15 years’ worth of questions, everything from like, what colour dishwashers should I do to someone’s just set fire to their hair in my coworking space? Do I use this or this or how do I build community any links to software and stuff like that?

Bernie J Mitchel    18:01

 Something we’re encouraging on this podcast for people to get more active in because it is the so many people ask questions like, how do I and I know, seven and a half times out of 10 the answers in that group and it’s a great way to connect with people. And the other thing is there’s there are on the on the European coworkers assembly website, there’s links to lots of events over 2020 which is coworking Spain coworking Germany, coworking coliving, which will be in Croatia this year. The research group for collaborative spaces and I’m sure there’s a few more interest in Coworking Europe the world’s favourite coworking conference and juicy Asia, are you going to CU Asia? 

Aaron 18:44

It’s CU Asia.

Bernie J Mitchel    18:47

Sorry, Steve Monroe, just send me a small electric shock.

Carl 18:50  

You can edit this podcast,

Bernie J Mitchel    18:52  

I think I can. Apparently, you can,

Bernie J Mitchel       18:54  

But there’s CU Asia and they are just great opportunities to get together and Do we’ll be talking about in this podcast. So, if you go to our website which is European coworking assembly and just put that into any search engine, sign up for our email list, there’s tons and tons and tons of stuff. I hope you had a great Christmas and the rest of January is pulling for you random floors. Ladies, Gentlemen.

Transcribed by Otter.

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