Looking beyond Alaska

The Alaska Collective is in its final days. People are packing up, cleaning has started and others are still hammering away at their computers to finish off projects. So as this Collective draws to a close, its only appropriate that we share what is next for CouchSurfing.

This year, with both the Thailand Collective and our current Alaska Collective, CouchSurfing has benefited from the help of 15-20 full-time volunteers and staff for over 8 consecutive months. Several of these talented professionals have volunteered for CS that entire time, working without pay for the love of CouchSurfing.

In Thailand, we began to build our expert volunteer teams, we made many new tools for volunteer productivity, and we made our website scalable for the 1 million CS members we’ll have by the year’s end. In Alaska, we’ve focused on improvements to member features, such as the reference system improvements, a new chat system, improved safety features and soon-to-be-released communication news channels.

With this Collective ending, CouchSurfing was faced with the question: what’s next? Great ideas are pouring in from members and we have so much on our to-do list. How can we retain the talented full-time volunteers we’ve enjoyed for these many months?

Now it’s time for CS to take the big next step.


Currently, our very talented scout, Pinkfish, who found our dream location in Pai, Thailand, as well as this amazing house in Homer, Alaska, is searching for a living and office space to house fifteen full-time volunteers and staff for the next 12 months in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

We’re calling this location ‘Base Camp’ because it will be our long-term volunteer training base and launch spot for future CS Collectives around the globe. Base Camp will allow us to recruit the best talent in the world, ensure that CS is right for them, then send them off to join Collectives already in progress. Base Camp will also provide a stable place to plan and support the remote Collectives. We’ll be able to start one Collectives as another ends, and we will eventually maintain multiple continuous Collectives on several continents, accessible for most CS members.

While Collectives inspire the commitment of volunteers and staff members who want the adventure of traveling the world for CS, Base Camp will also attract those who have families or jobs and who need a stable location to participate.


We are an international community, and that’s why we will continue to hold international Collectives. CouchSurfing takes place in home around the world, and Base Camp will be just one of our centers of activity.

California offers CS many resources for a long-term location. The SF Bay Area is known worldwide as a center for innovative web companies as well as charity organizations that are changing the world – which means CS will fit right in. We’ll have help from some of the smartest minds who have already made the SF Bay area their home, and many free recourses for non-profits.

Another advantage is all of the CouchSurfers who live there. Of the cities with the largest total number of CouchSurfers, San Francisco is in top ten. And of all large cities, SF has more CouchSurfing members per capita than any other city in the world. Did you know that 1 in every 200 San Francisco residents is a CouchSurfer? SF loves CS!


The first step is to find our new home. Pinkfish has already enlisted the support of the SF Bay Area community to help us find the right location and set it up. Before we move in, we’ll post the available volunteer roles at Base Camp and at the next Collective that will most likely begin in November. Maybe one of these roles has your name on it!

We have so much we want to accomplish, and Base Camp will allow us to do those things more efficiently than ever before. Adding new features, building community, bringing much more information and stories to members, supporting large member events such as this summer’s CouchCrash in New York City, making it easier to surf and host, and giving our Ambassadors more support.

With so much to do, we’re excited for the opportunity to continue the progress we’re making in Alaska without break through the next year and beyond.


One Response to “Looking beyond Alaska”

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