If you’re pondering trying to get out of the office and out into the community more this year but are unsure if you’re ready to jump into a membership at a coworking space (or lack such a space in your community), an event coming up on the calendar in just a few days may be for you: the second Worldwide Jellyweek from 16-22 January . If you’re among the uninitiated who are shaking their heads in confusion, the Jellyweek home page explains:
A JELLY is a casual working event. People are coming together (in a person’s home, a coffee shop, a public space or an office) to work for the day. Bring a laptop (or whatever you need to get your work done) and a friendly disposition. And you are free to create an interesting program (barcamps, exhibitions, workshops, networking events, exchange programs with other coworking communities etc.) during the jelly week.
Or as the Cohere coworking space blog puts it: “A ‘Jelly’ is like coworking, only without a dedicated space, time or set of attendees.” These meet-ups have obvious networking advantages, as well as reducing loneliness for remote workers usually slaving away in their home offices of at coffee shops, but are also a good way to get the feel of your local coworking community or to discuss setting up a new space if the idea hasn’t yet come to your area.
Organizers are encouraging participants to discuss the purpose and future of the coworking movement when they meet, suggesting questions to discuss such as: What important needs can be fulfilled by coworking? What local and global problems can coworking help solve? How can coworkers use the global coworking infrastructure to foster their businesses and projects? Which people and networks aren’t yet connected to the idea of coworking and should be involved? Organizer Anni Roolf explained in an email: “We are creating a new global work movement at the moment. #JELLYWEEK 2012 will be one milestone. There will be for sure a sustainable outcome of new common projects and structures. And #JELLYWEEK 2013 (again the third week in January) will be another, more developed milestone in the process.”
Primarily a European event last year, the idea has now spread to include 120 jelly hosts in 28 countries. Joining is totally free and more information is available through the Jellyweek website, as well as all the usual social channels as well, including a Twitter feed (complete with hashtag: #JELLYWEEK ) and Facebook group. Hat tip to the Cohere blog for highlighting the event.
Image courtesy of Flickr user philcampbell.