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Saul Ettlin, Thoreau Center for Sustainability
28/Mar/2016

There’s a lot of change brewing in the commercial real estate (CRE) world. From how we work to what a new generation of workers want from their workplace, these shifts are impacting the design and offerings of office space. Some of these trends are maturing (like the open plan) and new ones are coming on the scene (like hackable workspaces). What’s exciting is that much of the new thinking is aligned with the values that are already important to those of us who own and operate social purpose real estate and easily builds on our efforts to develop robust communities while providing affordable, quality workspace.


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14/Mar/2016

In addition to our work with shared space, we at NCN are also interested in the broader field of social purpose real estate. We define social purpose real estate as any real estate asset that is used for a mission greater than maximizing profits, which can range from public parks to libraries, from museums to affordable housing projects. One of the most overlooked social purpose real estate is affordable commercial space, the space necessary for nonprofits to operate in a community. In some cities, the market creates enough affordable spaces that this isn’t a big issue, but in other cities, (most notably San Francisco), nonprofits are being displaced or evicted when they can’t keep up with the going rates. Here are four ways that cities have stepped in to support their nonprofit sectors...


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Rima Zabian
07/Mar/2016

The role of a board in governing any organization cannot be overestimated. How the members of your board perform can make all the difference. In my experience, one of the most important components in creating and sustaining a healthy well-run co-work space is not only that board members understand what is expected of them in relation to the governance of the organization, but that they are also fully prepared to embrace their role.


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01/Feb/2016

It’s All Business was our theme in January. Our webinar on January 21st with Laura Kozelouzek of Quest Workspaces helped us understand the way for-profit operators view shared space. Executive suites and business centers are the precursors in many ways of mission-driven shared spaces and coworking spaces. We need to learn more about what drives their success and what pitfalls they’ve discovered so we don’t repeat them.


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25/Jan/2016

Did you know that 98% of the nonprofit center have a goal of increasing collaboration among their resident partners? The opportunities presented by working together with your neighbors in shared space are incalculable, but often managers don’t feel like their community is living up to their expectations. To help get groups moving in the right direction, we’ve developed a half-day session called a “Collaboration Kick-Off” to help clarify a group’s goals around collaboration and spark ideas of potential connections.


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11/Jan/2016

Many nonprofit centers I’ve visited do a lot to reduce their carbon footprint, from putting in super-efficient HVAC systems and bio-walls to replacing your trash-can with a recycling bin. Since approximately 20% of office waste is organic matter, the next step for many groups is to start an office composting program. Both centers I’ve worked out of, the Thoreau Center for Sustainability in San Francisco and The Alliance Center in Denver, have run successful composting programs for years. Here are some tips your space.


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