The Hub: Office Space Sanctuaries For Freelancers
“No one of our generation expects to have a job that takes them through their early twenties into retirement—there’s a much more itinerant approach to how work is done,” says founding Hub member and former head of design Oliver Marlow. “Because of that, and because of technology, people think of themselves as solo professionals. But how do we mobilize, how do we create work? It goes back to straightforward human things: by meeting people, hanging out, and coming up with ideas.”
The Hub has become that meeting place for a working community. It has spread from London to more than 25 locations around the world—from Tel Aviv to Amsterdam to São Paolo, with Hubs due to open in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C., in 2011. Each one comes equipped with the network’s blueprint for success: an infrastructure whose linchpin is its “host,” a Hub staffer charged with maintaining the diverse mix in membership, facilitating networking among members, and serving as the go-to person for issues ranging from IT problems to lunch-spot suggestions.
The key ideological differentiator for the Hub is its dedication to fostering social entrepreneurship—or, in the words of its vision statement, “to realize enterprising initiatives for a radically better world.” Maria Glauser, one of the Hub’s first hosts and now a coordinator for the Hub host community, is careful to emphasize that the aim is open to interpretation. “It doesn’t say much about how: We want the Hub to be a space where that social aim is debated and discussed.”
The end result is part old-school office, part members-only club, and part think tank. Hub member Tim Oldman, creator of the Leesman Index, an independent workplace-effectiveness survey, puts it this way: “If work is an activity rather than a place, I think for Hub members it is also a place.”
From The HUB LA: GOOD captures the essence of the HUB’s rationale - creating an office space that inspires collaboration, new ideas, and facilitates the types of connections that lead to ordinary world-changing - and that’s not an oxymoron. The HUB -reconceives work, and particularly our workspace, around the normalization of collaboration, cooperative capitalism, and social enterprises - creating a space where the creation of a social enterprise is both doable, encouraged, and empowered. HUB spaces are designed with collaboration and shared ideas in mind - from the creation of shared workstations, to office spaces, down to the design of the very tables themselves. The HUB is in fact your sanctuary if you are looking for a place to focus on your world-changing work!
Want to work at The HUB LA? We’re launching in Q1 2011. Email co-founder Nick Kislinger at nkislinger @ thehubla . com for membership information.