Creative, smart, social: Buzz builds at Our Community House
By Matthew Schulz, journalist, Our Community
A diverse array of for-purpose organisations are set to join Victoria's first data-focused co-working hub for the social sector, Our Community House.
Our Community - the lead tenant - has just moved into the new premises with 60 staff this month.
But there's plenty more room, with the innovative centre creating a new space for 400 people. Peak bodies, charities, data scientists, educators, social enterprises, not-for-profits, consultants and social investors are among those to show strong interest in joining the organisation.
An existing tenant, the disability employment agency WISE, will remain a key part of the mix.
Our Community managing director Denis Moriarty said the level of interest in the project was no surprise.
"People are naturally curious about the first co-working space of this type in the heart of Melbourne, and we're excited about all the connections we'll be making.
"It's not just the fact we're going to be sharing a space, but we'll also be sharing our skills, knowledge and technology infrastructure.
"Melbourne's newest headquarters for the social sector also fits the Our Community manifesto, which celebrates the power of the community sector, the value of human capital, and a bit of mayhem.
"One of the things we're most proud of is our data science lab, driven by our belief that technology can help us with our reform agenda."
Our Community House has generated strong interest not only from organisations eager for an early tour of the modern, women-friendly, environmentally aware fit-out, but also from social investors wanting to boost their impact.
Among the first aboard is Equity Trustees, an Australian leader in philanthropic and investment initiatives, which has awarded a significant grant to Our Community to advance its data science agenda.
Mr Moriarity has commissioned original paintings and sculptures for the project from leading artists and from the children of Our Community staff to create a bright, inviting and creative space.
Our Community invites expressions of interest in Our Community House from not-for-profits, social enterprises, government agencies and socially-minded businesses who would like to be involved.