Building the community: An interview with Gigi AuYeung (Community Partnership Director)

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Can you share a little bit about theDesk’s ‘Inclusive Community’?

theDesk’s mission statement is “Unlock the power of neighborhoods”. To achieve this, we’ve cultivated an ecosystem within which all our members and neighbors are connected – maximizing the touchpoints at which the community can inspire new ideas. By bringing our members and neighbors into one network, theDesk fosters mutually beneficial relationships that deliver value to each component of the community. Thereby, creating a structure that works for the many, and not just the few.

Mirroring the thoughts of our CEO, Thomas Hui, I believe “theDesk is like a blank canvas, where the people bring the color.” For that reason, we’ve created a community that puts the people first and in doing so, we’re seeing the true benefits of a shared economy emerge.

What differentiates theDesk from other co-working spaces?

Connecting the community, our members and our neighbors, is at the core of what we do. By looking beyond the people inside our own four walls we ensure that we’re an intrinsic part of our surrounding neighborhoods and doing more than simply providing a shared working space. By adhering to this belief, that’s founded upon adding business value and the principles of Co-work 2.0, theDesk ensures that each of our spaces is a nexus of development and innovation.

The real added value, that is intrinsic to theDesk’s identity, germinates from within our productive community. Simultaneously providing members and neighbors opportunities to grow. This desire to add value is mirrored in the design of most of our spaces, which embrace a minimalist approach and strip back any unnecessary distractions, allowing our members to focus on their businesses.

theDesk embraces minimalism in our space and removes many of the fancy gimmicks like white canvas, the people in them are the star.

How do you engage with your neighborhoods?

Our Community Team implies a four-step process to connect with our community members.

  • Understanding – who they are.
  • Analyzing – what they need.
  • Identifying – how and which connections can deliver them value.
  • Connecting – with them to ensure continued communication and collaboration. 

Once our team goes through methodology with each our neighbors they can strategically match them with our members to help them unlock business opportunities and spark new ideas.

We also invite all our neighbors to take part in our events, seminars, and activities. This helps both our members and neighbors to develops meaningful connections, whether that’s at an event like the HSBC pop-up booth, our monthly Community Luncheon, or simply a relaxing yoga class.

We hosted HSBC pop up booth to provide banking and financial consultation to our community members and organized monthly Community Luncheon to invite our members and neighbors from varying industries in order to develop meaningful connections.

Why do you see that as so important?

theDesk is aiming to form a network of Inclusive Communities, each with unique characteristics, that come together and form a large hub of resources. This hub can then be tapped into and utilized by stakeholders from across Hong Kong, helping to elevate the wellbeing of the entire community. It’s all about adding business value and growth in a manner that is sustainable for the industry as a whole and that starts with us connecting with our neighbors. That’s our vision of a truly shared economy.

How do you help your new members settle into the community?

When any new member joins theDesk, they receive a warm welcome from our Community Partnership Team before undergoing a proper Meet & Greet session. These sessions will provide members with an introduction to theDesk, and its values, and will help our team to get to know the member more intimately so we can discern their business needs.

Newcomers will also be encouraged to meet our existing members through different planned events such as our monthly business networking breakfast or Tuesday Treats. This helps them to get to know their fellow members’ businesses and to start thinking about where they can potentially collaborate and generate business value. Furthermore, because the growth of our members is so fundamental to who we are, we also run a CXO program where C-suite representatives meet with our members and discuss whether their expectations are being met and in what ways our team can further help them and their business.

theDesk - Event - Belonging
At theDesk, every member matters. We regularly hold community events to encourage connections and collaborations among members and neighbors.

To close, what is the number one benefit that people receive from being a member at theDesk?

By being part of our inclusive and diverse community both members and neighbors are able to constantly expand their network. Through these mutually beneficial connections, our community is able to help one another grow and add value to their businesses. That is the greatest benefit that theDesk offers.

Join theDesk: Your co-working and events space

Be part of our vibrant professional communities. Enjoy our flexible plans for private offices and desks. Let’s make it happen together.

Contact and today. Discover how our inclusive community, flexible plans and pricing can help start and grow your business.

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