Robert Kalin (Etsy) and Andrew Hoppin (NASA) explained how they engage their customers, staff, partners and the community with co-working spaces (real and virtual). FYI, the definition of coworking from Wikipedia is as follows:
"an emerging trend for a new pattern for working. Typically
work-at-home professionals or independent contractors or people who
travel frequently end up working in an isolated way. Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values and who are are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.
Some coworking spaces were developed by nomadic internet
entrepreneurs seeking an alternative to working in coffeeshops and
cafes, or to isolation in independent or home offices.
Business accelerators, business incubators
and executive suites do not seem to fit into the coworking model,
because they often miss the social, collaborative, and informal aspects of the process, with management practices closer to that of a Cooperative, including a focus on community ather than profit. Many of the coworking participants are also participants in BarCamp and other related open source technology activities"
They reference how freelancers are working collaboratively, via virtual workspaces.
Also the conversation of Second Life came up. Cool or not cool? I am still on the fence and rather keep my ignorance (it makes me feel less of a nerd). But Andrew Hoppin showed the extensive work NASA has done, using Second Life to conduct conferences, recruit, etc.