A friend told me yesterday: if you want to find something, it probably exists. If it doesn’t, you can start it.
Well, this is something that I would dearly love to exist. So I guess I’ll find it or start it..?
A centre for reclaimed work
It’s a space
- for anyone who has ever thought, of the job options presented to them: ‘well this is a bit shit, isn’t it.’
- for anyone who has ever thought: ‘I don’t want to sell my life.’
- for anyone who ever believed that they could grow up to work towards something really valuable to people, to use their skills to work at things they care about.
- for anyone who wants to live with work that they are passionate about, but don’t quite know how to go about it.
It’s an open space, an open organisation, a loose community, a network. It’s virtual and physical.
It is a place where ideas and plans form and grow, out of who we are and the needs of the communities, places and spaces around us.
It’s a space of blurred boundaries – it’s sometimes a workshop, sometimes a university, always a community centre, sometimes a business, sometimes. In it grows social enterprise, individual plans, self-employment; time-banks (or LETS), gift economies, activism, perhaps all at once. It explores and thrives in new ‘business models’, ways of working, patterns of living, but is comfortable with the old.
It is a welcoming place where individuals come and talk, and share, and plan, and dream, and get practical advice, and collaborators, to get skills and confidence. It’s about lowering the barriers to entry into fulfilling work.
It’s a meeting place, a recruitment ground.
There are workshops, a place to chat, resources and inspiration, the opportunity to join meaningful internal economics of contribution and benefit, projects – to turn up and join in with, work at with.
It’s not about being special or even conventionally ‘entrepreneurial’ – although the conventionally entrepreneurial will be welcomed and perhaps crucial.
It’s not about business – it’s about creating and distributing value.
It’s not about jobs, about slotting into a place, although for some it will be. But it’s about work, a reclaimed work. Your passions and skills and effort joining together with others to create sometimes the amazing, often the ordinary, always the good.
It’s about living life intentionally, working at what you want to work at, contributing what you want to contribute – and working out, with others, what that is, and how to go about it.
This is what I’d like to exist. I’d settle for steps along the way, and it could look different from what I describe. I’d like to hear what you think. If anyone is interested, has felt similar or would like to investigate more with me what can be done and work through some of the challenges, let me know.
Update: just found http://londoncreativelabs.com. Their aims:
1. Creating the jobs and kind of work that we would want our children to have
2. Discovering better business/other models to generate the jobs and work
3. Helping more people participate in the process
This is a great start. They also have a community hopefully growing up around them…