It’s been about six months since Innovation Works London opened. It’s a co-working space dedicated to social innovation. It’s an incubator for creativity. It’s a collection of people and organizations dedicated to social purpose work. It’s an intergenerational, cross cultural and multi-sector co-working space. It’s a hub where social change ideas are birthed. It’s a place designed to create sparks from conscious collisions.
Conscious collisions? What the heck? Stay with me, you’ll get it.
I am in love with this place, the space and the people. I feel myself flourishing in this micro community of like-minded people. I am inspired by the talent and heart of the co-tenants. I am grateful for the new connections and collaboration opportunities that emerge daily.
Co-working spaces are intentionally designed to help people collide. At Innovation Works, the shared kitchen is a hub where people gather – for weekly Salad Club or Wine Down Fridays. Flex desk users sit in different spots, with different people, daily. People literally bump into each other while pondering the latest quote or poll on the chalk board. Dialogue walks are emerging as a new medium for intentional collision moments. They are invitations to walk, talk and share stories, dreams and motivations that form the root of relationships and spark ideas for new ways to collaborate.
Here's my definition of CONSCIOUS COLLISION:
The intentional act of intersecting with people with diverse talents, interests and expertise to co-create through collaboration. Collision moments are often facilitated in co-working spaces - either by chance or design.
Conscious collision moments create opportunities to talk, share, listen, ponder, be curious and learn. What might seem like random, one off conversations often lead to a series of interactions where relationships are deepened and ideas for collaboration emerge.
As I reflect on the highlights of 2016, I notice how grateful I am for the many positive collisions that I’ve experienced so far at Innovation Works. They’ve got my heart racing with joy and possibility thinking. This community represents a shift in how people work, engage and co-create. It’s fun to be in on the ground floor.
I am also deeply grateful to my dear friend Johnny Fansher who was the spark of this idea in London. I call him the birth father of this project. He was passionate about the possibility and persistent in holding the vision. He gathered people to co-create and cultivate the vision. Eventually Pillar Non Profit, the London Arts Council and London Heritage Council caught the ball and helped bring the dream to reality. Patience, sprinkled with large doses of faith, paired with gritty determination have made Innovation Works come to life.
I can’t wait to see what innovations and collaborations we’ll be celebrating this time next year that got birthed in conscious collision moments. Stay tuned.
Janet Frood is a proud founding co-tenant of Innovation Works London and part of the original dream team that helped cultivate the vision for Innovation Works London. She is the Founder of Horizon Leadership Institute and is an executive, leadership and team coach.