Fostering True Community with Sophia Bush and Ruthie Lindsey

Photo by Ellie Patterson (EloisePhotography.com)

Photo by Ellie Patterson (EloisePhotography.com)

WeWork was so kind to invite me out to a curated, intimate dinner among creatives here in Nashville at one of my favorite spots, The Urban Cowboy. Sophia Bush led a little fireside chat after dinner, and we talked about the power of community, the internet, integrity, and changing the way we work. I'll dive into that shortly, but it was such a sweet time, and reminded me exactly why this city holds such a special place in my heart.

Photo by Ellie Patterson (EloisePhotography.com)

Photo by Ellie Patterson (EloisePhotography.com)

Before this dinner, I only knew of WeWork as a co-working space. After getting to talk to their talented team, and experience the conversations and culture they've created, it's evident they are flipping the creative industry in the best ways possible. I was ready to grab a hard hat, and tour their brand new space they're about to open in Nashville!! 

Working as a freelancer and being someone in the creative field can be actually pretty lonely. It's a part of the process, that escapes the polished four corners of Instagram, and this dinner and conversations that followed just felt like an invitation to be honest, and to dream up the incredible possibilities that working within a creative community like WeWork can offer. I brought along one of my friends, Courtney, who is also in the creative field, and we have loved getting to "co-work" together. We both have gotten in a coffee shop routine, which has helped not only my sanity, but also my creativity when powering through projects throughout the week. It's so nice, to have someone to chat algorithms, strategy, or just simply get a second opinion on an interview for a project.

Photo by Ellie Patterson (EloisePhotography.com)

Photo by Ellie Patterson (EloisePhotography.com)

There is just something so sweet, something so much better when we work together, and that's exactly why WeWork exists, to create better. To quote their mission,

"To create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living."

From the way the menu was created in a way to be family style, to the way we huddled together around the fire after dinner it's evident WeWork lives out their mission in every sense. 

Photo by Ellie Patterson (EloisePhotography.com)

Photo by Ellie Patterson (EloisePhotography.com)

Sophia kicked off the fireside chat, talking about how special Nashville is, and I've talked about it so much, but the community and culture is truly palpable here. The community and the way this town rallies around it's own, is the first thing I noticed when I visited before I took the leap from LA to Nashville. Ruthie nailed it on the head, "You know what I love about this place is that it has a very collaborative feel and it doesn’t feel very competitive. It just feels open and welcoming."

As the fireside conversation continued, we dove into how our world, workspace, and relationships look different than ever before.

"This world has become so digitized. We’re all craving that human experience of creativity and the intimacy and the spontaneity that comes from space and slowness; what a neat thing to realize that now we’ve gotten so digital as a community of creatives in many different avenues that everyone’s sort of going, ‘Oh right, community is analog.' You can meet on the internet, but you have be what you say you are on the internet to sustain relationships in person.” -Sophia Bush

Isn't that the truth?

Sophia continued bringing up how inundated our world is with media today, and even though we are connected more than ever, it's not meant to replace relationships, but rather act as a vehicle. Sure, you can meet someone on Instagram, but the sustainability comes from the relationship that follows. Are you someone who practices what they preach or rather "Instagram?"

This dinner was unique, special, and a true treasure. The great news is you can join in on the conversation too, because Ruthie and Sophia will be teaching a Master's Class in Austin at the WeWork Creator Awards on Tuesday, June 27th. "We’re going to interview each other on what it looks like and how to facilitate community especially in this age. Realizing that social media, Instagram is not the connection, but the vehicle driving the connection. A suggestion. It can’t stay there.” 

Can't make it to Austin? Stream their Master Class: Social For Good here 4:00 CST on June 27th.

As our world changes, jobs shift, our human need remains the same, to feel loved, connected, and from there true creativity and community is born. 

Adam Wacenske, the general manager of the Southern region of WeWork, told us, "What’s so amazing and what I really enjoy about my job is that we’re taking something like commercial real estate, which forever has operated as it has and there’s been nobody who’s questioned it. Today, these landlords are starting to wake up and realize that community is the future and that an office doesn’t have to be four walls and a close locked door; it can actually be something much greater than that. WeWork is really this global shift. We’re creating something that’s bigger than ourselves.”

Not only is WeWork changing the landscape of the way we work, they're also helping support us in a HUGE way. GUYS they are giving away 20 MILLION dollars to creatives around the world. The application is less than 15 minutes, and I just can't wait to see the dreams come true from those that receive those hard earned grants. It's not too late to apply. Apply and make sure you tag #IfYouCanDreamItDoIt if you apply! https://creatorawards.wework.com/

Thanks to WeWork for fostering a community that's helping shape and change our world. Anyone chasing a dream knows, you can't do it alone. It takes a village, a community, and that's what's really beautiful about the journey. 

DON'T FORGET TO TUNE INTO SOPHIA AND RUTHIE'S TALK ON TUESDAY, 4 PM CST https://www.facebook.com/WeWork/

Photo by Ellie Patterson (EloisePhotography.com)

Photo by Ellie Patterson (EloisePhotography.com)