Friday, February 28, 2014
Adios Underwood Street and building culture from the ground up
Yesterday was the last working day at Friends of the Earth's London office in Underwood Street, before moving into the new place south of the river on Monday morning. I got to see the office one last time on Wednesday evening and bid it farewell. I didn't hold the building in any particular affection - unlike my respect for the people working within it - but it ticks all the boxes for the end of an era.
A phrase that's been kicking round in my head a while is building culture from the ground up - the idea in moving to the new office in Stockwell is that my colleagues in London have a chance to do just that. Yes, pure physical space matters, but space and how you use it also has a knock-on effect on ways of working.
Moving gives them a chance to declare a do-over - to ask and answer all those questions about establishing a creative, dynamic and mutually supportive culture, in a space which hopefully fosters all of this.
A timely question for local campaign groups might be: does the space where you meet, work and play together foster a culture like that? Rare is the group who can create their space - but even the smallest town offers a choice of venues.
Brain permitting, I might run through my Top 5 favourite local group meeting venues with you in the coming days.