Celebrating the power of Communities

News | 16 May, 2023

SB Communities event in Madrid

Harnessing the potential of communities and its efficient management was the key topic during  “Communities”, an event held last May 11 in Madrid. Organised by the Chamber of Commerce of Madrid alongside a distinguished panel of specialists from different fields, the debate was led by Studio Banana´s co-founder Key Kawamura and chaired by the president of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, Ángel Asensio.

Belong and share to generate

Over the last few years we are witnessing a paradigm shift: today, more than ever, people value belonging and sharing as a way to achieve growth and fulfilment. This reality has also a very high impact on companies, fueling its transformation and business success.

As part of this round table, Borja Oria, Partner and CEO of Arcano Partners Investment Bank, Álvaro G. Onieva, Co-founder of MRGO Arquitectos discussed with Key and Ángel about the importance of belonging and sharing to attract and retain talent, or even clients.

Communication and rituals, processes and technology, or the impact of workplace design were some of the strategies exemplifying how to foster change and encourage the adoption of more agile and inclusive dynamics with a profound and positive impact on companies.

SB Communities event in Madrid

The importance of an active participation

Borja Oria highlighted the importance of collaboration and the active participation of people as part of the value creation process: “Goiko Grill is a clear example of how a team is capable of combining passion with the culture of effort to build a successful project.” The impact of intangibles on the income statement has also a long-term impact on the valuation of companies. “Intangibles are worth more and more”, although he also highlighted the importance of the physical elements when “Investing in brands, investing in spaces, investing in quality.”

Designing communities

On the other hand, Álvaro highlighted the power of architecture and design to shape cohesive communities. Interaction and a sense of belonging are some of the key vectors when it comes to rethinking how to take advantage of the physical environment and build stronger communities. And, within this process, being aware that “the virtual is already forming part of our physical reality” if we want to efficiently merge both territories.

SB Communities event in Madrid

Would you throw a birthday party in your office?

The importance of active listening, of understanding environments, contexts, lifestyles and group experiences has been the axis of Key’s vision to co-create communities in the workplace featuring a comfortable atmosphere and sense of belonging.

At the organisational level, he also highlighted the role that culture and knowledge management play in building resilient, intelligent and successful companies that are only viable “through consistency and authenticity”. “Only on these pillars can we build a shared project and generate pride of belonging.”

Key also underlined the importance of designing offices as flagship stores: “Learning from retail is an idea that we defend a lot as a studio.Consumers can buy through e-commerce, but still go to flagship stores because experiences happen there.. In the same way, high-impact, valued things have to happen in offices” he concluded.

We need, in the end, to be surrounded by people with whom we share values, with whom we have defined a common purpose. This is why communities are so important.