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Trailblazers of the Coworking Movement: 20 Influencers Making a Difference

Kristin Savage
Trailblazers of the Coworking Movement: 20 Influencers Making a Difference

In any industry, influencers are the trendsetters for the rest to follow. They help the industry to grow by setting standards that serve as limits. Their experiences serve us as guidelines and their recommendations can help us choose the right path. If you are in the coworking industry or hoping to venture into a coworking business, following influencers can help you get a better insight into the field.

Currently, there are nearly 19,400 around the globe and this number is growing daily. By 2025, it is expected to reach nearly 42,000. What this means for flexible workspace providers is that it can be harder to compete for the loyalty of the coworking communities. With the guidance of seasoned business owners who have reached success and stability in the industry, you will get first-hand tips on how to make the most out of the situation.

Here is a list of influencers whose inspiring stories are a good reason for you to be following their journey.

1. Jerome Chang

Jerome Chang, the founder of BLANKSPACES, is a prominent figure in the coworking industry. As a licensed architect with a background in design, Jerome brings a unique blend of creativity and practicality to his coworking ventures.

An early pioneer of coworking, Jerome co-founded the League of Extraordinary Coworking (LExC), the first national network of coworking spaces. This 501c(3) non-profit organization played a vital role in shaping the growth and development of the coworking movement.

With experience at esteemed firms like Clive Wilkinson Architects (CWA) and SFJones Architects, Jerome's design skills have been honed on projects ranging from innovative office headquarters for tech giants like Google to renowned restaurant spaces such as Spago Beverly Hills and Nobu Malibu.

Jerome holds an impressive academic background, including a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University and Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Science degrees from Cornell University. This diverse educational foundation has equipped him with a holistic approach to architectural design and entrepreneurship.

Through BLANKSPACES, Jerome has manifested his creative vision and expertise in the coworking industry. Continuously striving to enhance the BLANKSPACES experience, he iterates and improves upon the various elements that make his spaces unique.

As an influencer in the coworking industry, Jerome Chang has made a lasting impact through his architectural prowess and entrepreneurial spirit. His innovative approach to creating collaborative work environments has shaped the landscape of modern workspaces, inspiring countless individuals and businesses along the way.

Jerome Chang

Jerome Chang on LinkedIn

2. Jamie Russo

Jamie Russo is a prominent figure in the coworking industry, having started running coworking spaces in 2012. With a deep-rooted passion for helping operators succeed, she served as the Executive Director of the Global Workspace Association for an impressive five years.

Today, Jamie focuses on empowering coworking professionals through her educational platform, Everything Coworking. She offers a range of resources, including a popular podcast called the Coworking Startup School™, Community Manager University™, the Coworking Mentorship Program™, and specialized courses covering topics such as virtual mail programs and creative coworking partnerships.

Jamie's professional background extends beyond the coworking industry, with experience in Fortune 500 marketing, start-up operations, leadership, product development, client management, and business consulting. Her diverse expertise enriches her ability to guide and support coworking operators in their entrepreneurial journeys.

With an MBA from the University of Chicago, Jamie combines her business acumen with a genuine dedication to the coworking community. Residing in the Bay Area with her family, she leads an active lifestyle as an avid CrossFit enthusiast and AYSO soccer coach.

Jamie Russo's influence in the coworking industry is marked by her commitment to fostering success, providing valuable education, and sharing insights from her multifaceted professional background. Her contributions have helped shape the coworking landscape and empower operators to thrive in this dynamic and evolving industry.

Jamie Russo

Jamie Russo on LinkedIn

3. Liz Elam

Liz Elam is a remarkable influencer in the coworking industry, known for her unwavering belief in the power of resilience, tenacity, and overall excellence. Her innovative spirit and collaborative drive have positioned her at the forefront of the coworking movement.

