Published Friday, February 22nd, 2013, by Sue Saldibar.
Believe it or not, coworking is not yet a household name. Yet the coworking industry is experiencing staggering 200% growth and even large corporations are doing it. And if GCUC (pronounced “juicy” by the way), the new annual event for coworking professionals, has anything to do with it, it won’t be long until “coworking” becomes a regular part of business vernacular, for corporations large and small.
Liz Elam the Producer of the annual GCUC is on a mission to establish a new paradigm in officing, gathering together business leaders, visionaries and established companies to help put coworking in the position it deserves to be. GCUC is a key part of that mission, targeted to owners and operators of coworking spaces, as well as those providing products and services into the marketplace. Elam refers to the annual event as “A big, juicy wave of awesomeness that’s changing the face of work as we know it.” Playfully put, perhaps, but to Elam, serious business as well.
As Liz puts it: “The days of coworking described as a sort of hippy-ish Kumbaya gathering place are gone. This is a sea change in how we spend our working days and how we interact,” she says. Liz notes that as little as ten years ago it was the executive suites industry that needed explaining. Today there is no question as to what a business center or executive suite is. Coworking as a concept is nipping at its heels. And those “nips” are getting both sharper and deeper!
What’s on tap for GCUC 2013? Two full days of conference and “unconference” action. The goal is to make GCUC “the most focused and nimble unconference you have ever attended,” as the official agenda proclaims. Day One, using a more structured panel format will cover a broad range of issues ranging from the “State of the Union” annual update, to funding, to working with the “giants”; the larger corporations moving into the coworking world. Day Two is the “unconference” as it is called — a slap at the staid and unimaginative format of traditional trade shows and conferences. The unconference portion will allow attendees to share their stories and visions for their coworking communities. Both days, together, promise to cover virtually every facet of coworking and to allow the exchange of creative new ideas along with a lot of networking.
Liz Elam has a vision for GCUC that does not include looking back! States the GCUC website, “Soon, you can say you ‘knew us when’ … unless, that is, you’re one of us. And let us tell you something: it’s good to be one of us.”
The GCUC Global Coworking Unconference runs from March 5-6 in Austin, Texas. More information on the event and a full agenda can be found at www.austingcuc.com.