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News & Updates

🤔 “So… What do people do here?” 👋 Meet Pam Selle and find out!

News & Updates

HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND

Welcome to our November 2019 blog series, where each week we’ll be highlighting one of Indy Hall’s micro-communities! These are just a sampling of the various and vibrant smaller communities that exist within the larger Indy Hall family. Some of them take place entirely online, some of them only in person, and a mix, too. 

This week we will be highlighting the community of our Slack channel called #daily-goals!


I dunno about you, but for me, one of the most overwhelming things to look at some days is my task list. With its many items and various categories (plus a complicated color-coding system, because I’m One of Those Virgos) it can become intense and a lot when new things keep popping up and getting added, even as you get the satisfaction of checking other things off. There is something about the joy of being able to mark something as done that just can’t be parallelled.

The only problem is when it comes to my task lists (especially as a freelancer working on my own clock) I’d gotten to a point where keeping track of them was too much. They stopped being useful because I lacked accountability. If I’m my own boss, and I want to take a nap instead of knocking out those tasks, then BOOM- I’m gonna take that nap. 

Daily Goals to the Rescue

I was missing that element of having someone else to keep me honest and feeling responsible for accomplishing those things I said I would do. Enter the Indy Hall slack channel community known as #daily-goals. The premise of the group is simple…

  • Share your daily task list
  • Mark off items as you accomplish them
  • Encourage others to do the same.

From that idea, the channel has grown to be one of the most active in our online community, with members sharing all manner of goals. Items on people’s list can be as small as “make that phone call” or as important as “remember to eat lunch”. Each one is super unique, especially since the folks in our community work in a wide range of industries, from tech to the arts to education.

As people complete their lists, they get high five emoji responses from their fellows, while others who might be getting stuck on a certain item on their list often pop in for a healthy dose of encouragement and accountability.

Make it Your Own

But don’t be fooled by the thought of strict lists and checkmarks. While there are some members who religiously post their list each day, there are others who find themselves inspired just by seeing what others share. One member said,

“Even though I don’t post my list, it’s great to see what everyone else is doing, especially to remind myself to take breaks and find the ebb-and-flow in my own work,” That was something I for one absolutely related to. Some days I make my list and just keep it to myself, but I’ll pop in to watch as others check-off item after item, which spurs me to keep going.”

Another daily-goals-ist John agrees, sharing that “Honestly it changes every day, but not having a set way to post to-dos and progress gives me room to discover new ways to get work done.”

Seeing the different ways in which people share their lists and get creative with how they designate what tasks need to be done keeps me on my toes, and reminds me that sometimes even the smallest of things are worth putting on that list, and honoring that sense of accomplishment when I get it done. Neil, who is also active in the group, summed up this feeling nicely when he said,

“It’s been super to have people who want me to succeed and pass no judgment on what I’m trying to accomplish. I’ve also loved the pleasantly sporadic sprints and explicit encouragement.” 

Near? Check. Far? Check. Wherever you are? Check.

And the best part about this particular micro-community (as with all the other ones we’ll be highlighting this month) is that you don’t need to even physically be in the building to feel the supportive vibes and epic sense of accomplishment. One of our remote members said this of the group,

As a remote member, daily-goals is a great way to be connected to the day-to-day of the Indy Hall community. It’s very satisfying to see how everyone shows up to do their work, even if you’re not literally showing up.

So if you’re looking for a way to check off “be more productive” and “make some new friends” from your own daily list, we definitely recommend checking out this channel on Slack when you sign up for one of our community memberships!

Whether you join us online on the channel or here around the Hall, we’d love to help you show those goals who’s boss.

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MOTHER EARTH & MENTAL HEALTH

Intro & Tell

One of the most sacred and time-honored traditions of Indy Hall is an event with a title that sends one’s heart right back to grade school—Show & Tell. It is our longest-running community event, which takes place every third Thursday of every month. The idea behind it is simple: provide a space for folks our community to give a 10-minute lightning talk on absolutely anything.

Some people give presentations on exciting wins in their careers, speak on a topic that matters to them, or just introduce themselves.

This being my first time attending Show & Tell, I was really curious to see how things would flow, what projects and causes people were planning to share. In the end, I was inspired and in awe of what amazing things the folks around me are doing.