As the founder of the Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC), the largest coworking conference in the world, Liz has been instrumental in shaping and expanding the event from its inception. GCUC has grown from a US-based conference to a global phenomenon, reaching countries such as South America, China, Canada, the UK, Latin America, and Australia. Additionally, Liz is a partner in the Deco Group, a respected coworking consultancy.

In 2010, Liz fearlessly ventured into the entrepreneurial world by founding Link Coworking in Austin, Texas. At that time, Austin had only four coworking spaces, but under Liz's leadership, Link Coworking flourished. With her guidance, the brand expanded to three locations, and by the spring of 2019, when Liz sold Link Coworking to Common Desk, it had become the fourth-largest coworking space in Austin. Notably, Liz made history as the first woman in the world to successfully exit her brand in the coworking industry.

Liz Elam's indomitable spirit, combined with her vision and accomplishments, have made her an influential figure in the coworking community. Her dedication to fostering collaboration and pushing the boundaries of the industry has left an indelible mark, inspiring others to strive for excellence and embrace the possibilities of coworking.

Liz Elam

Liz Elam on LinkedIn

4. Carsten Foertsch

Carsten Foertsch is a notable influencer in the coworking industry, known for his profound insights and contributions to the field. As a social scientist, founder, and editor at Deskmag, an esteemed publication dedicated to coworking, Carsten has played a pivotal role in shaping the discourse around coworking, its spaces, and its people.

Carsten's academic background in political science, sociology, and geography, along with his experience as a research associate in a social science institute, have provided him with a deep understanding of urban and regional development, as well as the labor market. This knowledge has been instrumental in informing his work on Deskmag.

As the founder and editor of Deskmag, Carsten has overseen the publication's growth and evolution into the longest-running online magazine focused on the new types of work and their spaces. Deskmag covers a wide range of topics, including interior design, operational strategies, and ways to improve coworking environments.

One of Carsten's notable contributions to the coworking community is the Global Coworking Survey, which he has conducted for over a decade. This survey provides comprehensive statistics and insights into the coworking industry, offering valuable data for researchers, operators, and enthusiasts alike.

Carsten Foertsch's expertise and dedication have made him a trusted authority in the coworking space. His work at Deskmag and the Global Coworking Survey have helped advance the understanding and development of coworking, fostering a community-driven approach to creating and improving shared workspaces.

Carsten Foertsch

Carsten Foertsch on LinkedIn

5. Craig Baute

Craig Baute is a highly experienced coworking owner and consultant, dedicating over ten years of his career to the coworking industry. Recognizing the transformative power of coworking, Craig believes in its potential to empower individuals working remotely or operating small businesses. His passion lies in expanding the reach of coworking, particularly in small and medium-sized cities across the United States.

Based in Denver and originally from Michigan, Craig's love for small towns and appreciation for mid-century furniture design shape his perspective on coworking. As the founder of Creative Density, Denver's second coworking space, and the Denver Coworking Alliance, known as Denver Coworks, he has made significant contributions to the coworking community in the city.

Beyond his local involvement, Craig is a global coworking consultant and a partner with OpenWork, collaborating with commercial real estate developers in the United States, Central America, China, and even Mongolia. Additionally, he is part of the fast-growing startup DeskPass, which offers a meta-membership granting access to over 150 spaces in Colorado, NYC, LA, Chicago, and Austin.

Craig's overarching goal is to bring coworking to every small and medium-sized town, revitalizing old buildings and stimulating local economies. By encouraging remote work and fostering small business hubs, he aims to expand job opportunities and create thriving communities.

Craig Baute's extensive experience, entrepreneurial endeavors, and commitment to driving coworking's growth make him a significant influencer in the industry. Through his work, he is actively transforming the way people work and revitalizing towns across the country, fostering economic development and creating new possibilities for remote professionals and small businesses.

Craig Baute

Craig Baute on LinkedIn

6. Nicole Vasquez

Nicole Vasquez is a prominent figure in the coworking industry, known for her influential roles and entrepreneurial endeavors. As the Chief Operating Officer of Refresh Miami, the largest technology community in Miami, boasting over 15,500 members, Nicole has played a vital role in fostering collaboration and innovation within the local tech ecosystem.

