In this edition of “Innovation Spotlight,” we’re highlighting the work and insights of Forrest Fowler, Co-Founder of Cowork. In the second part of a two-part interview, Forrest talks about his personal vision for Cowork, how Cowork’s environment creates a collaborative and productive workspace, and what The Mill’s partnership with Cowork means to him.
“Our community offers a space where people can collaborate and ask for help. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this happen, or experienced it myself, where members have sought each other out for help with a problem, or developing a solution. That’s the kind of creative, collaborative community that we’ve tried to make here. It’s a place where people can work on their own personal projects, but also have the opportunity to reach out to others, or meet people doing the same things that they’re doing. We have weekly community events, but we also really prize the organic nature of people deciding to work with each other. That spirit of community is an essential part of what Cowork means to us.
“I think one of our biggest realizations as to who we were serving, the more that we got to know members, is that some of them were spouses or partners of people doing work at IU, and Cowork has provided them with the ability to form their own community outside of their spouse’s, so that they don’t feel so insulated.
“Others were parents already working from home and just looking to get out of their offices, and others still are people that love Bloomington, and don’t want to leave their city because they love the home that they’ve built.
“I remember when I first tried to have a regular job developing software in a big city. I didn’t like it. I missed home. Bloomington has been my home for so long, that it’s hard for me to imagine living anywhere else.
“I think The Mill acquiring us is the next logical step. I think it’s helpful for us to have a space where we still have this wonderful community that we’ve built, but we also get to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
“There are so many people who are involved in our coworking space that are innovators in their own ways. Having a community like Cowork join The Mill takes our community to a bigger, better space that also helps us to build upon the incredible community that we already have. I know that we’ve built something very important here, and I want to do my best to make sure that we continue to grow in a way that’s healthy for us as a community space.”