Here’s a little bit about each of October’s awesome presentations…

I can see my planet from here!

First up was coder and self-proclaimed “space nerd” Anthony Colangelo, celebrating the awesome win that is the launch of his latest app, DOWNLINK.

Made specifically as a Mac app, the app allows users to feature that essentially allows users to view a live feed of planet Earth, as seen from weather satellites. The app updates in real-time every twenty minutes or on the hour (the app lets you decide!) and allows you to witness the weather patterns and passing of the sun across this little space marble we call home. 

Watching as day turns to night via real satellite images was awe-inspiring, and I had to pick up my jaw from the table as Anthony zoomed in, showing just how high res these dazzling Earth images can get. The satellites capture them in such crystal clear 4K that you could practically count the molecules in the clouds. It was magical to watch, and it made me miss the days of having a MacBook, cause I’d love nothing more than to watch the world turn in the background of my workday. 

“They are us”: Erasing Mental Health Stigmas

The second presentation was a powerful one, and not focused on any particular project so much as it was a talk on the importance of a serious issue plaguing millions of people worldwide. Indy Hall staff member Anaia Daigle started her presentation with a meme that too many at the presentation could relate to. 

(“if I sit in rice, will it fix me”)

Her talk then steered towards how important it is to normalize the discussions around mental health. This is something that’s vital in order for societies to erase the stigmas that make so many afraid to seek help. She placed emphasis on how treatable most conditions are, while also explaining that not having easy access to care is something that inhibits many who would seek it. And then, after unpacking the fallacies behind many mental health stereotypes, she encouraged those in attendance to realize an important truth. Those who struggle with these conditions “look like us and talk like us because they are us”. 

Being someone that has depression and anxiety, it was moving to see someone else speak so candidly about their own challenges and address ways in which others can lift up individuals who are struggling. It was a cathartic experience to get to share with a room full of folks I’m just starting to get to know.

Traveling the world with Mental Health

The afternoon wrapped up with brand new Indy Hall member Megan Murdock introducing herself, by sharing a story about her own personal journey with mental health and traveling the world.

Her talk provided a great follow-up and expansion upon Anaia’s mental health talk, as she shared the intimate details of what it is like living with Bipolar disorder. An educator who has worked to teach English as a second language to students around the world, Megan was able to share what it is like living with a mental illness when away from the comforts of home. She described witnessing the inequality of access to care first-hand, with care facilities for those who were low-income families being understaffed and often neglected. 

She also talked about methods of holistic healing that she learned from people she stayed with, which she said helped her tremendously through some of the hardest struggles that she faced while abroad. It was an eye-opening presentation that really illustrated just how much we can all learn from one another when we step out of our comfort zones and into the unknown.

Join us next time!

This is just a small taste of the kinds of awe-inspiring and humbling moments one can find at this monthly event. We like to keep things fresh by featuring new speakers every month, so we vehemently encourage you to sign up and share with us! 

The next Show & Tell will be taking place on November 21st at 12pm, and every third Thursday of the month,  in the gallery at Indy Hall. Plus, it’s streamed live via zoom to our Slack channel for our online community members to see! We look forward to the incredible experiences you’ve got to share.

We look forward to the incredible experiences you’ve got to share.

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Open Hall, Open Hearts, Can’t Lose

If you find yourself in Old City on First Friday, there’s a lot to see and experience.

The art galleries, the food, the cool people! So exciting! And should you should find yourself at the corner of 4th and Market, you’ll also be met with an open door to Indy Hall’s monthly tradition, Open Hall.

This time-honored tradition takes place on the aforementioned first Friday of each month, and the premise is simple. Open doors to our coworking space for all. All day. Free of charge. 

It’s the perfect chance to take coworking for a test drive and see for yourself all the ways this space can help you thrive. It’s us extending a hand to you to invite you in on being part of something that is so much more than a place with a lot of desks, cozy reading corners, and complimentary coffee. (Though those things are pretty great too. ☕👀)

The very idea of a free day of coworking speaks volumes about the community I’ve experienced since becoming a member this past month. Here, everyone’s welcome.

Whether you’re a writer trying to finish a manuscript or a tech company with a small team, you’re greeted with a friendly high five and how’s it going? It’s an environment that wants to see every person who walks through the front doors flourish. 