Nicole is also a Co-Founder of Deskpass, a hybrid work technology company that connects remote workers to a global network of on-demand workspaces. With Deskpass, she has successfully bridged the gap between remote work and community, providing professionals with flexible access to inspiring work environments.

With a decade of entrepreneurial success under her belt, Nicole brings a wealth of experience and a talent for synthesizing information to help companies scale efficiently. Her focus on customer feedback, cross-team collaboration, and strategic planning enables organizations to achieve rapid growth while maintaining a mission-driven approach.

In addition to her operational expertise, Nicole is a recognized community builder and author. She has sold two coworking spaces while building vibrant online communities and published an eBook titled "How to Plan and Launch an Online Community." Nicole's commitment to fostering collaboration extends beyond her own ventures, as she has held advisory and volunteer positions and served as a Professional Fellow through the U.S. Department of State, sharing her knowledge on building and maintaining collaborative communities across Europe.

Nicole's contributions and insights have garnered significant media attention, with over 50 interviews featured in notable publications such as Barron's Penta, Cheddar News, and Thrillist. She takes pleasure in sharing her experiences and serving as a valuable resource to others on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Outside of her professional pursuits, Nicole's passion for travel has taken her to over 40 countries, fueling her curiosity and thirst for knowledge. With her relentless pursuit of new experiences, thought-provoking questions, and engaging conversations, Nicole continues to make a significant impact as an influencer in the coworking industry and beyond.

Nicole Vasquez

Nicole Vasquez on LinkedIn

7. Hector Kolonas

Hector Kolonas is a trailblazer at the intersection of technology and workspaces, dedicating his expertise to support, connect, and enhance thousands of flexible workspaces worldwide. With a passion for leveraging technology to make workspaces more manageable, rewarding, and accessible, Hector has left an indelible mark on the coworking industry.

As the co-founder of, Hector spearheads efforts to bridge the fragmented landscape of property technology solutions. Syncaroo's unified synchronization layer and integrations have empowered hundreds of workspace operators to streamline their workflows, reclaiming countless hours once lost to manual and repetitive tasks.

In addition to Syncaroo, Hector curates the influential newsletter "This Week In Coworking," where he shares valuable insights, trends, and news from the evolving world of workspaces and technology. His blog and speaking engagements further amplify his thought leadership, providing a platform to explore emerging opportunities and undercurrent trends in the coworking ecosystem.

Hector's impact extends beyond the realm of flexible workspaces. He founded, a global network supporting over 700 communities and offering the most widely used coworking member benefits platform. Under his leadership, the platform blossomed into a vital resource for coworking spaces worldwide.

With an extensive background in backend web development, Hector has lent his expertise to various projects. From advising on cross-platform multivendor e-commerce marketplaces to designing secure authentication flows for API-first startups, his contributions have spanned diverse industries.

Since 2013, Hector has immersed himself in the world of flexible workspaces, diligently exploring ways to optimize their setup, management, marketing, enrichment, and expansion through technology. His passion for empowering workspace operators and creating interconnected ecosystems has made him a respected influencer in the coworking community.

As Hector continues to push boundaries and drive innovation, he remains committed to championing collaboration, efficiency, and accessibility in the coworking industry and beyond.

Hector Kolonas

Hector Kolonas on LinkedIn

8. Jean-Yves Huwart

Jean-Yves Huwart is a driving force in the coworking industry, renowned for his groundbreaking contributions and initiatives. As the founder of the Coworking Europe conference, he has brought together over 300 coworking space managers and catalysts annually, fostering collaboration and sharing insights. Additionally, Jean-Yves coordinates the Startup Europe Coworking Assembly, furthering the growth and development of coworking ecosystems.

