Alex Hillman – What can Coworking teach us about the Future of Work? (#betterworktour 2013)


  • Where do communities come from? All too often, we see fully formed things, and forget that they haven’t always been this way.
  • The heart is people, not space – “There can be no collaboration without collaborators.”
  • Trust is the most valuable natural resource for communities
  • Optimism is a fuel that drives; it changes the scale of your perspectice, goals, and actions
  • Choice makes an enormous difference. If everyone has chosen to participate, it’s a totally different ball game
  • People don’t care about the things they share, unless they care about the people they share them with
  • Culture must be shown, not told; owned, not assigned.
  • Sharing a worldview & common purpose is super critical.
  • Worldview is polarising – it is a powerful (and useful) filter for the people who want to join your community.
  • A community which is merely a well people come to drink from, is a depleting resource, and an unhealthy community.
  • The bigger/fancier/more polished the space, the harder it is to see the culture, the people, and the community.
  • Look past the place … see the people.
  • Sometimes, friction is good, e.g. an empty coffee pot (rather than refilled by staff) prompts people to talk to others to learn to make coffee. Thus both building a new connection to the community, and beginning to contribute to it in a new way.
  • Empowering community members: “We should do <x>” “That sounds great! What do you need to be able to do it?”
  • Indyhall’s design principles (for desk layout etc…)
    • Make it hard for poeple to sit by themselves
    • Increase the odds that people will sit next to new people
    • These are intended to “accelerate serendipity”
  • Convert the change-resistant to be your evangeslists. Help them see the value that they personally have gained from the changes.
  • “If it’s important to you, here’s an opportunity to get involved & use your interest/passion to help everyone.”
  • The connections & relationships between people are the most important thing for a thriving community.

Clay Johnson – Industrialised Ignorance (Webstock 2013)


Industrialised Ignorance

Transcription and further thoughts:

  • We all know Pop Culture … but we know very little about what is troubling our own communities.
  • How then are we supposed to improve them!
  • We created huge companies to make popular food for us. (Pizza tastes better than Broccoli)
  • Likewise, we created huge companies to make popular information for us (Opinion tastes better than News)\
  • We value feeling like we’re right (and being told that we are right) over being informed.
  • Ignorance is not just a lack of information, but also due to our exposure to affirmatory information.
  • Consider putting yourself on an Information Diet …
  • … and realise that your information choices have social consequences.
  • Every click, every view, of content on the net biases future content creation.
  • Because information is provided to us as a money-making venture, providers will solve the equation for maximum profit, via maximum popularity.
  • Keys to a positive Information Diet
  1. Be aware of what you consume
  2. Pay attention to local things
  3. Be a producer
  • By starting your day with creation, instead of consumption, you set the tone for your day as one of action, not mere reaction.
  • Work on stuff that matters.