The workplace of today is evolving into a very different environment from that of the past.
Today’s office is no longer just a desk or cubicle, but an actual space that blends the continuum of experiences that make up home, work, and play and community.
As a result, companies are exploring opportunities to build community within their organizations, as well as welcome and engage with those outside their own walls
In the first edition of the Connecting Communities Series by Metta and Nairobi Garage, with a panel consisting of the foremost community builders within the innovation ecosystem in Kenya. The panellists held a discussion around the future of community building.
The session started off with a discussion around the key milestones covered over time in building entrepreneurial communities in Kenya with Nekesa Were, Director of Strategy at Afrilabs, walking the audience through the journey of creating entrepreneurial communities that actually started off over 20 years ago when Africa Online was formed.
Here is a recap video of the session!
Video Courtesy of Metta Nairobi Youtube Channel!
Sharing her sentiments on hubs and communities, Hannah Clifford, Director at Nairobi Garage said, “The need for hubs and spaces is not obsolete.
The major thing that has changed with the rise of COVID is that people do not necessarily need their own office but a central location where teams can commune and work.”
She also added that people now more than ever have realized that they do not need their own space. They can have their employees in a collective and flexible space and still get work and projects delivered.
On communities, the panellists defined a community as like-minded people coming together to achieve a common goal or vision.
“Community is not a tangible item that you can buy. The importance of community is that you are surrounded by like-minded people who have a similar business or industry interests and can work together to come up with innovative solutions,” said Esther Mwikali GM Metta.
“Community is a place to give and be interactive. Community members should play their part in putting themselves out there and in being communicative because community leaders are not able to know every need of each member,” said Hannah Clifford
During the same session, there was also a highlight on the new NG<>Mettā strategic partnership whose aim was to offer communities the right kind of support during unprecedented times and beyond COVID 19.
“We wanted to offer people one door that they could knock on for business opportunities and community,” said Esther Mwikali.
She added, “People are social beings and still have a need for interaction. Spaces will not do away with physical meetings but incorporate virtual interactions to create flexible options to serve community members’ needs.” said Esther.
During the same session, the panellists also discussed what’s Next for Hubs, Labs, Clubs, Co-Working Spaces in lieu of the digital era, and demand for hybrid spaces.
“The future of hubs lies in digitization. Spaces have gone virtual and have started to introduce digital aspects in their events and programs to serve the needs of businesses who have digitized their operations as well,” said Nekesa.
The session also highlighted the value people and businesses get from joining hubs which included a ready community and innovation consultation. “Corporates don’t have to struggle with innovation as they can easily “plug and play” into already existing innovation resources which are hub community members and consultancy services,” said Hannah.