Open Hall days gone by have also included events in the evening, which provide an awesome way to wrap up a productive day spent knocking out that long task list of yours. For instance, our next one (taking place on November 1st!) is going to feature a special art show featuring the beautiful works of one of our own, photographer Reed Gustow. You can RSVP here.

He’s been a member for years and photographed countless events we’ve hosted, but this will be the first time that we’re showcasing his creative works on our walls. It’s the perfect icing on the cake of the awesome coworking day you’re likely to have if you come by and give us a try.

Like we always say, working alone sucks. So come cowork with us instead.

We’ll keep the coffee hot for you. 😎

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An Inclusive Space for Smashing the Patriarchy

The Room Where It Happens

The gallery was buzzing with excitement when I walked up to sign in for Collective Strength, one of our many monthly gatherings here at Indy Hall. This particular event is run by Indy Hallers Sara Wachter-Boettcher and Katel LeDû, hosts of the podcast STRONG FEELINGS. The weekly show has featured numerous powerhouse guests over the years, from authors, to lawyers, to radio hosts, all gathering for deep discussions about “work, friendship, and feminism”.

Collective Strength as an in-person event was born out of those online conversations, and now offers a physical, non-male space for women and non-binary/femme folks to come together and talk about the triumphs and tribulations that come with trying to navigate this patriarchal world we live in. Name tags and pronoun stickers awaited attendees at the sign-in desk, and an awesome spread of snacks (provided by their sponsor, Harvest) were at the ready as folks introduced themselves and settled in for what would be a hard-hitting discussion about gender discrimination in the workplace.

The Story of That Night

The evening opened with an activity, lead by podcast host Sara, in which members of the crowd shared what excited them, or made them nervous about coming to an event like this. I for one shared that as a queer, non-binary individual who goes by both she/her, and they/them pronouns, that it felt so refreshing to come into a space that was conscious of acknowledging that part of my identity. Many spaces that brand themselves as being inclusive of women can often draw the line at trans women and non-binary individuals who find themselves still identifying with the femme side of the spectrum. The atmosphere was one of love and acceptance for all.

After others shared their trepidations and reasons for excitement, the evening launched into an educational and affirming discussion with Amal Bass, a staff attorney at the Women’s Law Project.  Amal was able to share with the audience what she has learned her years of experience advocating for those seeking legal counsel on workplace gender discrimination, defense of reproductive rights, and a wide variety of other related issues.

Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us

While the discussion topics were heavy and allowed many attendees to share deeply personal experiences and struggles they have faced, the biggest takeaway was that there is good reason for hope. It made my heart so happy as things wrapped up and I got to watch new friends exchange contact info with one another and excitedly mark their planners for the next Collective Strength event.

I can’t speak more highly of the epic space that Katel and Sara have created, with it’s “fuck yeah” attitude and “smash the patriarchy” spirit, which is why I had a chat with them about how they brought this incredible event series to life. Here’s what they had to say!


Where did the idea for Collective Strength come from?

It came from feedback we kept getting for our podcast, Strong Feelings. Fans would say things like, “We wish we could be in the room with you, having these conversations in real life.” And we realized: we could do that, at least for people in Philly!

Of events you’ve done in the past, what is one of your favorite moments you’ve shared with an attendee?

I think one of my favorite moments was chatting with two attendees at our event on Feminist Leadership. They’d made such a strong connection, they’d decided to get back together the next week to follow up on the activity we were working on and hold each other accountable for progress. I love the people I’ve met and the conversations I’ve had, but seeing attendees have those with each other has been really really wonderful!

With relation to your latest event, what do you think is the greatest challenge women and femme/nonbinary-identifying folks face in the workplace?

There are so many challenges facing women and nonbinary folks at work—particularly for those who are also part of other marginalized groups, such as people of color, immigrants, or people with disabilities. But something that I think is fairly universal and really impacts us all is being minimized at work. 

This includes things like being told we’re too sensitive, being talked over in meetings, having needs like family leave or a space to pump deemed “extra” instead of “normal”—just all the day-to-day stuff that tells women and non-binary folks that they aren’t important and keeps them feeling small. I say this because minimization of our needs and experiences affects everything—from whether we’re paid fairly to whether we’re believed when we report harassment to whether we are taken seriously in leadership roles.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to young femme/nonbinary-identifying folks and women who are seeking to carve our own communities?

