- Be Sure to Read Our Story before Reading the Guide
“We believe nowadays the value of any knowledge can not last and old knowledge can only generate new knowledge through the process of sharing, and that there is no receiving without giving.”
“We also believe good ideas can only be valuable, implemented and expanded upon when shared with others.”
“We hope ‘Coworking Communities’ can actually change our working style in China, along with the way we think and the way we innovate. However, such change can not solely be achieved by ‘Xindanwei’. Hence we hope more and more people and resources will join in the momentum of change.”
“Xindanwei” mingles and supports startup entrepreneurs and innovators that are interested in “sharing and collaboration” in China and around the world. By establishing a coworking space and creative community, we are striving to create new models and methods to change the world.
The Xindanwei flagship workspace is located in the heart of Shanghai’s former French Concession area. It is an attractively decorated 6-storey lane house from the 1930’s, with antique art deco furniture, rustic wooden floors, ceiling beams & a roof terrace. It provides professional services such as open-plan offices, private conference rooms, a high-speed and secureWIFI connection, VPNs, along with printing, copying and scanning facilities.
Xindanwei combines the best elements of a workspace (high productivity and functionality) with a social media platform (hybrid, real-time, efficient) and a creative hub (social, energetic, creative). Xindanwei provides its community members with an open working environment and opportunities to share knowledge face-to-face and be inspired through collaboration with other members, without paying high rents. A Xindanwei membership is evaluated and adjusted based on the value of each member’s contributions and interactions within the community.
Birth and Growth
Xindanwei was opened on 1st July 2009. Before its opening, Chen Xu, Aaajiao and Liuyan wrote a proposal containing very specific details and spent months traveling around trying to convince premises owners to cooperate while maintaining the firm belief that whatever happens we will turn our exciting idea of establishing a community office space in China into reality. Finally, with the assistance of the famous fashion photographer and head of IIInShangHub727 Mr. Song Bo, we spawned “Xindanwei”. This baby had been conceived for over a year and its home is a space covering more than 200 meters on the fourth floor corner of IIInShangHub727, located on Dingxi Road in Shanghai’s Changning District.
Needless to say, letting the baby grow has become a real challenge. Although there are good examples abroad, Coworking Communities did not ultimately have a highly profitable business model at that time. Most of the successful pioneers abroad have gained considerable profit with external help. Besides, China has a different culture and background from western countries with creative sharing and coworking innovation being virtually non-existent in China and as such there is no relevant experience to refer to. For our young team that has no strong resources or business network, you can not imagine the difficulties we had to face in establishing and maintaining such a community.
Regardless of the difficulties we face, each member of our team is filled with passion. We have worked hard for over two years under varying levels of pressure and spent a large amount of time and energy to do everything by ourselves, from Xindanwei strategic planning to activity implementation, space design and even dealing with loose nails and paint peeling off the wall. Of course, we also gained a great deal of knowledge and experience in terms of establishing a community, doing business and being creative throughout the process.
After two years of effort, we finally achieved our short-term objective – establishing a Coworking Community prototype in China! With publicity provided from those who have visited it, Xindanwei has been highly spoken of by nearly a hundred well-known press and numerous independent bloggers. It has also developed a good reputation within domestic and international creative industries, new media and the internet industry. Up until today we have had nearly a thousand frequent paying members and over five thousand Xindanwei community members on the internet that pay close attention to Xindanwei’s news and development. There has actually formed a cross-sector community that breaks down industrial and professional barriers, with members ranging from designers to artists, social entrepreneurs to elite internet professionals and from educators to engineers.
Why do we offer this Guide?
As our models continue to be evolved and developed, we have attracted an ever-increasing amount of attention and interest from people in various fields. Some people are still “brainstorming” and wondering how Xindanwei works. Some people have already established their own coworking spaces and wonder whether or not they can learn useful things from us. There are also some people that have bluntly asked us if we could directly introduce the Xindanwei model into their communities or cities.