Through his company, Global Enterprise, Jean-Yves operates two coworking spaces in Belgium while offering consultancy services on innovation models, entrepreneurship, and the evolving landscape of work. His expertise extends beyond coworking, as he spearheads events such as the Intrapreneurship conference and organizes Hackathons and interactive gatherings focused on Open Data in the public sector.

Jean-Yves Huwart's influence extends globally, with the expansion of his conference franchise to include Coworking Africa, Coworking India, and Social Workplace conferences. His consultancy firm,, is dedicated to driving open innovation and exploring new working models.

Driven by personal experience, Jean-Yves transitioned from being a business journalist to a remote worker, realizing the challenges of working from home. This led him to become one of the founding members of The Hub Brussels, a space for social entrepreneurs. It was during this time that he recognized the value of coworking and conceptualized the idea of organizing a European conference on coworking, which eventually became the renowned Coworking Europe conference.

With a humble beginning, the conference has evolved into a significant platform, attracting attendees from more than 20 countries. Despite the absence of traditional communication channels, Jean-Yves leveraged social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to shape the conference's success.

Jean-Yves Huwart's unwavering dedication to coworking, open innovation, and fostering collaborative communities has solidified his position as an influential figure in the coworking industry. His visionary leadership continues to drive the growth and evolution of flexible workspaces, inspiring professionals worldwide.

Jean-Yves Huwart

Jean-Yves Huwart on LinkedIn

9. Marc Navarro

Marc Navarro is a highly regarded Coworking Strategist, dedicated to enhancing work environments and optimizing professional performance. With a focus on creating productive spaces, Marc assists companies in all aspects of coworking, from initial design and project incubation to space distribution and profitability optimization.

Marc's expertise extends beyond the private sector, as he collaborates with public entities to introduce collaborative work models that add value to communities. He pioneered the concept of social return coworking, exemplified by the successful implementation of Sinèrgics, a coworking space launched in partnership with the Barcelona City Council.

As a sought-after speaker, content curator, and writer, Marc shares his insights and knowledge with companies and organizations within the coworking industry. He has held key leadership positions at prominent spaces like Utopicus and CREC Coworking, where he served as Director and Head of Strategy, respectively.

Marc Navarro plays a vital role in shaping the coworking landscape through his involvement in influential conferences and events. He serves as the Content Director of the CoworkingSpain Conference, a curator for the Coworking Unconference Asia, and an Advisor for the Latam Coworking Summit.

With a background in industrial design, Marc leverages his problem-solving skills to create impactful services that cater to the needs of individuals and businesses alike. His passion for designing human-centered solutions has driven his work since 2011, enabling him to empower organizations and transform workspaces into thriving, collaborative environments.

Marc Navarro

Marc Navarro on LinkedIn

10. Jeannine van der Linden

Jeannine van der Linden is a remarkable entrepreneur and influencer in the coworking industry. Following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother, Jeannine embarked on her own entrepreneurial journey as the founder of De Kamer, a collaborative coworking community with multiple locations across the Netherlands.

Driven by a mission to remove barriers to entry and promote inclusivity, Jeannine established De Kamer as a space where small businesses, nonprofits, and cultural organizations can thrive through collaboration, communication, and community-building. Her innovative approach allows members to access the workspace they need without being burdened by traditional, costly overheads, ensuring flexibility and scalability as their businesses grow.

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Recognizing the significance of coworking as the infrastructure of the Future of Work, Jeannine's passion and expertise have led her to take on key leadership roles. She serves as the Director of the European Coworking Assembly and is a managing partner of Open Coworking, organizations that play pivotal roles in shaping the coworking landscape.

Beyond her contributions to coworking, Jeannine's diverse background includes being the first and only American involved in organizing a Carnaval Crewe in North-Brabant—a testament to her open-mindedness and willingness to embrace new experiences.

Prior to her entrepreneurial pursuits, Jeannine practiced law in Atlanta, Georgia, where she specialized in business litigation, contract review, and litigation prevention. She continues to offer consulting services in these areas, providing valuable insights to businesses seeking legal guidance.

