This past Thursday (April 26), a local group called Coworking Cape Breton held their first Jelly. That probably sounds a little strange, so let me explain. Coworking is an international movement in which independent professionals work together in a shared workspace using the principles of collaboration, community, and accessibility to enhance the work done by the members.
The coworking movement has been around for over a decade, but it has been more of an urban phenomenon than anything. With the rise in self-employment over the past twenty years, especially in highly specialized fields, the need for more adaptive, socially collaborative, open work spaces is being recognized in more and more environments.
A local group of self-starters has been undertaking an effort to bring coworking to Cape Breton. The group is currently being led by Darren MacDonald and Rachael MacKeigan. The two have brought the concept forward partially out of a self-interested need for a space in which they can work with a community of their peers and share collaborative resources.
MacDonald is a professional ergonomist who works mainly out of his house. Being a professional working out of the house and local coffee shops, he has decided that he would prefer a co-working environment. MacKeigan is the coordinator for the CAP Society of Cape Breton County. Her work with the CAP society has led to an interest in Cape Breton’s need for coworking spaces.
As part of a trial run for coworking in Cape Breton, the team is running a series of weekly Jellys in order to see if there is a community that’s interested in participating in coworking. A Jelly is a social working event in which coworkers get together to work collaboratively in places like coffee shops and restaurants. Participants bring laptops, work materials and their positive collaborative attitudes to work collaboratively on their individual projects.
If you’re interested in finding out more about upcoming events with Coworking Cape Breton, check out CoworkingCapeBreton.ca.