An Introduction to the Commons
Harold Jarche explaining the background and purpose of his excellent third-space project: An Introduction to the Commons.
"Take a look in any city and you will see people working with wireless enabled computers in what has become the default third-space – the coffee shop. Now, a new third-space, the work commons, is being created where workers pay a monthly membership to have access to shared work areas and business services. No one owns an office, because no one needs a full-time space. It would be a waste."I love this concept -- it seems to be one more piece in the puzzle in helping people find better integration of their work, learning, community and family lives. You can see how the availability and use of these spaces could cascade through individuals' lifestyle choices.
Perhaps easy access to offices, equipment and interesting colleagues makes it that much easier to envision and facilitate self-employment. And maybe more self-employed people could live in smaller homes, closer to city centers if they didn't require home offices contained inside, saving energy and other costs. Maybe these commons will all integrate short-term drop-in childcare so Mom or Dad can finish a project or have a meeting when the need arises. It seems like these things could emerge as a sort of dynamic community center.
Reminds me that I SO need to visit the Queen Street Commons.
Update: Rob points to a new organization in Vancouver called Workspace, which looks more business- oriented (as opposed to community/social-oriented, I guess) and posher than some of the others, and the higher prices reflect that. Lots to love about this model, and you'd think that there will be the critical mass within Vancouver to make it work.