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Roundhouse Goes Virtual: launching online programming for their co-working community

Roundhouse is an innovative downtown Edmonton co-working space located in MacEwan’s Allard Hall. This unique co-working space team has been bringing together and inspiring a community of changemakers and innovators since opening their doors in 2017.

The greatest value of Roundhouse to their community is two-fold: offering an inspiring co-working space and offering relevant programming. The impact of COVID-19 has obviously changed the way their community is able to meet, work and interact with each other. They have responded by creating a virtual twist on co-working space, hosting online community check-ins and offering new programming.

We had a chance to chat with the Senior Manager, Amor Provins to hear from her how the Roundhouse community has pivoted to meet their members where they are all now working, at home.

Tell me more about how Roundhouse is reaching out to its community during a time where physical shared spaces are taboo?

As we now lack the physical space in which we typically gather and serve our community, we started working out a way to recreate the Roundhouse experience digitally. We've adapted quickly to the needs of our members to stay connected and by meeting others in the community, the first two being Coffee Chats and inResponse.

Other programs that we served at Roundhouse, such as the Aspiring Social Entrepreneur and Social Innovation 101 Learning Series, are now being delivered digitally.

Let's chat 'Coffee Chats' first? Who is it for - current members only? What is the goal?

Coffee Chats aims to provide social connectivity, a place to share some feel-good hangouts with members and friends. We take work-from-home breaks together on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Join us. It is open to all members, staff, and friends who find themselves working from home and in need of a break and connection with a great community. Check-in at https://roundhouse.net/fromhome/ for the next one.

The Roundhouse inResponse sounds more like a speaker series. Tell us a little more about what is planned.

You got it! It's a broader reaching education and support initiative.

We know Covid-19 is impacting our communities and continually changing the way we work, live and interact with each other. We want to understand how people, business owners and our communities have been impacted and how they're handling this new reality.

Roundhouse "inResponse" is where we unlock the secrets of those who are making a difference in this challenging time. We'll interview local leaders and business owners to gain insight into their coping strategies with challenges like the current pandemic. We're on the hunt for answers, information, and solutions, and will look to share these so each of us can turn this challenge into an opportunity.

How can people participate?

You can find us online at Roundhouse.net/fromhome - here you will find a highlight of our programs and services that have turned digital with links (mostly zoom). We're keeping everyone up-to-date on our social channels (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) as well, so those are easy ways to reach us and stay informed.

How important was it to you (and Roundhouse) to find a creative way to keep business as "usual"?

Roundhouse needs to be agile and adaptable to provide the best services for our members. This time is definitely unlike any other experiences we've had in our lifetime, but we must provide services that meet our member's needs as they pivot, adapt and change. We are committed to our members and community by building and supporting an innovative space for them to run their business in a different way that will help make a difference and have a positive and lasting impact on our community.

Thank-You to Amor Provins, the Senior Manager of Roundhouse for taking the time to chat with us. Stay connected with your community and visit https://roundhouse.net/fromhome/ for additional Roundhouse details and resources.

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