The core value of openness may seem redundant after reading about accessibility, but the nuanced difference is an important one.
I think Chris Messina says it best in this interview,
Openness is unfortunately one of those words that’s become somewhat geriatric, losing its teeth and forgetting what it means…
When I think of openness I also think of biology and the human body. The human body is an “open system” and thrives because of its openness. The human body is constantly exchanging things it values little for things it values more. Whether you’re talking about oxygen and CO2 or nutrients and waste, the body cycles – value in and waste excreted. It requires openness to live.
The fact that Chris and other early coworking founders realized that by making coworking “open”, that it could evolve into something much larger than any one of them could control – and that would ultimately be the best thing for the idea.
Openness comes into practice in two key ways at Indy Hall – freedom and forkability.
Indy Hall embodies freedom and independence. We represent choice, the ultimate freedom. Coworking Seattle’s about page says…
“Coworking is about making the personal choice to work along side other people instead of in isolation.”
Forkability is a funny word from the tech world that describes the ability to take the “source” of one project and use it to begin a new project. In software, the source is code. Within the Indy Hall community, the source is more often lessons learned, ideas executed, and of course our core values and virtues.
We often describe our coworking space as a “blank canvas” an office.
“What happens when you share basic office amenities only – desks, chairs, power, internet, meeting rooms, bathrooms – and let the people decide what’s most important to them?”
Many interesting things happen, but the most important is the new possibility of making it you own.
The “innovation” that happens at Indy Hall is the result of an experience that it affords everyone here the opportunity to create new solutions to the problems they have rather than relying on the old solutions that haven’t been working as well.
As a member of Indy Hall you’re encouraged to “fork” the Indy Hall experience to make it better, especially when the things you decide to do benefit other members in addition to yourself.