Giving Compass' Take:

• Miguel McKelvey, co-founder, and chief culture officer of The We Company, sheds light on how the workplace model can foster collaborative and educative learning environments. 

• How can philanthropists support collective learning environments? What are the benefits of collaboration and flexibility in learning spaces? 

• Here are three ways to model collaboration and partnership in classrooms. 


Miguel McKelvey is the co-founder and chief culture officer of the innovative “real-estate” company, The We Company, the parent company of We Work. If you aren’t familiar with We Work, it is, to use a colloquialism of the day, a “disruptor” of how we use, share, and work in space together – and I don’t mean outer space, but rather the physical space around us.

McKelvey, who grew up in an Oregon commune, is now helping to lead a company that has over 10,000 “members” in hundreds of locations worldwide. The organization has shifted ideas about the way we engage with work by re-engineering how physical space can transform interactions. Indeed, the core value that drives McKelvey’s work isn’t actually about work at all, but instead, connection.

Through his work at The We Company, he has engineered spaces that allow people to come together, work, and interact with those they may have otherwise never met. The challenge for McKelvey is always the authenticity of the connection and the quality of the connective tissue between different people who do different things.

We Work provides an example for us that is both futuristic and primal. As organizations and companies challenge us with ideas of virtual and highly individualized learning (a seductive idea for some futurists), I find hope in an alternative idea, and one We Work exemplifies: that schools should remain essential for places of collective learning, not only because that meets a deep biological need, but because leading organizations have recognized that connection is essential and are creating spaces to foster it.

If We Work is a model for the future of work, then schools should be thinking more deeply about how to organize space, time, and interactions so that our students have the ability to practice these new forms of engagement.

Read the full article about collaborative learning environments by Jeremy Jones at The Learning Accelerator.