From a literary dream in the beginning to widespread recognition today, we now have our hands full every day dealing with passionate emails, phone calls, messages, blogs and event invitations from everywhere. We are happy and proud of this, but we are a really small team and unfortunately there is no way that we can spare so much time and resources to individually reply to the inquiries or participate in the activities. We do our best to share our knowledge and experience through different channels, but we felt we needed to gradually work out an approach as soon as possible to support this increasingly growing number of people that think about or want to join coworking and seek long-term partners from this group of people.
We therefore created this – A DIY Guide to establish Coworking Communities, which is dedicated to all coworkers and fans that support and contribute to the development of Xindanwei!
We created this Guide to share our development experiences and hope more people will become inspired and encouraged to do the same. As the founder and an advocator of shared coworking spaces, we always comply with the principles of openness and sharing and are more than willing to share our ideas and experience with entrepreneurs that intend to establish similar spaces. We hope Coworking Communities can actually change our working style in China, along with the way we think and the way we innovate. However, such change can not solely be achieved by ‘Xindanwei’. Hence we hope more and more people and resources will join in the momentum of change and a wave of Coworking Communities will rise up all over China. The best way to get the wave going is to fully share our experience and approach, thereby encouraging and supporting more passionate friends like us to establish new and even better coworking communities.
Why do we share our valuable knowledge and experience free of charge?
We spent a long time in thought before we decided to share this. Many people suggested that we should launch a standard model that can be copied and promoted and use this to attract investment and get our company listed. However if we chose that approach, we would not be able to produce this Guide and all of our knowledge would be locked up in our filing cabinet. Locking away this knowledge is against our principles: we believe nowadays the value of any knowledge can not last and old knowledge can only generate new knowledge through the process of sharing, and that there is no receiving without giving. Hence, we are sharing our knowledge and include this Guide in the “Creative Commons” system. We demand that our readers comply with the “Creative Commons”, which means you have to reserve our copyright and inform us of your use, or which part you wish to modify or edit. We hope this approach will encourage more people to share their knowledge too.
Our story continues
We believe good ideas can only be valuable, implemented and expanded upon when shared with others. We sincerely hope that through this Guide we will have better communication and cooperation with you such that we can mutually strive to build a more open society with a stronger sharing culture.
Of course, Xindanwei is growing. The experience we share here only represents our findings from formulating an idea to its initial implementation. We shall initially publish the Guide in pdf and iApps form but later on we may make amendments or supplements to the Guide. We invite you to participate in our interactive online and offline activities to complement this Guide.
We would like to thank The Center for Social Innovation in Canada as we found the “How to create to change the world space” brochure on its website and used it as the blueprint for this Guide. We modified and edited the brochure according to our experience and China’s background and this saved us a great deal of time and energy. I really appreciate their support on this project.
I would also like to thank Haworth Office Furniture, a global company that also promotion of Coworking concept. Its participation and assistance has enabled this Guide to be shown on smart equipment and mobile phone screens in the form of iApps, allowing more people to see this material and giving us opportunities to continuously make adjustments and updates.
And finally I would like to thank all coworkers and fans of Xindanwei, who have provided us with inspiration, motivation, support and challenges. Their passion, determination and creativity make everything worthwhile. They are the real reason why we do this.
Creating spaces that change the world
Why do we need Coworking Communities?
A community is the highest level of group development, which is different from common groups of people. The main feature of a community is that its members not only share similar objectives, similar benefits or mutual interests, but they are also closely connected. Community members have to realize the benefits that community activities bring to them and the significance they have to the community and the entire society. In a community, a stable, cooperative and mutually friendly relationship is established between the members.
As the world has entered a creative economy phase of development and creative industries have become the industries of the future, the creative class has gradually become the leading social power and large and small creative industry clusters have emerged. However, the first consideration for whether or not creative industry clusters can achieve sustainable development is whether or not a community can be formed and what kind of community relationship is formed between individuals, and between individuals and the environment, which is the precondition for the cluster to exist.
As knowledge updates quickly and information becomes fragmented, the creative class structure becomes scattered with diversified working features and forms and a high degree of freedom, randomness and fluidity. Moreover, the knowledge structure has changed and it is difficult to satisfy social and market needs through only possessing knowledge in a single professional area. It is also difficult for people to innovate and make breakthroughs in a particular area when they are isolated. As a result, cross-sector knowledge sharing and end user creativity has become a prevalent trend.
