At WeWork, our mission is to help our members discover their passions and create a life, not just a living. We are unified by this mission and in 2016 we made significant strides in connecting more people to the space, services and community they need to create their life’s work.
Over the course of 2016, our global expansion reached exciting new heights. We now have over 110 locations open around the world. We have doubled our presence globally with the addition of 18 new cities across six new countries, and welcomed a community of creators in 58 new locations. We have expanded to Berlin, Be’er Sheva, Seoul, Mexico City, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Montreal, and Sydney and added new cities to the U.S., each with its own unique spirit and culture including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Denver, Arlington, Irvine, Astoria, Long Beach, Pasadena, San Jose, and San Diego.
In December alone, our team members opened nearly 10,000 desks across eight countries in 14 cities on four continents. Five years ago, a feat like this would have taken us an entire year (maybe more!) to accomplish, but instead it happened on a single day. Without the hard work and sheer tenacity of our team, there is no way our company could hit these milestones.
In 2016, we doubled our membership with over 80k members utilizing the space, community and services that WeWork offers. We have diversified the types of creators that comprise our community. This summer we opened our doors to Fortune 500 companies to experience the WeWork community. With our “City as a Campus” initiative, we’re excited to see companies like Microsoft, Bacardi, Samsung, and nearly 450 enterprise members embracing a new way of working across the world.
At the other end of the scale, the launch of Mission Possible gave us the opportunity to provide mission-driven companies with the workspace and support they need to grow. Currently in 11 cities, we have welcomed over 1,100 new members to build a stronger WeWork community together.
It has been an exciting year, and our teams are leveraging smart design, technology, and predictive analytics to make the best use of our spaces. Real estate can be one of the biggest pain points and fixed costs for companies large and small, but it does not need to be that way. Buildings can now adapt to businesses rather than having to bend to fit the constraints of buildings. We are pursuing research and leveraging data from our buildings to anticipate what companies (small and large) need flexible, efficient, and responsive workspaces.
The role of design for our spaces has always played a big part in capturing the spirit of our local communities. The right space can create the right energy and foster connectivity. Across 60+ buildings this year alone, our designers have created over 130 art installations and have collaborated with over 35 local artists. We are designing beautiful spaces for our members that are distinctly and uniquely WeWork.
If anything about these past six years have shown us, it is that people are stronger and happier when they are together. In April, we set out to challenge the conventional way of living when we formally launched WeLive. The first at 110 Wall Street, in New York City, the second in Crystal City, just outside Washington, DC. What followed was a community built upon meaningful relationships, where home is no longer just a place but a feeling.
WeWork’s members will always be its heartbeat. It has been inspiring to see the creativity, the humanity, and the determination of our members in so many different parts of the world.
We kicked off 2016 with our #YoungInnovators series, which focused on members giving us a glimpse into our future. We continued our successful #FoundedByWomen campaign featuring 20 women who are truly creating their life’s work. Most recently, our #40over40 spotlight centered on members embracing a new way of working and teaching us a few things about the entrepreneurial spirit. What has become clear is that the power of “We” transcends borders, cultures, age, and background.
Finally, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the growth of the WeWork team. We are indebted to those of you that have joined us over the course of the year. In 2017, we will strengthen our communities in the Asia-Pacific by entering new cities like Beijing and expand our markets in Shanghai and Seoul. We plan to double our presence in London and welcome new communities in Paris, Buenos Aires, India, and Detroit. It’s a big challenge for us all but one that we must take head on.
The spirit of WeWork has always been entrepreneurial. We believe in taking the path of most resistance and to solve problems that haven’t been solved before. Despite the various time zones, cultural differences, and the multitude of languages — one thing is certain. We are a global community driven by the belief that we want to pursue our passions and to create meaning in our lives. 2016 has been an incredible journey but it is only the beginning.
Looking ahead to 2017, our determination to affect positive change as a global company is stronger than ever.