Jeannine van der Linden is a driving force behind empowering entrepreneurs, creating inclusive workspaces, and revolutionizing the way we work. Her dedication to removing barriers, fostering collaboration, and shaping the future of work makes her a prominent figure in the coworking industry.

Jeannine van der Linden

Jeannine van der Linden on LinkedIn

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11. Ashley Proctor

Ashley Proctor is a visionary and influential figure in the coworking industry, playing a crucial role in shaping the future of work and fostering collaborative communities. With 19 years of experience through Creative Blueprint, Ashley has inspired a global network of catalysts and change makers, working tirelessly to empower resilient and thriving communities worldwide.

As one of the founders of the coworking movement, Ashley has been instrumental in animating, nurturing, and empowering coworking spaces. She has worked in partnership with various stakeholders, including community organizers, policymakers, activists, and governments, to bridge gaps and foster meaningful connections between individuals and industries.

With expertise in disrupting the status quo and dismantling loneliness, Ashley is dedicated to navigating the new work landscape while promoting community engagement, collaboration, and coworking as a transformative movement. Her extensive experience in consulting, project management, business development, and advocacy has made her a mentor, leader, and passionate advocate for inclusion, equity, and social justice.

Ashley's contributions to the coworking industry are vast and impactful. She has co-founded and led numerous coworking collectives and alliances, such as Coworking Toronto, Coworking Ontario, and Coworking Canada. Notably, she created the world's first Coworking Health Insurance Plan (COHIP) in 2013, providing independent workers in Canada with access to healthcare.

Furthermore, Ashley's leadership was instrumental in transforming Vancouver's Police Headquarters into 312 MAIN, Vancouver's Centre for Social and Economic Innovation. She secured substantial funding for social and economic innovation, as well as creative, cultural, and coworking spaces in Canada, totaling millions of dollars.

Ashley's influence extends beyond Canada, as she has served as an international speaker for over a decade and contributed to the development of coworking communities in Toronto, Vancouver, and Seattle. She continues to shape the industry as the Executive Producer of Coworking Alliance Summit and is currently working to establish creative, cultural, and community land trusts.

Passionate about creating meaningful connections, sustainable development, and social change, Ashley Proctor is a driving force behind coworking's evolution. Her dedication to democratic engagement, accessibility, inclusion, and diversity has solidified her position as an influential leader and advocate for coworking communities worldwide.

Ashley Proctor

Ashley Proctor on LinkedIn

12. Claudius Krucker

Claudius Krucker, CEO & host at CreativeSpace and Co-President of Coworking Switzerland, has made a significant impact on the coworking industry. With a diverse background in law, cultural management, and entrepreneurship, Claudius recognized the potential of coworking to support startups and freelancers while fostering networking and promotion. His passion for combining entrepreneurship and creativity led him to establish the CreativeSpace coworking spaces in Zurich and St.Gallen in 2014.

As a co-founder of Coworking Switzerland, he has been actively involved in promoting the coworking movement and supporting the Swiss coworking and startup scenes since 2012. Claudius's visionary idea for European Coworking Day, presented during the Coworking Europe Conference in 2022, quickly gained momentum and resulted in a celebrated annual event spanning 80 locations in 18 countries. Through his role as a leader, event developer, and advocate for support services, Claudius continues to shape and inspire the coworking industry.

Claudius Krucker

Claudius Krucker on LinkedIn

13. Cat Johnson

Cat Johnson is a highly influential figure in the coworking industry, known for her transformative approach and dedication to building strong brand communities. As the founder of Cat Johnson Co, she has empowered coworking space operators worldwide through platforms like Coworking Convos, The Lab, and Coworking Out Loud.

With her firsthand experience as a key-holding member of multiple coworking spaces since 2012, Cat deeply understands the needs and desires of members. As a seasoned content strategist and brand community coach, she has guided operators through the challenges of community building, offering valuable insights and support.