Startup creative teams and people in creative industries often work as individuals or in small teams. They can not afford expensive office rents so they resort to the internet to obtain information and spontaneously form an organization. However, the internet can not resolve issues of nomadic and isolated working.
In our opinion, the key to achieving innovation lies in how to gather together innovators from different industries with different specialist knowledge and let them communicate to supplement their own knowledge and give them inspiration, thereby providing opportunities to achieve innovation. Apart from providing an inspiring workspace with at a reasonable price, Coworking Communities also provide a working environment that is open and tolerant, encourages communication and cooperation within various fields and provides a platform for interaction amongst startup entrepreneurs, amongst creative workers and within creative communities.
Coworking Communities represent a type of social innovation and reform. Current mainstream workspaces isolate the institution and individuals. There are valid reasons for having the cubical model in certain environments but it is not always the most suitable solution. Workspaces undoubtedly have to change in line with changes in a company’s line of work. Such changes will have an unimaginable and revolutionary influence on the economy, society, culture and the environment.
Our basic model
Through two years of effort, Xindanwei has gradually compiled a basic model which is based on Colocation and focuses on Coworking Communities, with the objective of creating an innovation incubator.
Colocation: Everyone wants to be in a comfortable environment, so office space is a fundamental element of a Coworking Community. Community members require a nice space to work, study, meet people, talk and feel each other’s everyday existence, so the office space is the carrier of all of our activities.
Coworking Community: A good community can only be established in a good space. When people feel happy and comfortable in a space, they are willing to spend time with other people within that space. For instance, the coffee shop on the ground floor is not just a place for coffee or tea, but a place where people can have lunch together or talk or hold a small gathering and they can also use hot desks to work with others. All of these are conditions that can help to develop the relationship between community members. With our “New Mentor” guidance, the community relationship may develop into valuable social capital and an effective social network.
Innovation incubator: The community aspect is the significant component that helps to achieve innovation. A good community relationship provides a basis for community members to communicate and share, and based on mutual trust and understanding, members from various industries with various specialist knowledge gather to share their knowledge and become inspired. When this happens then community members may decide to cooperate with each other which provides opportunities for innovation. This is the ultimate objective for Xindanwei in establishing and developing a Coworking Community.
Taking innovation as the objective
Xindanwei aims to support and stimulate innovation. Our community members mainly consist of creative industry and internet entrepreneurs. All of our community activities are conducted to encourage sharing, build cross-sector connections and to help achieve innovation, and these activities have attracted entrepreneurs, professionals and students from across various industries. Xindanwei has been praised as one of the most important “creative centers” in Shanghai.
We focus on startup entrepreneurs and creative teams that consist of one or a few persons. These small teams need a shared working environment to save on costs and they have a strong desire for knowledge sharing and networking.
We understand the importance that space and visual design have in affecting the environment and user’s behavior. We have developed a set of methods for space design and management and we transformed Xindanwei into an “urban hotspot” in Shanghai within just half a year.
Our community management method is to develop Xindanwei into an innovation incubator as opposed to just shared office space. One of our most important tasks is to improve our methodology such that we can provide an independent service that can be introduced to other shared office spaces.
Ⅱ Discovering Your Business Model
Remember: You need a good model to implement regardless of how great your dreams are!
Our business models
We cooperate with creative property developers, or directly rent a space or a building from them and then carry out refitting work before subleasing to institutions or individuals. We provide our clients with various shared office services to save on their office running costs.
- Space agent: We cooperate with creative parks, property developers and various space owners and introduce clients to them whose requirements we can not satisfy. These clients are mainly teams that hold events or exhibitions and consist of more than 8 members.
- Human resources agent: We also cooperate with creative industry headhunting companies to connect human resources with creative enterprises.
- Project incubator: We have gradually engaged in project incubation and financing and hold shares through our provision of services.
3. Other services
We cooperate with third parties to provide services according to the needs of community members, mainly including: consulting services in respect of policies, laws and industrial & commercial registration, exhibition services, design and production services, and F&B services.
