I recently met Neal Gorenflo at an international coworking conference in NYC. An epiphany in 2004 inspired Neal to leave the corporate world to “help people share through Internet startups, publishing, grassroots organizing, and a circle of friends committed to the common good” — a narrative not dissimilar from my own.

Having followed the localism movement since the early aughts I knew of Neal as the co-founder of Shareable, an award-winning hub for the sharing “transformation” — a “movement of movements emerging from the grassroots up to solve today’s biggest challenges, which old, top-down institutions are failing to address.” It’s a movement closely aligned with localism and coworking.

I had a long conversation over lunch with Neal after a presentation he gave about Sharing Cities, a movement of community-based solutions to urgent challenges faced by cities. I told him about BEAHIVE and the community impact vision I encoded in its DNA when I founded it in 2009, when the coworking movement was still in its crawling phase.

I hope to bring Neal to the Hudson Valley in the near future for some sort of Sharing Cities event, but in the meantime I was pleasantly surprised that Shareable highlighted BEAHIVE as one of six groups around the world “showing how coworking spaces can positively impact local communities.”

From the article by Ruby Irene Pratka:

“Coworking spaces are increasingly becoming drivers of social change. Various coworking spaces around the world are deciding to take on a greater role in the communities they inhabit by launching scholarship programs, offering space for local groups, and hosting public lectures. Below, we’ll introduce you to six spaces making a difference in their communities.”

We’re amongst good coworking company: AllGoodWork (NYC), CO+HOOTS (Phoenix), The Coven (Minneapolis), Spacecubed (Perth, Western Australia), and 312 Main (Vancouver, Canada).

Read the profiles, and while you’re there check out Shareable. It’s a nonprofit, so if you like what they’re doing, drop them a donation.

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