Cat firmly believes that coworking is not just about providing desks and wifi; it is about selling belonging, professional support, connection, flexibility, and purpose. Her visionary perspective aligns with the transformative role coworking plays in the future of work. With the industry projected to grow exponentially by 2030, Cat emphasizes the need for coworking spaces to differentiate and position themselves effectively.

Through her human-first organization, Cat Johnson Co, Cat fosters the exploration of the deeper aspects of coworking, content creation, and brand community building. Her content, delivered through various channels such as blog posts, social media, events, and Coworking Convos, offers real, actionable insights to help operators ignite their marketing and storytelling.

Cat Johnson is a trusted marketing maven in the coworking world, providing operators with the tools and knowledge to thrive. By embracing her strategies, coworking space operators can develop strong brand communities that go beyond mere amenities and truly meet the desires of members.

Cat Johnson

Cat Johnson on LinkedIn

14. Manuel Zea Barral

Manuel Zea Barral is a prominent figure in the coworking industry and a driving force behind the philosophy and growth of coworking concepts in Spain. As the founder of Zea Retail and immersed in the expansion of retail concepts such as Retail Lol, Love Me Stores, This is Ibiza, MMM, and La Isla Gourmet, Manuel brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the coworking landscape.

Recognizing the potential and importance of coworking, Manuel founded, a web platform that serves as a search engine for coworking spaces in Spain. Additionally, he organizes the renowned Spanish coworking conference, CWSC, providing a valuable platform for collaboration and networking within the industry.

Manuel Zea Barral is not only involved in the coworking community but also an investor in promising startups such as,,, and Locker in the City. His diverse background demonstrates his entrepreneurial spirit and his willingness to support innovative business ideas.

With a deep understanding of the coworking philosophy, Manuel authored the book "Living Coworking," which serves as an essential manual for those seeking to comprehend the secrets behind the success of this unstoppable way of work. Within the book, Manuel analyzes the characteristics of coworking, its evolution, and the factors contributing to its widespread popularity.

As an influencer in the coworking industry, Manuel Zea Barral has made significant contributions to the growth and development of coworking in Spain. Through his initiatives, investments, and insightful writings, he continues to shape the coworking landscape and inspire others to embrace this transformative work philosophy.

Manuel Zea Barral

Manuel Zea Barral on LinkedIn

15. Frank Cottle

Frank Cottle is a highly regarded figure in the coworking industry, known for his entrepreneurial spirit and expertise in the future of work. With a career spanning over four decades, Frank has been instrumental in building flexible workspace companies under the Alliance brand since 1992.

As the founder and CEO of Alliance Virtual Offices, Frank is deeply committed to empowering new ways of working that bring together the essential elements of the modern entrepreneur: people, place, and technology. His extensive experience as a speaker, strategist, entrepreneur, advisor, business leader, and investor positions him as a trusted voice in the industry.

Frank's areas of expertise encompass a wide range of disciplines, including corporate real estate repositioning, investment banking, finance, workplace technology, and business leadership. He is a frequent presence on the conference circuit, sharing his insights and consulting with multinational firms to shape strategies for the future of work.

With a passion for sharing his vision and expertise, Frank is always open to speaking engagements, interviews, panel discussions, podcasts, consultancy, and informal conversations over a cup of coffee. Connecting with him offers an opportunity to tap into his wealth of knowledge and explore the evolving landscape of work.

Frank Cottle

Frank Cottle on LinkedIn

16. Neil Usher

Neil Usher is a renowned and influential figure in the field of flexible workspace and workplace transformation. With extensive international experience as a senior property, workplace, facilities, and change leader, Neil has successfully spearheaded numerous strategic initiatives and commercial developments. His expertise encompasses property consolidation programs, mergers and acquisitions, as well as large-scale facility management outsourcing.

Neil's innovative approach to workplace design and delivery, including activity-based environments and remote working programs, has garnered accolades and industry recognition. His ability to create award-winning workspaces that foster productivity and adapt to evolving needs has made him a sought-after consultant for organizations worldwide.

