On Friday 6 October The Melting Pot celebrated 10 years as Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation. It was a wonderful evening that acknowledged a decade of hard work, social innovation and interesting people doing amazing things.
The Coworking Awards honoured Members for their community building coworking qualities. We heard tales and tributes from TMP founder Claire Carpenter, Aiden Pia (Executive Director of SenScot) and Yvonne Strachan (Head of Equality and Human Rights & Third Sector at Scottish Government). There was a Pub Quiz, canapes, cocktails and loads of laughs!
To start the evening, Claire looked back over The Melting Pot’s story. She guided us down TMP’s timeline that was displayed on the Workshop Space whiteboard wall. We revisited landmarks from our first decade: finding a premises, launching the Good Ideas Academy, achieving charity status and forming the Coworking Accelerator Network, to name but a few. Our success comes from our community, our story is their story, so we asked our guests to add themselves and their memories to the timeline.
We recapped 10 years of social innovation using some spectacular facts:
- • Since its launch in 2011 our incubation programme the Good Ideas Academy has supported 77 social innovators
- • TMP welcomes 10,000+ visitors every year
- • Our venue hire clients have been served 2,500 sandwiches in the last year (12.5 x the height of the Scott Monument)
- • The hosting team answers the door phone about 25,000 times a year
Creating a quality coworking space is all about building a resilient, entrepreneurial community. All of our Members, past and present, bring something unique and irreplaceable to the Pot. The Coworking Awards, voted for by our Members, honour some of the people who build and sustain The Melting Pot community spirit. Some of the awards presented were: Best Banter (Simon Armstrong), Best Cup of Tea (Seth Nabarro), Master Connector (Marit Boot) and the David Drysdale Award for Most Welcoming Member (Cassian Hall) – you can find the full list of awards and winners at the end of this blog.
Next we heard from Yvonne Strachan, Head of Equality, Human Rights and Third Sector at Scottish Government. Unfortunately, Yvonne couldn’t make it to our event; she was at her own retirement party! She kindly took the time to wish us happy birthday via video message. Yvonne and Scottish Government have been instrumental to The Melting Pot’s success, it meant a lot to hear from her before she retired.
“The Melting Pot is part of the landscape but never part of the furniture. By that I mean that you’re always there to challenge and encourage us to think differently and do things differently.”
Yvonne Strachan, Scottish Government
Aidan Pia, Executive Director of Senscot, then reflected on 15 years of developments and key players in the social enterprise landscape. He spoke about his involvement with The Melting Pot: Aidan witnessed first-hand the pre-trading development stage of TMP which happened at Senscot’s premises. During the development stage, Claire led over a dozen people, mostly volunteers and freelancers, as they worked her idea for The Melting Pot into reality. Finally, Aidan reflected on the difference The Melting Pot has made by pioneering coworking and supporting people taking their ideas forward.
To wrap up, we looked into the future at what Team TMP will be working on. In June 2017, we launched the Coworking Accelerator Network: the global network promoting, developing and providing practical resources for leaders of Quality Coworking spaces. With 10 years of coworking experience under her belt, Claire decided to share that hard earned expertise with others. Backed by the Scottish Government and written into the Social Enterprise Strategy for the next 10 years the Coworking Accelerator Network will be a major focus for our team moving forward.
We want to say a massive “thank you” to everyone that has been involved with The Melting Pot during our first 10 years. All the people, organisations and funders that have supported and championed TMP, in particular Scottish Government who have continually supported us from the very start.
This winners of this years Coworking Awards were:
Charlotte Maddix, LGiU – Signing in Superstar (always signs in and out of the coworking space without prompting)
Jo Newens, Ethical Property – Most Tepid Hot Desker (somehow bags the same Hot Desk everyday!)
Keith Carsley, Instafile – Most Likely to be in the Zone (fittingly Keith couldn’t make the party because he had to work late)
Marit Boot, What? Why? Children in Hospital – Master Connector (helps Members make connections and find their network)
Suzanne Livingstone, Livingstone Consultancy – Ray of Sunshine (brings a smile to everyone’s faces)
Simon Armstrong, Sustainable Biomass Partnership – Best Banter (you can count on Simon for a giggle)
Seth Nabarro, InformedActions – Best cup of Tea (our most generous and talented tea maker)
Martin Hayward, Equality & Human Rights Commission – Wisest Member (voted most full of wisdom and insight)
Cassian Hall, Tin Can Telephone – David Drysdale Award for most Welcoming Member (presented in honour of beloved TMP Member David Drysdale, the driving force behind Fathers Network Scotland who sadly passed away last year)
Shaun Bickley, Tricky Locations – Lifetime Achievement Award (Shaun has been a Member for 10 years and even helped with the initial TMP build!)
If you’re interested in becoming part of The Melting Pot community check out our membership options.