How the ASP experience is helping Coworkers make change

Mike Zeidler

“Self organising is brilliant because it brings the freedom to act swiftly, experiment and learn, and it’s difficult because things feel fragmented, frustrating and confusing if there’s no coordinated sense-making going on. Another biggie is that failures are as certain as successes.”

Thanks to the learning journey I’ve been on with ASP since 2004, I’m currently helping to bring coworking leaders together across the UK. Few of them would think to call themselves Sustainability Practitioners, but the label fits because that’s what a lot of them do.

The world of coworking is a hotbed of innovation and change as so many entrepreneurs are driven by ‘big’ social and environmental issues. ASP is modelled on the glory of self-organising systems that is nature.

Self organising is brilliant because it brings the freedom to act swiftly, experiment and learn, and it’s difficult because things feel fragmented, frustrating and confusing if there’s no coordinated sense-making going on. Another biggie is that failures are as certain as successes. Some are great for learning, while others cause a lot of harm, so self-organisers need both the freedom to act and the safety net of a way to manage risk….

These are things that ASP has been doing well for a long time – partly because we’ve learned to be very clear about which conditions to satisfy in order to be effective.  In April 2019 I condensed the reference points I use to guide me in my role as Chair. I made them into a single sheet which I called the ‘Life Form’ of ASP. It’s not an ‘official’ document, but it’s been tremendously useful to me!

So I’m now in the exciting space at the boundary where the edges of the ASP and UK Coworking systems meet. If you care to read ‘Leaders in Coworking flock together for the benefit of people and planet’ you’ll see how I’m trying to bring what I’ve learned.

Though many of us are small, we are definitely many. The problems we face in the world today seem overwhelmingly large, but I think we can break them down by playing our own parts.  If coworking helps you play yours, feel free to plug in to the UK network here

Thank you for being one of the many.

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