Buy or rent? Who will invest? How much will the return be for the investor?
You should consider all of these questions. Xindanwei’s founders have no background of property development or leasing. Of course we had to lease a space at first but luckily we met Mr. Song Bo who gave us a great deal of support by not only providing us with relatively cheap space but also requiring no advance rent payment which relieved pressure on our cash flow. However, apart from rent payments and staff salaries, there are still several costs that need to be taken into account:
－ Space maintenance cost
－ Space vacancy
－ Space vacancy during holidays (short-term tenants)
－ Stationary and consumables
A year later we moved out of IIInShangHub727 with the idea of creating a space with more suitable design in a busy area that could attract more short-term tenants and F&B services. The Xindanwei flagship workplace is now at 50 Yongjia Rd and we have a long term lease on the premises. Although we have to pay more in rent, our sales revenue is growing.
Our next move is to focus on developing Xindanwei space services targeted at relatively small and stable teams that will sign lease agreements for longer than one year. We shall offer individualized settings and management for each space according to the varying needs of corporate tenants. With the cooperation of the property investor, only the management fee shall be charged when the space is vacant and we shall not be required to make rent payments.
The Xindanwei flagship workplace has an area of over 300 square meters. However the truth is that even though we make the best of revenue and support, we can only break even and there is no way we can stick with such small spaces if we are to make enough profit to drive our future development. Our new spaces have a minimum area of 600 square meters and focus on long-term clients. We won’t completely dismiss the chances of succeeding with small spaces, we just want to warn you such that you can better estimate your own risks. Generally higher profits can be made with small spaces when offering leases in terms of hours or months to short-term tenants, but these clients easily come and go and thus it is difficult to estimate sales revenue and then conduct effective planning, so there is generally a high risk attached to small spaces.
Ⅲ Creating Space
A successful coworking office space must be exquisite in every detail.
Over the past two years and within strict budgets, we have put a lot of effort into space design and setting and saw mixed results. In this section, we will share our experience and lessons learnt when creating the spaces.
Bear in mind that the space you create is not just a workplace, it is also a location for social activities, so several aspects such as the environment, social physiology and visual effects should be taken into consideration. In particular, details should never be dealt with in a perfunctory manner and hence every detail should fit into the community culture and atmosphere that you want to create.
Choosing a location is definitely the most important step for spaces. We consider the following factors when selecting suitable locations:
－ Convenience for public transport and proximity to a city’s downtown area (the nearer the better)
－ Close proximity to the residences of our target clients
－ Easy to find
－ Close proximity to F&B and other professional services
－ Availability of suitable nearby accommodation
－ Good natural environment
－ Safety and security issues
The building is the second factor that must be taken into consideration when selecting suitable spaces. Here’s what our clients said about the Xindanwei building:
－ It’s special, unique and looks like a small museum
－ It’s a historical building with a rich culture and likely has an interesting story behind it
－ It has an ideal layout with suitable dimensions
Except for the above considerations, adequate light, ventilation and good heat preservation properties are also basic requirements for buildings.
The following pairs of factors should be taken into consideration during space planning. These are opposing factors but must be mutually compatible:
－ Public vs private: Although we are talking about shared office space, it is possible to provide different-sized enclosed spaces for conversations, meetings or studio purposes.
－ Fixed vs floating: Fixed office spaces are generally offered to users who will take out leases for longer than half a year. Floating office spaces are better located near aisles to avoid disturbances to other users and hidden dangers.
－ Quiet vs bustling: Apart from having a quiet workplace, an open area is also needed where everyone can talk freely to each other and relax. Xindanwei’s quiet workplaces are on the second to sixth floors. The coffee shop on the ground floor and roof terrace are open spaces where everyone can relax and chat.
－ Professional vs imagination: The office space has to be professional, but should also not be too rigid. There must be some good elements that can motivate users and arouse their inspiration and imagination. For instance, blackboards and fluorescent lights occupy a large area at Xindanwei.
－ Unified management vs self-management: As a community, Xindanwei provides its members with self-managed equipment or services. For instance, there are coin-operated printers, lockers, fridges, microwaves, notice boards where members can post messages, etc. However, stationary, office supplies, environmental maintenance and space maintenance are all managed by Xindanwei.