Notably, Neil's people-centric approach to change and transformation has proven effective in diverse industries and over thirty countries. He has a deep understanding of the challenges associated with organizational change and has developed adaptable strategies to address them.

As a prolific blogger and author, Neil has built extensive networks within the property and people communities. His thought leadership and expertise have been showcased through regular conference speaking engagements and academic presentations. Neil's books, including 'The Elemental Workplace' and 'Elemental Change,' published by LID, have further solidified his status as a leading thinker in the profession.

Currently serving as the Chief Workplace & Change Strategist at GoSpace AI, Neil Usher continues to contribute to the industry's advancement. His practical experience, combined with his influential writings and speaking engagements, make him a highly respected and influential influencer in the realm of flexible workspaces.

Neil Usher

Neil Usher on LinkedIn

17. Pauline Roussel

Pauline Roussel is a prominent figure in the coworking industry, known for her dedication to understanding and promoting modern workspaces. Originally from France and currently based in Berlin, Pauline has spent the past 8 years immersing herself in the world of coworking and flex spaces. Her mission is to educate individuals and companies about effective workplace strategies, enabling them to attract and retain top talent.

Pauline's initiatives reflect her commitment to advancing the coworking industry. Coworkies, a global job board she founded, has become the benchmark for hiring and recruiting standards in the coworking and flexible workspace sector. Through extensive travel and visits to 420 coworking spaces across 47 cities, Pauline has gained valuable insights that inform her work.

She also organizes the annual Hack Coworking conference and hackathon, which explores the future of work and workspaces. This event brings together professionals from various backgrounds to collaborate and innovate within the industry.

Furthermore, Pauline hosts the Hot Water Podcast, where she engages with experts worldwide to discuss the future of work and workspaces from different perspectives. This platform allows for in-depth conversations and knowledge sharing.

In addition to her entrepreneurial ventures, Pauline is the co-author of "Around The World in 250 Coworking Spaces." This comprehensive coffee table book showcases the stories of 250 coworking and collaborative workspace founders, providing a global perspective on the industry.

With her extensive experience and dedication to coworking, Pauline Roussel has established herself as an influential figure in the industry, constantly striving to stay ahead of the curve and contribute to the success of workspaces worldwide.

Pauline Roussel

Pauline Roussel on LinkedIn

18. Bernie J Mitchell

Bernie J Mitchell is a highly influential figure in the coworking industry, with a passion for promoting freelancing, remote work, and the 15-minute city movement. He has been actively involved in coworking since 2010, advocating for innovative approaches to work and community building.

One of Bernie's notable contributions is as a co-founder of the London Coworking Assembly. Within this organization, he works on the Coworking I.D.E.A. Project, which focuses on fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing within the coworking community. Bernie's dedication to creating meaningful connections and empowering individuals is further exemplified through his involvement with UrbanMBA, where he engages in initiatives related to urban development and entrepreneurship.

As part of the European Coworking Assembly, Bernie plays a key role in producing the Coworking Values Podcast. This podcast, which has expanded its reach to include Spanish-language episodes, delves into the core values and principles that underpin the coworking movement. Through thought-provoking conversations, the podcast explores how coworking spaces can foster inclusive and supportive environments for their members.

Currently, Bernie serves as the Chief Operations Officer at Velvet Platform, a company specializing in building fintech products for the coworking and co-living industries. In this role, he contributes to the development of innovative solutions that enhance the coworking experience, aligning technology with the needs of this evolving sector.

With his extensive involvement in various coworking initiatives and his commitment to advancing the values and practices of the industry, Bernie J Mitchell has become a highly regarded influencer. His dedication to promoting collaboration, community, and the positive impact of coworking continues to shape the industry and inspire professionals worldwide.

Bernie J Mitchell

Bernie J Mitchell on LinkedIn

19. Claire Carpenter

Claire Carpenter is an influential leader, entrepreneur, and innovator with a remarkable track record in the Third Sector, encompassing charity, voluntary work, and social enterprise. With over three decades of experience, Claire has successfully brought ideas to life and has supported others in doing the same through coaching, mentoring, and project management.

