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By Peter Bacevice,
How often does a fast growing entertainment start-up company hang out with your team? Has a sustainable food blogger enlightened you over lunch, or has a fashion designer inspired your upcoming summer look with a virtual runway? It is accepted wisdom that creativity stems from chance encounters. In some organizations, chance encounters are often embedded in routines among colleagues. At best, you might run into someone you haven’t seen in a while as you grab coffee. But a new workplace trend will ensure that you encounter some radically different people and ideas.

“Loosecubing” is a trend that brings the philosophy of peer-to-peer sharing to organizational settings. It’s where coworking meets Airbnb. Thanks to a Brooklyn-based start-up called Loosecubes, organizations can host individual workers or small teams for a day or multiple days in their spaces.

  • For the host organization, Loosecubing brings an interesting array of creative types and entrepreneurs to the workplace where the various parties can interact as they mutually desire or deem appropriate.
  • For the individual, Loosecubing is also a great way to interact with new people and to work in a variety of places.For all parties, Loosecubing facilitates community building and defamiliarizing interactions that spark creative thinking.
  • For all parties, Loosecubing facilitates community building and defamiliarizing interactions that spark creative thinking.

One of the less obvious benefits of Loosecubing is the trust-building nature of the relationship as boundaries are negotiated and respected. Host organizations and individual Loosecubers both learn to respect the confidential aspects of each other’s work. In doing so, mutual trust is strengthened, which can encourage open and meaningful dialogue. This is an important lesson as trust mediates the more fluid forms of organizing in today’s workplace.

DEGW has been hosting Loosecubers since early April. In that time, a wide array of guests have worked in our space, used some of our spare worktables, and lounged in our collaborative hub, which we are piloting in partnership with Teknion.

We recently invited the Loosecubing team from IROKO – a start-up that has created a leading online distribution channel for Nigeria’s “Nollywood” film industry (the second largest film industry in the world) – to meet with our team over lunch. Aside from the usual “get to know each other” conversations, we engaged in a meaningful chat around the agility of growing companies like IROKO and the necessary success factors for growing in the U.S. We discussed new ways of working with our guests, and our guests inspired us with their passion about their work and the communities of people their work touches.

The evolving patterns of human interaction continue to amaze me. Loosecubes really captures and facilitates a dynamic new form of human connection that promises to catalyze new ideas in today’s organizations and work settings.