Swing by The Edge on a Friday and you’ll encounter a curious group of laptop-tappers, either completely absorbed in their computers or passionately engaged in discussion. This is Brisbane Jelly, an informal co-working group that meets at The Edge every Friday from noon. The purpose of Brisbane Jelly is to sample the world’s finest flavours of…no wait, that’s not it!
“Jelly” is the name of a worldwide trend that began in 2006. Two New York freelancers grew tired of working alone, so they invited a group of other freelancers to their apartment to work together for the day. Legend has it they were eating jellybeans at the time, and like a wet jellybean to paper, the name stuck.
Brisbane’s version began in 2009, when a small group began meeting in people’s houses (and one time on a yacht). Eventually it grew too big and bounced between various co-working spaces. Then, somebody discovered The Edge – with its creative atmosphere, free wifi, convenient coffee bar and ridiculous river views – and Jelly’s remained there ever since.
I never went looking for Jelly. Jelly found me. Around three years ago I was working on my laptop at The Edge when two sparkling-eyed young guys asked if they could share my window bay. We got talking – their names were Jaap (from Holland) and Anton (from Russia) – and they told me I should come to Brisbane Jelly. I’d seen this “Jelly” mentioned online, but figured it was for computer programmers. Being a copywriter, musician and media all-rounder, I didn’t want to feel like Jen on The IT Crowd. But Jaap and Anton persuaded me it wasn’t just for “techies” and now, I’m a regular!
I love Jelly because it attracts positive, knowledge-thirsty, outside-of-the-box thinkers, enthusiastic about what the world could be. I always learn something new and come away feeling inspired!
Originally the group was attended by programmers, software developers and designers, but we’ve also had illustrators, filmmakers, philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists and reptologists. We’ve had university students, entrepreneurs, freelancers, retirees, and employees who just want a place to work away from the office. There are the regulars, and there are travelers from all over the world who pop in while passing through.
In coming posts, I’ll profile a couple of our fascinating regulars. If you’re interested in coming to Jelly, feel free to sign up to our Meetup page. We hope to see you there!