About a month ago, the CUAsia event on Bali was a big success. As S2M was one of the partners of the event, we took the opportunity to interview some real inspiring keynote speakers. Today in our series ‘Ten visionaries, one future’, you will find the interview I did with the Anisa Mohammed.

Anisa lives according to the notion that no life experience should go to waste – NOT A ONE. Since kicking off her career as a ballgirl for the US Tennis Open at 15, she has worked as a “page” in her public library, worked in retail, worked in finance, worked tables, worked in higher ed, and most recently worked as a social scientist and designer in commercial office design – studying, well….how people work. Her first encounter with coworking was serving on the board of Affinity Lab in Washington, DC and more recently advising a community arts and coworking organization in Seattle, WA. She is currently a freelance workplace strategist, business and design consultant, work futurist, writer, speaker and mentor.

What does the term ‘coworking’ mean to you specifically? 

To me, “coworking” represents the pursuit of autonomy, purpose, flexibility, and work/life balance while participating in a community of likeminded individuals.

How would you describe the development of coworking in Asia? 

Asia seems to be a pretty young and eager market for new ideas in general and coworking in particular. I love the energy in this region. There appears to be fewer barriers to entry and rapid speed to market here, both great conditions for coworking spaces and entrepreneurship. Moreover, coworking spaces like The Hub Singapore and Hubud are enormous examples to follow. I’m excited about the future of coworking in Asia.

How does this development relate to the rest of the world? 

In a post-technological era, innovation and entrepreneurship are key economic indicators.  Countries that support coworking (often viewed as “incubation” for innovation and entrepreneurship) will outpace those that don’t.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for the coworking movement worldwide?

I think the biggest challenge to the coworking movement worldwide is scale. How do you scale in size and across locations while preserving community? In corporations, we refer to this as “culture”….. and many corporations are struggling with their own culture as well.

What type of people does it attract?

Coworkers tend to be highly competent self-starters and doers…..and for the most part THEY ARE HAPPY!

What is the importance for people of being part of bigger collective?

There’s strength in numbers. When people connect with an authentic community they begin to affect change and have impact towards a common purpose.

How do you envision the way we work in ten years from now?

I think work in 10 years will be more distributed, more reliant on technology for collaboration and comprised of more independent contractors and freelancers. Even if people work for a corporation, they will be more entrepreneurial within that organization and collaborate across locations.

What specific role will the coworking movement have in this, according to you? 

Coworking supports both distributed work and distributed teams, further enabling the freelancing of the workforce.

If you had to pick one favorite place to work in this world, where would it be?

That’s the thing, coworking makes it so that I don’t have to choose. I can work from anywhere! To answer your question, though, working from the south of Spain wouldn’t be punishment. And Ubud isn’t too shabby either.

What is your life motto? 

“It’s never to late to be what you might have been.”

 

Want to learn more on Anisa?

Please check her website This Little Light

Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn 

Or mail her at anisa@thislittlelight.org

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