I worked on the notion of a work/environmental commons for our community for about two years, but after raising about $200,000 to construct a new building, matching funds from the provincial and federal governments (originally promised) never materialized. I ran out of steam and parked the idea.
This was my rationale for a work commons two years ago and it hasn’t changed:
For a community to thrive in the Internet Age, it must be attractive to knowledge workers. These workers need to be connected to other knowledge workers so that they can remain creative. They need to have constant access to fresh ideas. One way to attract knowledge workers is to offer the right physical space and connections.
Secondly, many knowledge workers are not traditional salaried employees, they don’t need conventional office space. Many are starting to create their own alternative work and community spaces in cities such as London, Toronto, Vancouver and more locally – Charlottetown and Halifax. Several variants of Commons are being established all over the world.
The Commons will be our place that will help to build trusted relationships. It is a Third Space, being neither a dedicated office nor your home. Individuals will be paying members, but the cost of membership will be much less than renting a dedicated office.
Recently, a local landmark came under new ownership and we are currently discussing the possibilities of creating a work commons in the front of this 15,000 sq ft professional building. Both the 2nd and 3rd floors have about 2,000 sq ft each and depending on interest we may use both.
To find out if there is interest, we we will be holding an open house on Friday, December 18th from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM-ish. This is what we are proposing but we’re open to any and all possibilities:
- We will create a non-profit organization to manage the Sackville Commons.
- Membership will be a monthly fee, probably $50 per month with a one year contract.
- Services offered will depend on interest and willingness to pay [here is a list of membership benefits from the QSC].
- We are also looking into the possibility of offering shared art studio space if there is sufficient interest.
- Membership will be for individuals only – one person, one membership.
Feel free to comment here or on Twitter to @hjarche or @harborne
Please join us at 131 Main Street, Sackville, NB (front door, across from the Mount Allison swan pond). [Parking in rear]