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Members’ clubs are curating minds, not bank accounts

Elegant, design-conscious luxury meets high tech trends at the latest private members’ clubs emerging in South Africa, taking networking to a new level.

Promising ‘common ground for uncommon people’, MESH offers a luxurious environment in Rosebank, Johannesburg, with the aim of connecting entrepreneurs.

‘Beyond forum-based networking organisations, there isn’t an opportunity for entrepreneurs to connect in an interesting space,’ explains MESH CEO Jonathon Meyer, who says the club is two-thirds of the way to its goal of 500 members.

‘We do curate our members, as we want to have like-minded people in this space,’ he says, ‘but our members also come from different walks of life, which I believe leads to different conversations with people from different industries.’

Unsurprisingly, the facilities at MESH are geared towards productivity. Along with concierge services, there are boardrooms and an on-site screening room. A dedicated concierge team facilitates meetings between members, and a mobile app is being built to find synergies and match members with common interests. There’s a more relaxed approach at The Stack, Cape Town’s only private club worthy of the title.

Curating minds, not bank accounts at The Stack
The Stack in Gardens, Cape Town

A stylish creation by hotelier Nigel Pace and interior designer Sarah Ord, The Stack fuses the idea of a private club with the trend towards co-working spaces. While there’s an elegant brasserie downstairs, and a private bar where members can network if they choose, there’s been a subtle shift towards the club being a productive space during daylight hours.

‘It’s really opened the door to people giving up their offices and using The Stack instead,’ says Pace.

QSL SA has an exceptional array of reciprocal arrangements: LIBRARY in London, Seafarers in Auckland, The Explorers Club in New York and Griffin Club in Los Angeles, to name a few. Members of The Stack have access to more than a dozen clubs worldwide, such as The Hospital Club in London and Brody House in Budapest.

‘It’s a great endorsement of a club and its members, knowing that you have access to these amazing locations around the world,’ says Pace.

Access – too often it’s something money can’t buy and, while modern-day clubs tread carefully around notions of exclusion, once you’re in the front door you might just find it’s something to be treasured.

For more private members clubs read Richard Holme’s Rand Club review.

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