Creating a professional community is about more than just finding other people with the same job title as you. It’s about building trust with each other—so you can open up and feel seen and understood. That takes time. That’s why I always recommend that people look for events that have opportunities built in to slow down and connect with people over shared challenges and experiences. Because that’s what leads to a deeper conversation. Otherwise, you could go to networking events every night and never get further than shallow small-talk.

What’s the one you hope for this community as it continues to grow?

I hope this community continues to do something that I have been incredibly inspired by so far: build real connections! I have seen lots of attendees share email addresses and start text message chains with each other during Collective Strength, and commit to helping each other stay accountable to goals or move forward on projects. I want this to be a place where people leave feeling less alone, and more tied into a support system. Because when we work together, we build strength and resilience—which is what we need to change our workplaces and our communities to be more just and inclusive.


Don’t Throw Away Your Shot

Want to lend your voice to the conversation and become part of this ever-growing community? Then don’t miss the next Collective Strength event, which will be held right here in the gallery on Wednesday, October 23rd, from 6pm to 8pm!

The next discussion topic is going to be Burnout, and the event promises to, “share our personal challenges and strategies” and “use our newfound perspective to start documenting personal plans for processing our stress and building healthier, more sustainable habits—whatever the world throws at us”. 

RSVP to the event on meetup.com here, and we’ll look forward to seeing you there!

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“A Place Where You Find People”

The lights were dim in the main hall at National Mechanics, but the energy of the room was on fire. 

The Stage was Set

This past Friday (Sept 27th), folks of the past and present Indy Hall came together for a unique celebration—a 10+3 Birthday Party, to belatedly celebrate our first 10 years + the  3 years since spent in our new-ish home on Market Street. It was an epic event full of drink ticket boas, dope spreads of food, and festivities to honor Indy Hall’s past, present, and bright future.

Attending this event as someone who has been at Indy Hall for all of a week, I went in a bit nervous that I might not be “part of this” yet. That I wouldn’t get the inside jokes, or know who people were, or really be able to appreciate the magnitude that is celebrating 13 years of a coworking space. I couldn’t have been happier to be wrong. 

One Heck of a First Impression

People kept introducing themselves, asking what I do, and welcoming me in a way that made me feel like I’d been here all along. I shared plates of popcorn chicken with new friends, watched as old friends hugged and reunited after not seeing each other for years, and was able to just bask in this glow of a community that really loves each other, full stop. 

As a writer, I was overwhelmed with an urge to put to paper this magical feeling, so I scribbled down this poem at the back of the bar… 

An entire generation
laid out before me
in their revelry, 
and I, the fly
on the wall. 
The latest seed
to be planted in 
the soil of this
community
that has been tended
with hardworking hands
and watered with love.
Husbands & coworkers,
wives & friends,
partners & persons…
so many lives
changed along the way,
and all because of
an idea that this
“is a thing we
do together…
a place where
you find people…”

As the fountains of ranch and white cheddar flowed (yes, you read that right) and National Mechanic’s iconic popcorn chicken made a one night only return, Alex delivered one of his notorious speeches, giving the newbies a history lesson and reminding the initiated how far they’ve come. 

Coming Full Circle

13 years ago, a handful of folks choose to work alongside each other at National Mechanics. They would go on to become a thriving hub of awesomeness that is so Philly in spirit it’s a wonder cheesesteaks don’t grow on trees in the community kitchen. 

There was awarding of lego figures in Indy Hall hoodies, enamel pins emblazoned with JFDI, and hugs for just about everyone. The live music at the end of the evening prompted the wildest of dance moves from even the mildest of folks, as Adam and a few others made the rounds passing out drink ticket after drink ticket. There was no way to be in this space and not feel the thrum of magic that is Indy Hall’s essence.

As Alex mentioned in his blog post announcing the event, this sort of “family reunion, without the terrible parts” is hopefully the kind of event that will return annually, which would be a great way to continue growing and celebrating this thriving community. But I gotta say, that much like the creation of Indy Hall itself, this particular party was a true lightning-in-a-bottle moment, sure to be remembered across the generations to come.

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