－ Functional vs profitable: The office space needs to be functional, but profit maximizing factors shall also be taken into account, for instance:
In order to reduce meeting room vacancies, meeting rooms should also be designed for other uses. Also it should be easy to move, fold or combine office furniture and it should be possible to use workplaces for activities or meetings.
－ This is beautiful, isn’t it? We all like beautiful things. Spaces should make people feel happy, joyful and healthy.
－ No walls! Glass makes the space appear bright and clear and also encourages more openness and communication.
－ Socializing area: Many business dealings are concluded in socializing areas and not in meeting rooms.
－ Furniture: comfortable, fun and easy to move, fold or combine.
－ Sofas: A smart move would be to place sofas in socializing areas. Everyone wants to sit on comfortable sofas.
－ Plants: If you can not afford art works or ornaments, interesting and beautiful indoor plants can act as good substitutes.
－ Firm: All furniture in the space will be frequently used so all furniture should be of very good quality.
－ Coffee: An increasing number of people are becoming regular coffee drinkers. If you can offer high quality coffee, you may find that many of your clients stay for longer and that you attract a lot of workers to return to your space.
－ Signs: If there are ten people every day asking you where the marker pens are, you will realize the importance of signs for a community that encourages self-management. A simple reminder or clear use instructions will save you a lot of time spent explaining things every day (though you will still have to spend some time explaining things to some people every day).
Safety should never be neglected. Users must feel comfortable and safe. The following points illustrate our experience in ensuring safety:
The entrance password is only given to long-term tenants and is changed every two weeks. Fingerprint entrance is also a good security method and is easy to manage.
－ Separate socializing areas from office areas to avoid short-term users passing through office areas.
－ Implement the “Clean Desk” system. Remind all users to not leave personal goods on the desk when they leave and to keep valuable goods on their person at all times. Also remind them to not leave computers, mobile phones or wallets in deserted areas and they should help to keep an eye on goods that belong to neighboring users.
－ Offer each long-term user a locker.
－ Implement the old-fashioned and interesting “clock-in clock-out” system at the reception desk to ensure visitors leave an attendance record.
Noise is the most difficult thing to manage in shared offices. Although it does not have to be as quiet as a library, too much noise may affect work efficiency and people’s moods.
－ Establish a noise management system which includes informing users where the quiet areas, conversation areas and areas where users can make and receive phone calls are situated.
－ Provide an area where users can make and receive phone calls and a conversation area.
Ⅳ Business Planning
You may do it not purely for money, but you will fail if you do not treat this as a business!
Succeeding as a business means fostering an entrepreneurial and professional organizational culture and staff team. It also means keeping a careful eye on expenses and revenue – and receivables. As a business we need to market our services and build our profile, treat our community members as customers, and work to deliver above and beyond expectations.
It also means that sometimes we need to make tough decisions – like increasing rates or evicting members who can’t pay their rent – without apologies. But this “business orientation” must be softened in accordance with the realities of the customers we serve. Sometimes a little flexibility can go a long way and will ultimately better serve your needs and your mission.
Customer Service Orientation
In order to be a successful business you must serve the needs of your customers. Our staff team and our organizational culture are dedicated to excellence and to providing extraordinary customer service. We are pulled in a million directions by our members and clients, asking for support on professional and personal issues, demanding attention and service, and offering feedback or criticism of our actions. At all times it is absolutely essential to serve the needs of these customers – with diplomacy, expediency and a sense of humor.
Our staff team must be willing to drop whatever they are doing to immediately address any substantial problem that arises. In the end, your dreams of radical creativity are worthless if the printer isn’t working or the toilet is blocked; your first priority is a clean and functional workspace for members and guests.
Self Service Orientation
Customer service, however, does not mean that you cater to every whim or that you wait on members hand and foot. Your role is equally to empower members. Give them the information, tools and means to solve their own problems as much as possible. Meeting the needs of many customers on a day to day basis is an extraordinary challenge – this can be mitigated by finding ways to help members help themselves.
