Back in July, I received a ping from Patrick Tanguay from Station-C coworking in Montreal suggesting that we should band together and submit a panel for SXSW Interactive 08 (the conference at which we had met, in fact).
Over the course of the next week, we shared ideas and, with input from Chris and Tara of Citizen Space, about how we might approach this topic to be a bit more general to appeal to the entire audience. We came up with a title and synopsis!
Coworking and the evolution of the independent worker:
A few years ago everyone wanted to work from home. Now we realize, working alone sucks. What new resources and communities, both online and off, are enabling workers to really step up their game. Coworking spaces are opening everywhere and playing a central part in this new way of doing business.
After submitting the panel and having it voted on, weeks passed. Months passed. Panels began being picked and posted for the conference. Our expectations were set appropriately (we’d be first time SXSWi presenters), and we weren’t shocked to not hear back.
As the last few weeks have been filled with lots of twitter-chatter and question-asking about our SXSW plans, I decided to email the event director, Hugh Forrest, to see if he had any news since we never really got an official “no” on our panel.
As it turns out…we weren’t out of the running! I found out this morning that we’ve been slated to join the list of Core Conversations, a new format to SXSW that reads a bit more like an unconference (see BlogPhiladelphia). This format, rather than a panel, is more of an opportunity to converse and share experiences and knowledge about our journeys in the “indy” workforce.
I’m SUPER excited about this, as it will give us a platform to unite the coworking community as it converges on the city of Austin from all over the world. Last year we had a really fun coworking meetup at Barcamp Austin, this year, we get an official session and location, as well as a spot in the program, to hold it!
I’d like to work with a handful of key people to help make sure that the 1 hour session we have is loaded with interesting and valuable information, so for those of you attending who have something in particular you want to share, drop us a line.
I’ll be posting more as I hear more about the time and date. We’ll also have to organize a coworking lunch or brunch or something like that. I know there are currently ~8 people from IndyHall who will be attending the conference, and many more from Philadelphia I’m sure. If you’re going to be attending and interested in coworking (or Philadelphia and our social/creative scene on any level), drop a line in the comments and we’ll be sure to look you up once we’re in Austin!