Note from Kate: Mel and I have worked together since the autumn, and I was always curious what the story of Co-Hub was. So one day we were chatting on messenger, and I asked.
Origins and Ethos
The origin of CoHub is simple. I saw a gap and filled it. The night of the referendum result, as I’m sure many of us did, I got very drunk. At around 2am I started a Facebook group for my friends. When I woke up, hungover, it had over 700 members.
Thankfully, The 48 and Beyond beat me to the punch on that one, but I still had 700+ people, desperate, angry, upset people looking for answers I didn’t have.
I went looking for those who maybe did, et voila CoHub was born. I live in France so if I throw in the odd bit of French, I’m not being pretentious, it’s just the best way to articulate my point.
It was never my intention to run things or decide strategy, I just wanted to find others, like me, who wanted to do something. I still do and I am, more than seven months on we are still going, still adding new members.
I’ve ‘met’ some truly inspirational people, but it’s not about individuals. Yeah I started this, but it’s not mine, it belongs to each and every member. Those who contribute make it what it is. I want more of that, it’s not only exciting to watch and be a part of, it’s necessary.
CoHub isn’t a brand in its own right and shouldn’t be, was never intended to be. It’s a collection of brands. A platform for those brands to communicate and collaborate where feasible. A notice board. The original idea was to collect everyone together so that we were ready when the strategy was clear.
I can see now that the strategy will never be that clear, things are changing too quickly. That’s why we need CoHub, to give choice, so that every thread of strategy can be followed by those who believe in it, but also so that they can work in tandem. Ensemble is a better word.
Think of it like a massive jigsaw puzzle, I relish puzzles. This one is constantly changing and evolving before our eyes. But wait, loads of the pieces are upside down, that’s no good. Help me turn them right way up, help me fit them together, help me build the whole picture.
An overview is essential for any kind of success. As far as I can see, nobody else is seeking this, everyone is head down in their own projects, maybe I am too. Point me in the direction of others who think like me and I will gladly help them and ask them to help you.
There are so many groups working themselves into the ground towards a common aim. So much duplication. This inevitably leads to confusion, which is divisive. Also to burnout, we’ve lost too many good people to that already.
Think about why everyone is so busy. Is it because they’re all individually doing the same things? Can that workload be shared more efficiently? In many cases, yes and yes.
CoHub isn’t advocating the need for one big group, many agree that this is counter-productive. Nobody will ever agree completely and we’ve already spent far too much time reaching that conclusion.
That said, there is absolutely no reason why two groups with slightly different aims can’t help each other to achieve those aims and get them to a wider audience. In turn, they can help other groups and create an ever expanding universe of aid and mutual understanding. It’s been happening for months.
Another analogy for you, we have Group A, Group B and Person X. This person likes elements of both groups so has joined each of them. They receive two emails about roughly the same subject, they become confused. Which do they follow? If they have also joined Groups C and D and they receive separate missives from them, the confusion mounts. Eventually person X switches off and gets on with their life, or diverts their energies to another less confusing cause.
I guess what I’m saying is, don’t force them to choose. We’ve all seen what happens when you force people to choose, that’s why we’re here!
We need to find a way to stop this division and confusion, we need every person X we can get. CoHub gives Groups A,B,C and D the tools to connect with each other. Granted those tools are not perfect, but they could be. If each group takes ownership, constructively points out the flaws, suggests how to fix them, gets involved in the evolution.
When it works it’s brilliant and it does work, is working, but it can and should be better. Help me to make it better. Sign your group up now, if you’re already a member get involved and if you’re already involved, thank you.
Learn more at Co-Hub at http://cohub.network