What we valueThese are signposts that keep us on track in our journey of discovery and learning.
Hosting. This means way more than a friendly face. Hosts act in deep service of our community, which requires presence, commitment, attention, empathy and very good listening. We believe in distributed leadership, whereby hosts, staff, members and visitors alike play key roles in weaving the fabric of our community. Our culture doesn’t hinge on a small number of individuals, but is co-created and enacted by everyone in our space.
Extending the limits of our imagination. We try to take people outside the realm of what they think is possible. We ask questions like: What would the world look like if work became decoupled from covering basic needs? What would happen if there were banks that created and lent time rather than money? What would Britain be like if we had a job-sharing Prime Minister?
Human connection and meaningful conversations. We really care about each other. Beyond the usual How are you? and What do you do?, we are curious to know Who are you? Where did you come from? What are your dreams for this world? What are your fears? Where would you like to go with us?
Playfulness. From making sexy salads to spontaneous pomodoro and weekly questions on the loo wall, we know that creativity doesn’t act on demand, but is linked to positive emotions and a safe, stimulating environment.
Asking questions. We challenge each other’s assumptions and appreciate multiple realities. We don’t always agree and take divergent perspectives as an opportunity to dig deeper. We frame ‘problems’ as questions in order to invite curiosity and imagination and tap into our collective experience and wisdom from where we can start to create something new.
Prototyping new ideas. We experiment with gift-economy stye exchanges, consensus-based decision-making and peer accountability. We are interested in creating the conditions that can lead to better social outcomes in our city - which includes looking at the way we approach this work ourselves.
Listening. To each other and to ourselves. This means suspending judgement, being able to connect with yourself and knowing when you need to step back. For us, listening is active, powerful and generative.
Invitations. We appreciate the power of invitations to spark collaboration. We have a huge amount to learn and would love to invite more people to become part of our discovery of the world, each other and ourselves.
How we do this:
- We explore and test different ways of working - for example, radical ways of digital collaboration, OpenDesk tables/smart tables
- We create space for collective experimentation and prototyping - for example, by hosting U.Lab, a programme that combines personal development with collective action
- We provide shared workspace to realise these ideas - members include the New Citizenship Project who are rethinking civic participation, Leaders Unlocked who support young people in having a stronger voice on issues that affect them, the CDAC Network that specialises in communicating with disaster affected communities, and 64 Million Artists who are engaging people all over the country in everyday creative activities.
- We actively host a community of people on a similar path, enable peer-learning and provide support - for example, through learning opportunities in storytelling, workshops on navigating purpose and profit in social enterprise or weekly skillshare sessions
- We support like-minded organisations and individuals in their efforts - see our Community Partners
- We create prototypes with aligned partners to transform dysfunctional systems in our city - see ReDesign, a 3-year social action project lead by young people who live in Islington