New space for tech co-ops!

Hey everyone,

Outlandish / Space4 has just been given a 10-year lease on a new office space up the road from our existing HQ. Hoorah!

This contract has been awarded to us by our local authority, and we have a remit to provide affordable work- meeting- and event space, and boost employment and educational prospects in our local area, particularly amongst marginalised groups.

Our aim is that the space supports CoTech, and the cooperative tech movement in general. So even if you don’t use it on a day-to-day basis, we still want it to help you. Ideas we have about this so far include online training resources, events that raise the profile of your work and our movement, attracting funding and partnerships for large social tech projects, attracting new big clients. I want to hear from you about how else you think we can support you all.

In the long term this opportunity opens up a lot of avenues for attracting extra funding, partnerships, clients and cooperators. In the short term we do definitely need to get some income into the project so we don’t run up a big debt while the building is only part-occupied.

We need your help! You can help us out by:

  1. Help us hire our desks and meeting rooms. Please help spread the word.
  2. Host an event or meeting here. Let me know if you have ideas.
  3. Sponsor a desk: We have loads of people working on social value projects who we offer the space to on a pay-what-you can basis. If you could sponsor a desk or two that will allow us to continue to support everyone regardless of their financial situation.
  4. Engage with us on social media! We just hired the amazing @MaddyN to do marketing for us. Check it out on https://twitter.com/space4coop / https://www.facebook.com/space4coop / https://www.instagram.com/space4_uk/
  5. Help us get in touch with potential partners: There are only so many projects we can deliver, so we’re really looking for partners who are in our field and have overlapping objectives, who can use the space to deliver their own projects.
  6. Let us know of relevant funding opportunities.
  7. Let me know if you have ideas for how SPACE4 can support you, even if you’re not here in London.
  8. Anything else…

We’ll be hosting a launch party, of course! Should be late September-ish. Keep an eye out for your invite! And also hoping to have you soon for a CoTech hack.

Thanks folks!

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This is a great initiative. Congratulations. Does the activity in the space need to be tech-focused, or can it be co-op focused and without a specific tech angle?

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Hi all, thank you Polly for the introduction, to say I’m very excited to join Outlandish/Space4 is an understatement. The past few weeks have been amazing working alongside Polly and the rest of the team.

As Polly mentioned, we will be hosting a launch party for the new space and I can’t wait to catch up with everyone then.

In the meantime if there are any questions/requests please contact me on maddy@outlandish.com

Thank you :slight_smile:

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Thanks Graham,

It needn’t be just tech co-op focused. This is our main interest, but being exclusively tech co-op focused makes us impractically niche. So we’re 100% open to coops (and even non-coops!) in other sectors, as long as they pretty much are on board with our ethos.

Polly

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This is SUPER exciting! I am down for the cause of tech and the internet and distributed community, but there is simply nothing like physical space for bringing out the most accessible and serendipitous of possibilities. I am soooo psyched for what will emerge from it!

A coworking space in Toronto called Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) has been doing rad social innovation place-making for over a decade. They had so many visitors and inquiries over the years, that they had to public books so that they could get back to actually running and expanding the experience: :slight_smile: (4 locations in Toronto, and they were lured into opening one in NYC)

https://socialinnovation.org/impact/books/

Highly highly highly recommend giving the first ones a once-over – its essentially a how-to for all they’ve learned.

(Also, the main criticism of the org is that its a for-profit and so has become a bit too financially oriented asnits grown, but a co-op space running on similar values seems very intriguing.)

Good luck! Excited to visit when I hopefully visit from Canada for a month or so this winter :slight_smile:

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Well done Polly, amazing! I was at an event at Westminster City Hall this week and got the news (I just heard), that Hub Westminster had closed down. The reason? Officially security in the building proved not good enough to respect its diplomatic status (also hosting the New Zealand consulate). Sounds like someone didn’t want to co-fund them any more… So watch out for changes in policy… but exciting news none the less.

Hey @polly

Dropped an email asking about desk space for Common Knowledge at the expanded Space4. Let me know if you didn’t get it and we can try again!

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Ah well luckily we’re still pretty far off sharing a building with a consulate so fingers crossed. I also heard that Impact Hub’s rents became unmanageable in that building once the lease was renegotiated.

Hopefully there’ll still be a bit of funding out there for little old us. :slight_smile:

Thanks Patcon,

CSI is super interesting - I had actually come across them a while back but just had another look and reignited my interest! And I hadn’t realised how comprehensive their guides on how to run a social impact space were. Thanks so much for the heads up. That’s totally where we want to be eventually (just without the private profit bit, and the references to KPMG and the likes!).

Please do stay in touch.

Hope to see you soon.

Polly

For sure! Happy to make informal intros or do a call with you myself to explain what I know of them

(Fwiw Mark Surman, Executive Director of Mozilla Foundation, is the partner of Tonya Surman, founder of CSI. So lots of cross pollination of those spaces. Def worth tracking them. :slight_smile: )