January 14th marks the kickoff of Worldwide Jellyweek 2013. If this brings to mind images of collaboration and creation, then you’re on the right page. If, however, this brings to mind images of county fairs and fruit preserves, let me explain.

A jelly is a free, casual coworking event. It’s a way to bring people together, in a social, collaborative environment, to get some work done. Ideally, motivation, inspiration and ideas are stirred up in the process. In the spirit of self-organizing, jellies tend to be open events, without too many parameters. This approach fosters spontaneous creativity and connections.

A jelly can be a coworking event, a hackathon, a Meetup, a barcamp or whatever else a community chooses to make it. They’re often found in coworking spaces, but they can be in cafes, homes, public spaces, a treehouse…whatever. Jellies are more about bringing people together than they are about following a particular structure. As the Jellyweek website states, “The purpose of Jellyweek is to foster the emerging culture of new forms of work and collaboration, to strengthen local communities of all kinds and to build new friendships and collaborative structures between them globally.”

A jelly in Atlanta. Creative Commons photo by tmoenk

Created by Anni Roolf in 2011 as European Jellyweek, last year's event went global with 223 jellies in 35 countries including New Zealand, Egypt, Singapore, Brazil, the U.S. and most European countries. This year promises to be even larger as word about the event spreads throughout coworking and collaborative communities around the world.

Get Involved

This video of a 2010 jelly in Nashua, New Hampshire nicely captures the spirit of jellying.



Cat Johnson


Cat Johnson | |

Cat Johnson is a content strategist and teacher helping community builders create strong brands. A longtime writer, marketing pro and coworking leader, Cat is the founder of Coworking Convos and