Alex Hillman discussed what coworking spaces offer a city and how it’s value can and should be shared with those investing in them.
Whenever cities want to get involved with coworking, it is usually because they see economic growth being generated by them. The trouble is that they do not understand why. There are patterns that bring people together and make it different from other businesses.
The problem with large, funded innovation centers is that when governments want to get involved, politics get involved. There is always going to be a tension between the citizens, the people who make the place a place worth being, and the providers of the infrastructure.
Sometimes the city should just get involved with the coworking ecosystems that already exist and supporting them. Instead, they usually try to start a new one. Some of the best relationships with city government happen when they position themselves with existing projects.
Officials may need to be reminded that the best way to impact the coworking industry is by working in a space themselves. Working alongside the citizens and helping them grow can build trust and relationships. Governments can become more collaborative if they used the coworking model to bolster the government.