Chapter Two

We’re now at least 12 coworkers and probably more! We had another couple of interested newcomers to our coworking session on Wednesday at Wild Oak. A few more wanted to come along but couldn’t – we’ll one day have a space for you all to just drop-in as the urge takes you πŸ™‚

A local artist brought some ceramics for us to admire and also brought a different perspective to our mostly office-based group. A creative writer and business coach also came and contributed to the discussion about our coworking future and some other attempts to organise around this concept before us.

We spoke mainly about our new venture, how it will be organised, what forms it would take and where we’d love to be permanently. Even though we brought our equipment, I’m afraid to say that with all the chatter about coworking itself, we didn’t get much of our own work done! That’s okay, we’re still getting to know one another…

co-op word cloudSince we last met, where we resolved to have an organiser’s group, we’ve done someΒ  thinking and some organising. We even met separately to discuss how we’d move forward! We’ve decided upon a cooperative structure and to form a legal entity so that we can raise money, spend money, get insurances and rent space. We’re pretty keen on the idea of a democratically run organisation where our members are in the drivers seat. We hope they’ll be actively involved in the discussion to steer our efforts and our strategy to develop something great and community-led for the Yarra Ranges and surrounds.

We have a core organiser’s group of about 6 people right now and we expect that this will expand and fill with new ideas and different perspectives. We hope that it will then coalesce around the central idea of coworking in the Ranges. We know we need space, facilities, technology and a vibrant community. Though what we really need right now is what we don’t know about yet! We need more members to bring different perspectives, different requirements and different work styles.

One thing is becoming very clear though, and that is that we absolutely defy categorisation and pigeon-holing. Each of us can describe ourselves as a [insert profession here], though it seems that it is not our only defining (working) characteristic. Each of us has at least two, three and sometimes more very different aspects to our professional lives. Hybrids then? Perhaps that will become the defining trait of our coworking community.

Yarra Ranges Coworking began as a simple idea to solve a simple problem: to cure the social isolation that independents in our region feel whilst working from their homes or other spaces, alone. One thing is clear from our discussions is that the problem is very real around here and it is one that deserves a vibrant community to help solve.

So if you’re reading this, please pass the word about our new cooperative onto local family and friends that you know who are independents, creative professionals and telecommuters that work mainly alone. They could use our help and we could use theirs!

There’s not long to wait till our next meetup and we hope that our Coworking Wednesdays will become a regular feature of our working week. We’re still working on a regular space and we’ve got some great ideas to fit that bill…