Conferences and Events

GCUC NA 2023: A Thriving Community

May 8, 2023
GCUC NA 2023: A Thriving Community

GCUC NA 2023 in Chicago was a blast.  Some people from our key partners were there, like super friendly Daniela Mallarino from KISI (hello Daniela!) and Robert and Byron from ezeep (we learned so much from them—thanks guys!).  There were also some smaller vendors in attendance and of course—the people closest to Cobot - hardworking folks who run coworking spaces in the communities they call home:)

Read on for some highlights as gathered by our Cobot’s intrepid explorer from the Support team, Morgan.

Meeting Carlito Smith from Hunt Street Station

Carlito and Cobot's Morgan 

Firstly, thanks to our partnership with GCUC, we were able to offer a conference ticket to a lucky applicant for our giveaway.  That winner was the incredible Carlito Smith.  Aside from managing and growing the community at Hunt Street Station with co-owner Sina Morin (from Germany!), Carlito has also released 6 EPs and hosted concerts, artists, and dinners at Hunt Street.  One of his latest videos – I Wish I Was a Bird—has some amazing flows right here:

I Wish I Was a Bird

Meeting the PilotoMail Team 💜

Leaning into it with Luis and Rose. Clearly the most fun team at GCUC

We were also really pleased to meet the Piloto team. Piloto is a web-based software that allows spaces an easy way to handle letters, envelopes, packages, and whatever else may be received at a space. Luis gave us an excellent demo of Pilot’s capabilities, and it looks like a great solution if you've ever struggled with mail in your coworking space.

The Coven: A Radical Model for More Inclusive Coworking

Inclusivity should be a priority of coworking

A real highlight of the conference was seeing the impressive team from the Coven speak on stage.  Much of their space was designed after speaking with hundreds of local women, non-binary, and trans people, but they invite all people to uplift and celebrate each other.  They design a lot of their space to hold space and in the world of coworking, they could be a solid path forward for more kind, thoughtful and inclusive spaces.  Some interesting things they did to this end are:

Another thing that was really cool about their coworking model is that it is now offered as a franchise too, which you can read about here.

Kernville Coworking: Hiking, Camping and Whitewater Rafting—Just A Few Steps from Your Coworking Space

Thanks to an introduction from the amazing Ashley Proctor (whose IDEA Project Cobot has been a proud sponsor of), we also got to meet Justin Powers.  Justin runs Kernville Cowork, in the Sierras of California, that offers white water rafting, hiking and camping just a few steps away from the space.  We were able to have some great conversations on community service (he’d set up a call center in under 24 hours when his town flooded and people lost their homes). As well as the dynamic of working in ‘rural’ or ‘non-urban’ spaces.  We’re sure we’ll see more of Justin as his space and community grows.

Panels & Their Takeaways

Lastly, while we couldn’t attend every panel, there were a few takeaways from some that caught our attention.

Harnessing Hybrid

This panel had a few speakers talking about transitioning to more hybrid ways of working:

  • Sam Rosen from Deskpass mentioned that a lot of control/information is lost once employees or larger companies enter into a space because they then enter into a different ecosystem of interconnected apps and management systems
  • Annie Draper from Hines noted that corporate workforces might be requiring department-level approvals rather than giving out stipends for people booking rooms in coworking spaces

Hospitality & Community Building

Dr. Tammira Lucas from the Cube Cowork

This was a great panel—more of a show and tell—that Dr. Tammira Lucas from The Cube Cowork.  Some interesting notes about her space were:

  • the Cube is the largest woman and Black-owned business with daycare in the US
  • they invite grandparents as babysitters to ensure multi-generational community engagement
  • you may not want to automate everything and certain, high-touch interactions can help you build your community, be it wishing people happy birthday, or congratulating people on a new job, anything where personal interactions foster deeper community bonds.

Activated Space Design

This panel was hosted by Mara Hauser, CEO of 25N Coworking.  She has consulted on the design of many spaces that center on human interactions.  A few things she’d learned and shared when thinking about designing your own space were:

  • think about what happens in your space and where you want that to happen
  • when and how do you serve the people in your space
  • program for the location
  • trends in to notice for space activators
  • hybrid workers: focused, heads down space that they can’t get at home:
  • quiet cars
  • library settings
  • acoustic treatment and lighting
  • collaboration & connectivity coworkers
  • need playful space
  • need space with things like drawing boards, rooms, and things to augment in-person meetings
  • options for where to work throughout the day
  • tech resources they don’t have at home
  • be nimble
  • always be tour-ready

Thanks again to all the people we met at GCUC that made the conference such a memorable occasion, we can't wait for the next one.

If you’re looking to streamline your operations within your coworking community, why not give Cobot a try? Feel free to reach out to us, or Sign up here for a demo and get started today.

That’s a wrap!  Until next time:)


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