Coworking, by its very definition, is rooted in community, growth, and innovation.
Because of the passion and dedication of thousands of coworking community members, the industry has expanded to what it is today – a revolutionary movement that is shaping the way our world views businesses, offices, and the way people get work done.
By the end of 2016, there are expected to be 10,000 coworking spaces throughout the world – 28% growth from 2015.
This leads to some very important questions for 2016: as coworking goes “mainstream,” will the originality and unique roots of the movement remain?
Where is the line between coworking and just working, and how do we ensure that we’re remaining authentic to the foundational elements of the industry?
Leading up to the major 10,000-space milestone in 2016, there has been a strong community of influencers who have helped shape coworking into the high-growth industry it is today.
These are pioneers, revolutionaries, and next-level leaders who are all tied to one very strong belief: that coworking is changing the way we work and is here to stay.
We asked the coworking community to nominate influencers they feel have had a significant hand in building the coworking movement, accelerating the movement’s growth, and/or ensuring the movement stays on the right track.
We received tons of awesome nominations and have broken up the influencers into six categories:
Read on to find out more about each category and the influencers, or see them all in the SlideShare below!
Is this list missing an influencer that’s impacted your coworking experience? Let us know here.
Most Impressive Networks
These individuals have established themselves as thought leaders with some of the strongest communities of members, leaders, and influencers.
He is truly passionate about coworking. It’s most clear in his ability to bring communities together to collectively propel the industry forward.
He’s one of the biggest voices of coworking in Europe, and has brought together a community of coworking spaces through Coworking Europe, where we can learn from each other and discuss the future of our industry.
Tony is truly passionate about the collective good of coworking, bringing together coworking owners to ensure that whoever wants to be part of the coworking movement can be.
Ramon quite literally wrote the handbook on coworking, and he’s done a great job of using it to connect individuals interested in coworking from throughout the world.
She hosts the GCUC [Global Coworking Unconference Conference], and has dedicated herself to her passion of connecting and informing the industry.
These individuals are visionaries that are pushing coworking forward both creatively and strategically.
Craig uses his solid business background in his approach to coworking – at the end of the day, we’re all running businesses we want to succeed, and he a forward-thinker who can help get there.
He has an intuition for where the future of work is heading not just within coworking, but within the entire corporate working industry as a whole.
He’s proven time and time again that he’s a builder and curator of great communities.
She has a true vision when it comes to the sharing economy, and has helped the coworking understand where it fits into this new revolution.
She’s the community expert – she knows how to build, foster, and optimize growth for communities of all sizes and types. Most importantly, she’s a pleasure to work with!
Biggest Commercial Successes
The title says it all – these individuals have achieved significant commercial success in their coworking ventures.
Adam built the biggest coworking space chain in the United States. It’s hard to argue with that success!
With Neuehouse, Joshua shows a serious coworking model of how work collective will look like in the future.
Nick successfully built the most loyal, high-end worldwide coworking and travel community.
Jim started techshop in 2006, way before anyone thought about hardware startups. Now, he provides the world with a community garage full of tools to build their dreams.
Undeniably the biggest, easiest to access coworking space worldwide.
Most Active Community Builders
These individuals are gold mines for knowledge on all things coworking, and they do a fantastic building communities centered on their passions.
Jerome is always contributing to help fellow coworking space owners. He also opened the the first coworking space in SoCal and SF, long before anyone else.
He’s been a community builder since the start and runs the most popular coworking podcast.
He’s a true entrepreneur, and is the perfect example of someone who can use passion to drive community.
Jered’s created the landing hub for every entrepreneur arriving in San Francisco.
Community runs in through his veins: he’s a builder and contributor to Open Coworking, the coworking wiki, coworking visa, and Coworking Seattle.
These individuals have been part of the coworking movement since the beginning, and helped pave the way for industry influencers to come.
Jamie’s always willing to share her experience when pioneering spaces in Chicago and Palo Alto.
He introduced coworking to NYC [one of the industry’s biggest hubs] with Jelly.
James and his brothers stay true to community coworking in NYC and constantly experiment to bring the best experience to their members.
For Tina, coworking is and has been a natural lifestyle and source of inspiration.
Alex is one of the most consistent shapers of the coworking culture.
The newest generation of coworking influencers, these individuals are going to play an integral role in taking coworking to the next level.
Scott shows how an interdisciplinary, creative work facility can lift up and position an entire borough.
Rabih built the biggest coworking space in Pittsburgh and is a role model space for up-and-coming cities.
Industrious is the fastest growing coworking space in the US.
Zoltan made what many have waited a long time for – a space on demand from your phone.
Jason proves that the entrepreneurial spirit is what drives thriving coworking communities.
To download the 30 Most Influential People in Coworking 2016 list, please click here.
A little bit about why we built this list:
We work with hundreds of coworking spaces throughout the globe, and we feel lucky to have been an integral part in the growth of these organizations.
Through our work with coworking spaces, we’ve seen the impact coworking has had on individuals, companies, and the overall way our society thinks about the workplace.
As the industry gains more and more momentum, we wanted to take a step back and honor those who have played an integral role in helping the movement get to where it is today.