There are two ways of charging for the services Xindanwei provides:
－ Time Service
The Xindanwei workspace operates on a time basis. The monthly and yearly prices for clients include a reserved desk, free use of meeting rooms (with restrictions), and a key to access the office. When you set the price of reserved desks you must take into consideration the entire space (including passageways, toilets, kitchens, meeting rooms, etc.). If only half of the space can be used as office space, then the price should be set at double the rent you are charged per square meter so that you can cover your rental costs. After adding the cost of labor, furniture, basic facilities and utility bills, the total price charged to clients must be far higher than the rent you are charged per square meter, so you have to try to avoid using square meter unit prices when setting the prices you charge your clients. We set the price by time to deliver the following message to our clients: we offer you a lot more than just an office. There are always cheaper office spaces in the market. We must strive to excel in the services we provide to ensure our clients get good value for the package we provide them.
Xindanwei Property is our new service that provides creative event venues, flexible office spaces and retail locations in Shanghai. There is a strong emphasis on exhibition & event space where clients can host cocktail parties or conferences for up to 200 people. We also provide “started-ups” with independent or shared office spaces in downtown areas.
The majority of our space is dedicated to permanent desks and offices. They are easy to administer and provide a stable workplace culture. Our top priority is to ensure permanent desk and office users have enough room to work comfortably.
We also have hot desks at the ground floor entrance area in the coffee shop where you can order coffee or snacks. Although hot desks generate a much higher profit margin than the permanent desks and offices, they require higher levels of management and ongoing recruitment. The ratio between our permanent desk workspaces and hot desks is approximately 8:2.
In general, when you set prices for your products, in addition to your own costs you should also consider keeping prices in line with top level prices within the industry. Without hesitation you can include in your price the added value you create for your clients that others do not. However, you need to pay close attention to the following points:
1. A clear distinction should be made between the prices for permanent offices and hot desks.
2. Generally speaking, offices for less than five people are in high demand so you can set a high price for these offices.
Ⅴ Community Activities
Through inspiring people and helping them build their social networks, we turn a common workplace into a community.
Community management and activities help to turn a common workplace into a Coworking Community. Through constant activities and resource connection services, Xindanwei has become a community center that inspires people and helps them establish strong networks. All activities and creativity stem from the constant communication and cooperation between the Xindanwei team and its community members. It is our coworkers and fans that constantly help us to expand our creativity and networks, which we then share with our coworkers and fans.
Xindanwei’s community management and activities are divided into daily management, which includes “New Mentor” and “Chitchat”, and public activities.
Daily Community Management
Daily community management is generally conducted by the Community Manager, but all Xindanwei members have the same duties that the Community Manager has. The Community Manager acts as a host because apart from establishing and maintaining a thoughtful and harmonious community environment, his / her jobs also include promoting the development of community members and helping them to find ways to solve problems. This type of management is required to ensure the community remains cohesive.
In addition to daily communication, dining and outside visits with our community members, we also receive community requests through “Xindanwei Buzz” and publish them on the Xindanwei website.
Furthermore, every month we invite our new members to share with us their dreams, their work and their personal experiences at Xindanwei, which we publish through email or on our website.
“New Mentor” is our one-to-one consulting service provided to our long-term members. Through a one hour conversation with our members every month, the Community Manager is able to understand their work progress and the problems they are faced with. The Community Manager then helps them to connect with Xindanwei’s knowledge, skilled people and other resources, so they can obtain the “New Mentor” team’s timely and effective professional assistance and advice.
“Chitchat” and Public Activities
“Chitchat” and public activities are irregular and informal communication activities initiated by our coworkers or fans which any interested people can attend or contribute to. Anyone can share their project or pieces of work at “Chitchat” without any restrictions. Our “Chitchat” and public activities provide our members with a platform to share opinions, be inspired and exchange knowledge. All activities will be published and recorded on our website and the Xindanwei section of the douban.com website.
Ⅵ Brand Building
Our brand is the best reflection of our community spirit and prospects.
Many people may think brand is a commercial word. In fact, building a brand is building individuality and a complex that can powerfully integrate languages, tones, colors and drawings to clearly express community spirit and prospects. Once a brand is built, it will become part of your work, have an influence on the understanding of others towards you and guide your decisions.
