Building a sustainable co-working community

April 22 is the International Mother Earth Day, and much beyond celebrating the beauty of nature, we need to assess what each of us in the sports community is doing to protect our Mother Earth. Whether we are leading initiatives directly connected to environmental sustainability or supporting our planet to thrive through other actions, what we do collectively as a community is important. At SportWorks, our main contributions are in two areas: fostering knowledge sharing about sustainability across the sports community; and sustaining small (but significant) eco-friendly initiatives, such as our co-working space.  

There has been a recent growth in the number of co-working spaces around the world – and rightfully so. The “co-working revolution,” as it is termed in many corners of the internet, is not just due to a drive to save costs, but also to make work more environmentally friendly.  The choice to setup a space such as the SportWorks co-working is more than a professional choice, then – it is a more efficient and sustainable way of doing business. Co-workings are shared spaces in collaborative environments, with an organizational culture characterized primarily by the principles of sharing, collaboration and community. Therefore, we indulge in practices which are born out of this recognition.

SportWorks was born as a co-working space, and this was our first way of fostering connections in the sports community. From that, came the online platform sportworker.com and, with that, our SportWorks TALKS webinar series and our SportWorks Podcast series. Through them, we started to actualise the power of connections, highlighting best practices in the sports industry, leading to initiatives such our recent SportWorks TALKS – The Sustainability Leadership Series, in partnership with The Sustainability Report.

Our part here is to influence decision-makers positively in the sports community. To feed them with relevant information so they can make the sports industry better. The central component of this connection with sport leaders is our office here in Lausanne Olympic Capital, which enables us to go ahead and build these connections. Based in Maison du Sport International, we work in close cooperation with International Federations and Associations, a lot of whom are based here. This enables us to foster community connections among amazing organisations that shape the sports industry. And through our events, talks, podcasts, we engage an even wider audience, worldwide.

These practices go back to our foundation – led by the vision of co-founder and professional architect – Tatiana Ghigonetto. Her architectural perspective gave the framework to encourage individuals to come together in spaces that respect basic eco-friendly practices, such as recycling, and that are integrated with the beautiful touch of nature. This means having as much natural light as possible in our headquarters, with minimal reliance on the usage of artificial sources. The open and spacious layout is both sustainable and welcoming.

With all the travelling, the sports community who use our co-working space finds itself carefully balanced between being a corporate setting and a nature-friendly space. We are aware that these are minor contributions, compared to the immense needs and struggles our planet faces right now. And that we still have a way to go to have a really reduced ecological footprint. However, we believe that by celebrating what we already do, and showcasing what other people are doing, we can create an appreciative environment that pushes us forward to do more. Though the current situation is serious, this is not a day for desperation, but for hope. Let’s cultivate hope together, remembering that when doing any sport, we are walking, running, swimming and flying in the body of Mother Earth.

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