The Reno Collective Town Hall was held on Dec. 15. We had equal parts members and non-members in attendance. (Lots of people from Hack4Reno!) Here’s a recap of the announcements we made, topics we discussed and some insight into our vision for the future of Reno Collective.

Reno Collective by the numbers

  • 2 year anniversary in January
  • At our 2nd building, 3600 sqft – moved in January 2011
  • 46 members in the arts, tech and social good

Key points from the Town Hall

  • Colin will no longer be managing the space starting in January as he is temporarily relocating to San Antonio for 3 months to a start a new company that will be relocated back to Reno in April.
  • Don Morrison (@elskwid) and John Jusayan (@jrbj) will be managing the space starting in January
  • Reno Collective is transitioning to a non-profit organization by the end of January 2012.
  • We are exploring funding options through local and federal grant programs
  • New proposed membership plans and prices have been created for 2012 (to be announced shortly)
  • Reno Collective exists outside of the “recession” – we started in the recession and we are still open
  • Several members are contributing significant amounts of money on a monthly basis to pay the bills
  • No one has ever made money from the Reno Collective company
  • We are introducing 2 new conference rooms as of Jan 1
  • An audio/visual studio will be available by February for video and audio work, editing, podcasting, etc.
  • We are reaching out to organizations and community resources for partnerships and collaboration.
  • Developing systems to help answer key business questions: membership levels, income, etc
  • Better automation for building access and security

Keeping the Lights On

As mentioned above, Reno Collective is not making enough money to pay our monthly expenses. Several members have stepped forward to help the Collective through this transition. The Reno Collective is currently open because of significant, monthly contributions from Colin, John, Don and Chris but we are within arm’s reach of being entirely sustainable. While this assistance is not a long-term solution, it does allow this important resource to continue to function. We think the Collective is very, very important and we’re keeping it going. It is common for coworking spaces to not reach break even until after their 2nd year of operation which is pretty much spot on for us.

Recent Fervor for Economic Development

If you’ve been paying attention to our area recently, you have probably noticed that there is a lot of discussion around economic development. Look even closer and you’ll see that this discussion is not just between our elected officials and companies in town. It is taking place amongst the people! We believe that we can have a positive impact on the economic future of this region and are actively pursuing funding to help make this belief a reality.

We see Reno Collective as a model for economic development that puts the focus on opportunity identification, talent incubation, and member support. We are in a great position to be among the first to hear about new opportunities and initiatives in and around our area. We have a core group of extremely diverse and talented members that can mentor, guide and support new companies and ideas. Who better to provide support for people that want to build something for themselves than members of Reno Collective?

Creating an Open Source Community

Most organizations and companies are structured as a hierarchy. Reno Collective is not. We are a community. A collective. Or at least we want to be. This has always been our goal but it’s something that we haven’t done as well as we had hoped. Moving forward, this organizational structure will be a priority. We are going to practice what we have been preaching – we want the Reno Collective members to help shape the future of the Collective. We are transforming the Reno Collective into a decentralized, open source project that allows anyone to contribute at any level. Help grow the community, the workspace, our events and classes.

What does this mean?

Reno Collective is going to be an open source project as soon as we are officially a non-profit organization. Reno Collective will be managed by Don and John – they will make sure the bills are paid, and keep the power, internet and of course, caffeine flowing. To this day, not a single person has been paid a salary to run Reno Collective. It has always been a volunteer organization – we’re just making it official.

Who decides what events/classes occur? What about the direction of the Collective as a whole? Who will pick what projects are started? The answer is: You. Want to see a class taught or have skills you want to share? Create the class, get members to pitch in and make it happen. Do you feel like you’d be a great mentor? Do it. Think the building should be wired with ethernet? Looks like we’ll be having a wire pulling party! If you’re great at speaking to media, we’d love to have you involved in promoting community events and the successes of our members.

Open Direction

The direction of the Collective should reflect the direction of the community and the members within. If we have more technical members that are driving us to do projects and outreach, the Collective will be more technical. If we are full of artists, perhaps we’ll focus more on artistic projects and support. It’s up to us.

Open Dollars and Cents

We value the “open” part of open source and to us it is synonymous with transparency. In keeping with that key tenant, we are going to be transparent about everything. Where we get our money, where that money goes, the impact of our funds, etc. All open for anyone to see.

Open Membership

We are introducing new membership levels to make Reno Collective fit more types of work schedules and be flexible enough to make sure our members love working at Reno Collective.

Open Space

We are actively working on a new system to allow better building access with the eventual goal of 24/7 usage possible for our members.

Open Organization

Running like this, as an open self-organizing collective, we will not only show each other what we are capable of (individually and as an organization) but we will be demonstrating to the city and the region what can happen when you are truly passionate about your craft and the work that you do.

Upcoming Events

Mark these in your calendar!

  • January 27th: Ignite Reno #10 – the big ONE ZERO! We are announcing details and call for speakers next week

Release the Hounds!

Over the next few days and weeks we will be releasing information and behind-the-scenes information about Reno Collective and how it runs. If there is something that you want to be involved with, we invite you to join in and build the future.