All coworking spaces should be distinctive – creating and maintaining their individuality is crucial to success. Brand individuality should reflect your community spirit and prospects. The name “Xindanwei” (literally means “New Work Unit”) reflects our objective – to build a creative community.
Our fundamental brand strategy is to enable people to understand Xindanwei’s spirit and values – innovation, openness, simplicity, inclusiveness and uniqueness – at all places and during all interactions where people can see or feel Xindanwei, whether it be online or offline, pictures or texts.
Helping clients helps us
You should never neglect community members’ brands when building your own brand. “When the river rises the boat goes up”. It is our job to help community members to succeed in their brand when this results from their success in Xindanwei because we will be more successful if they get more attention. This is the actual value that a Coworking Community brings to each community member.
－ Encourage community members to mention the relationship between them and Xindanwei in their publicity materials.
－ Allow community members to appropriately use the Xindanwei logo.
－ Introduce community members to the groups and media across various channels that follow Xindanwei.
－ Provide exposure to community members on the “People” section of the Xindanwei website.
－ Publicize activities and news relating to community members through “Xindanwei Buzz”.
－ Post community member signs and notices within the shared space.
Ⅶ More than Workspaces
Many coworking spaces only focus on their own community members but Xindanwei cares about more than this.
From the day Xindanwei was established, we decided to open our platform to anyone that was interested in sharing and cooperation or even those just curious about our business. We proposed “a new style of work” slogan and set about trying to change the working environment in Shanghai, China and even the whole world that is currently closed, isolated and excessively controls intellectual property rights.
We believe the old saying “Birds of a feather flock together”. We do not set any restrictions on the profiles of people intending to work here and never impose our standards on our members. As such we welcome anyone to join us providing they are friendly and respectful people. This also applies to the activities here – we open our spaces to everyone and anyone can organize their parties or activities here, we have no restrictions on activities or participants and we even encourage free creation subject to legal, time and space restrictions.
With the support and guidance of this community and its culture, Xindanwei has gradually become the first choice for people from different countries or cities within different industries to host parties and it has been praised as one of the most important “creative centers” in Shanghai.
In addition to supporting work meetings on starting new businesses and innovation, such as Barcamp, Architect for Humanity, Netimpact, and TechYizu etc., as well as UnConference and other activities that Xindanwei regularly hosts, Xindanwei places a particular emphasis on participating in building and developing platforms that support startups,DIY, new media art, social innovation and environmental protection. “Xinchejian” has developed into China’s first hacker space that encourages DIY and open source hardware. The “Xindanwei Green” workplace that supports start-up entrepreneurs in environmentally friendly industries will be opened at the end of this year. Xindanwei was invited to give a presentation on the development of China’s social enterprises at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship and was one of the judges for the Prix Ars Electronica “Digital Communities”.
Creating a Coworking Community is a wonderful journey and experience. It also requires a great deal of effort and energy, and many sleepless nights. Throughout the process, with our persistence and passion we have worked on and learn about numerous areas from design to management, from building a community to brand marketing, from leading a team to property maintenance. Although we won’t say we are proficient in everything we do, through our efforts we have accumulated a large body of knowledge and experience.
We hereby provide this Guide, which is based on Xindanwei’s more than two years of experience, to support anyone that wants to establish a Coworking Community. We know your experience will be unique, just like ours was. Hence, we hope you do not exactly copy what we did. Instead, we hope you can learn from our model and then develop your own innovative model to serve your own community.
We hope to hear from you in the future. We have produced this Guide in the hope of inspiring more people and providing the necessary motivation for the implementation of more Coworking Community schemes and practices. Is our model helpful to you? What amendments have you made to it? We would like to talk to you. We want to create a larger Coworking Community with you and share our knowledge, experience and tools with you. We hope you will visit Xindanwei or join us online.
Please remember we are not just creating a Coworking Community, we are trying to change the world. Coworking Communities support those people who are changing the world. Join together with us so we can give better support to those amazing entrepreneurs. By joining together we can succeed!
We welcome you to join Xindanwei! http://xindanwei.com/signup