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The Creation of a Community: More than Just Location

A Note from the CEO, Eduard Schaepman

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The concept of a community is often misunderstood and misapplied, especially in commercial environments like coworking spaces. Companies such as WeWork, Spaces, and Industrious often try to create a sense of community by organizing events at their locations. While these initiatives may seem appealing at first glance, they often lack the depth necessary to form a true community. People working in these coworking spaces typically have only one thing in common: the location. However, a true community is built on much more than just physical proximity. It revolves around shared themes, rituals, and passions. I have personally experienced these elements in the Moeke Spijkstra cycling club and am trying to apply them at Tribes Inspiring Workplaces.

Themes: The Building Blocks of Community

A community starts with shared themes. These themes act as a unifying factor, a common interest or value that brings people together. In the Moeke Spijkstra cycling club, this was evident: the love for cycling. This theme provided members with a common goal and a reason to come together. At Tribes Inspiring Workplaces we implemented this concept by choosing specific themes that resonated with our target audience, such as innovation, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. By organizing events and activities around these themes, we were able to create a deeper connection among members.

Rituals: Strengthening Bonds

Rituals play a crucial role in strengthening the bonds within a community. They provide structure and regularity, giving members something to look forward to. In the cycling club, we had weekly rides and annual tours. These rituals became an essential part of the club and reinforced the bond among members. At Tribes Inspiring Workplaces we introduced similar rituals, such as monthly networking drinks and weekly breakfast meetings. These rituals created a sense of continuity and predictability, contributing to a stronger sense of community.

Passion: The Driving Force

Passion is perhaps the most important factor in the emergence of a community. It is the driving force that motivates people to participate and stay engaged. In the Moeke Spijkstra cycling club, the passion for cycling was palpable among every member. This enthusiasm fostered a strong mutual connection and made the club attractive to new members. At Tribes Inspiring Workplaces, we tried to channel this passion by encouraging members to start their own initiatives and share their passions with the community. This led to a diverse range of activities and a vibrant, dynamic community.

Creating a True Community

A true community cannot be forced; it must emerge organically. It requires more than just organizing events at a location. It demands a conscious effort to cultivate shared themes, rituals, and passion. In my experience with the Moeke Spijkstra cycling club and Tribes Inspiring Workplaces, I have seen how powerful these elements can be in creating a close-knit and engaged community. It is a process that requires time, dedication, and genuine involvement, but the rewards are significant. A true community offers not only a sense of belonging, but also a supportive network and a source of inspiration for all its members.

By applying these lessons, we can create communities that are not just based on physical proximity but on real connections and shared passions. This is the key to building sustainable and meaningful communities in any context.

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