Creativity, Community Built at Coworking Spaces

Out & About in Greater Tulsa By EMILY RAMSEY
Managing Editor

ENTREPRENEURIAL IDEAS: Andrew Brister presents his start-up business, which offers 3D building scans, at a 1 Million Cups meeting, held at 36 Degrees North in December.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

“Community” seems to be the new buzzword, carrying with it the idea of creating a sense of belonging and of forming connections. With technology and its uses growing, it’s no surprise; humans are, ironically, more connected to one another than ever, regardless of geographical location, and yet more distanced than ever – fueling our innate need and desire to connect with others.

Thinking back to my days as a freelancer and, even still, as a full-time writer at present, my days can often be largely solitary and, therefore, sometimes lonely. As could be said of many jobs, no doubt.

Thus, the desire for a social environment can arise.

While many places may fill this need, with coffee shops and cafés having become common gathering places, other, more purpose-driven models have been springing up around the country largely in the form of coworking spaces, membership-based shared workspaces.

These spots not only provide flexible and communal work areas but also generate conversations and lightbulb moments.

Tulsa’s coworking spaces include Savage Space, 1213 E. Admiral Blvd., The Bridge, 5272 S. Lewis Ave., and 36 Degrees North, 36 E. Cameron St., which opened in the Brady Arts District in 2016.

When 36 Degrees North first opened, excitement was all around as to the ways it would contribute to the local entrepreneurial community as well as to downtown Tulsa, and while I felt equally enthusiastic, I did not view it as a place that I would frequent but as a place for entrepreneurs and self-employed, business-minded individuals who are looking to collaborate.

However, after a recent visit to 36 Degrees North to attend a free 1 Million Cups presentation, my mind has been happily opened.

The national program 1 Million Cups was created to engage and connect entrepreneurs. Every Wednesday, the group meets at 9 a.m. at 36 Degrees North, where local start-ups present their businesses in an effort to connect with mentors, peers and advisors.

However, being an entrepreneur is not a requirement to attend.

This platform offers an additional opportunity for individuals unrelated to the entrepreneurial community to take and give as much as they please, social opportunities without the requirement of interaction, all the while being inspired and motivated by the sheer number of ideas and talented people all around.

It’s these types of give-and-take settings where new ideas are formed and seeds for future projects are planted. Moreover, these kinds of events are excellent resources for staying up to date on things just beginning to sprout in Tulsa.

Various free events at 36 Degrees North are plentiful, including women’s coworking days and Cultivate 918 meetings, offering many opportunities to visit the venue and explore, learn, and just breathe in the energy.

And who knows? You may become the one with the next big idea.

Updated 12-28-2016

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