Known for her ability to solve complex social problems, Claire thrives on prototyping and delivering practical solutions that address critical challenges. She excels in navigating the messy, complicated, and low-budget stages of projects, while also building exceptional teams that can deliver mature and well-grounded services.

Claire's goal-oriented and problem-solving nature drives her to take action. She combines innovation, imagination, and attention to detail, enabling her to see the bigger picture while effectively managing the specifics. As a resilient and resourceful leader, she embraces challenges and values the power of connections and collaboration with others.

Throughout her career, Claire has achieved notable highlights. She pioneered one of Europe's first coworking hubs by innovating on the commercial real estate model, even amidst the global recession in 2007/2008. She also founded and developed The Melting Pot, a highly successful social enterprise that has empowered numerous individuals to start, grow, and thrive, fostering productivity, well-being, and social impact.

Claire's ability to adapt and pivot became evident during the COVID-19 pandemic when she successfully navigated work-from-home regulations and secured a strategic partnership while scaling operations. Her work includes creating thematic networks, designing innovative education programs, delivering inspiring public speeches, and building impactful workshops on topics such as coworking, placemaking, social enterprise, and social change.

Recognized for her contributions, Claire has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Scottish Social Enterprise Champion in 2016 and being shortlisted for the UK Social Enterprise Awards. Her extensive experience, combined with her commitment to driving positive change and her ability to inspire others, has firmly established Claire Carpenter as an influential figure in the coworking industry.

Claire Carpenter

Claire Carpenter on LinkedIn

20. Vika Zhurbas

Vika Zhurbas is a highly influential figure in the coworking industry, with a strong belief in the power of communities. With a background connected to both coworking and the IT industry, Vika has dedicated a significant part of her life to fostering collaboration and supporting the growth of coworking spaces.

As the President of the Ukrainian Coworking Association, Vika plays a pivotal role in uniting coworking providers and driving the advancement of the industry in Ukraine. Her passion lies in exploring Female Leadership and connecting with women who share an interest in this topic. By empowering women and promoting diversity within the coworking landscape, Vika aims to create inclusive spaces that encourage professional growth and development.

Recognizing the importance of events as a means to share knowledge and forge new connections, Vika actively engages in organizing and participating in industry gatherings. She understands that events provide valuable opportunities to exchange ideas, build relationships, and drive the coworking movement forward.

Currently based in Porto, Portugal, Vika remains open to establishing meaningful connections with individuals who can contribute to her vision and mission. With 10 years of experience in startups and the coworking industry, including her previous role as the manager of New Work in Ukraine, a network of flex workspaces, Vika brings a wealth of expertise to her endeavors.

In addition to her work in coworking, Vika serves as a project manager for Workcloud24, a platform focused on achieving climate goals by reducing carbon emissions in real estate through the implementation of digital solutions. By merging her passion for sustainability and innovation, Vika is actively contributing to a more environmentally conscious approach to the industry.

Vika Zhurbas' commitment to community-building, female leadership, and sustainability positions her as a significant influencer within the coworking industry. Through her dedication, expertise, and ongoing efforts to connect and empower individuals, Vika continues to make a lasting impact on the coworking landscape.

Vika Zhurbas

Vika Zhurbas on LinkedIn

Final Thoughts

These 20 coworking influencers have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the industry, serving as trailblazers and inspiring others to make a difference. Their remarkable achievements showcase the power of persistence and belief in the coworking movement. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, there will be new influencers and leaders emerging, making their mark on the coworking landscape.

To stay up-to-date with the latest insights, trends, and additions to the list of influential figures, we encourage you to sign up for our newsletter. By doing so, you can ensure that you are at the forefront of the coworking revolution and ready to seize the countless opportunities it offers.

The article was written by Kristin Savage who nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at TopEssayWriting and ClassyEssay.

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