New Work City set out to make life easier for people who can work anywhere. Along the way, we learned that what we were building wasn’t simply a respite from working from homes and cafes. What we’re dealing with, it turns out, is something much larger.
Over the last year and a half, we’ve acted as a home away from home for countless people from around the city and visitors from around the world. We hosted events, harbored the planning committees of several BarCamps and other volunteer initiatives, and have witnessed some brilliant people coming together to build great things.
Having a central gathering place has been a big part of this. Our current space has served our needs for the last 18 months, but lately we’ve been feeling the growing pains. It’s clear now that what we’re doing is bigger than what fits in the space we have, and the impact we can have on our community can be that much larger in a better place.
As it happens, a series of highly unlikely coincidences (and poor planning on our part) have put us in a strange situation and given us a powerful impetus to begin implementing this future: We are going to have to leave our current space at 200 Varick Street by May 1st.
Yes, May 1st. That’s really soon. Crazy, right?
Luckily, we have been preparing for our move for some time now. We won’t, however, be ready to launch a new home in time for May 1st. That leaves us with an interim period during which we will have a unique opportunity to explore the many things our city has to offer.
From May 1st until the opening of our new space, we will be hitting the road– opening up our community to visit and work in a variety of spots around the city, and discovering some of the great people, places, startups, and other organizations with whom we coexist.
It will resemble, in many ways, this past fall’s Breakout Festival. It will be geared toward servicing the needs of our community and connecting with related organizations.
We’ll be documenting and sharing everything along the way, and all the things we learn and discover while on this journey will help us better understand the role our new home will play in this ecosystem.
And it will be totally community-powered. If you want to host a gathering, do it!
We’re going to use a wiki to coordinate things for now. (Cue the shudder from wiki haters like me!) It’s mostly just a placeholder at the moment, but it’s here: http://bit.ly/a5tquS
We’re also looking for one spot to call our temporary HQ during this transition period. If you’ve got a nice spot and room for 12-25 of us, give me a call!
How are we going to get away with all of this? Because we’re inherently mobile, and most of us can work just about anywhere. More importantly, though, New Work City is a community first and a business second, and now we are going to have a chance to prove it. We existed without a central space before, and we’ll do it again.
NWC’s members made it clear at last week’s Town Hall that they believe in what NWC represents and stand ready to work to shepherd in its new future.
Along the way, we’ll be looking at new spaces and exploring relationships with people who can help us get our new home up and running. Just like we did before, I’ll be documenting things along the way. Photos, videos, floor plans, and more will start flowing in as we ascertain our candidates and work on striking a deal.
The first space was launched with the goal of proving that people needed a coworking space in Manhattan, and that it was possible to successfully run such a space. Now, it’s clear that New Work City represents something bigger. While our first space was inherently temporary and primarily focused on giving people a place to work and host small events, our next space should be designed to be more than just a workspace.
The goal with this new effort is to build a self-sustaining local community center– one which can act as a hub of activity for anyone with an independent disposition and a beacon for those who seek a chance to build great things alongside the city’s best and brightest.
There’s going to be a LOT to do. For now, I mostly wanted to share with you where we’re at right now, and what our early plans are. As things progress, I’ll be calling upon everyone to step up.
For now, join our Meetup group if you haven’t already– we’ll be using that as the staging area for our future activities as things move forward.
New Work City would never have existed in the first place without the passion and participation of people who, together, constitute the community that New Work City represents. It continues to exist and thrive because we, as a group, share a common set of values and needs, and because we believe that we are better off together than alone.
This is an exciting time for us, and a tremendous opportunity to make a real impact on our city.
Hang onto your hats, folks! This is going to be one hell of a ride.