Take part in the Coworking Cup during the European Football Championship 2012

I personally believe the European Coworking space network will be build up around and thanks to very concrete projects. 

This project is a very cool one supported by the Cologne Coworking scene.

The Coworking Cup aims to engage all Coworking spaces in Europe for the European Football Championship 2012 about to start soon in Poland and Ukraine !

You want to generate fun in your space, to challenge other countries’ supporters in Coworking spaces around Europe, have a look on Coworking Cup (or on the FB group).

Here is the comment provided by the organisers :

The european football championship is just around the corner! And as always football fans  can´t wait to place their bets in online football pools. This year’s Coworking Cup will start  on Thursday May 17th, till July 31st, 2012 and guarantees 31 games of betting fun.

Coworkers and startups from across Europe can compete in teams against each other in a  global group ranking and the best teams will receive awesome prizes.
The spaces and coworker can offer prizes or promote and organize events, like public  viewing, during the championship.
The Coworking Cup 2012 – in short, CoWoCup – was developed by Railslove, an internet  agency from Cologne, in collaboration with Coworking Cologne, the umbrella organization  of coworking spaces in Cologne.

(via Peter Schreck, Idea Republic)

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There should be more than 2.100 coworking spaces in operation around the world by the end of 2012 (Deskmag)

Takeways from the Austin Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC) – A view from Europe

Early march, I had the chance to attend the Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC 2012) in Austin. It was my second Coworking conference in the capital city of Texas.

Just as with the Coworking Europe conference last year in Berlin, this year’s US conference, wonderfully organised by Liz Elam (Link Coworking), more than doubled in size.

This is one clue, among others, of the strong rise of the coworking tide on both sides of the Atlantic.

Before flying to Austin, I made a stop in New York City and in Philadelphia, where I  had the chance to visit a number of spaces included the legendary IndyHall (masterminded by Alex).

I came back with a strengthened conviction that coworking is in a early childhood and that the adult age seems always more promissing.

My vision of the coworking physiology has evolved a little bit, though. Here are some noticeable facts from the conference and my trip to the US, I come back with :

1. A clear coming expansion of the US Coworking scene

A big portion of the attending crowd made the journey to Austin with plans to open up coworking space in the coming months. This means that on top of the 500+ coworking spaces already up and running in the US, hundreds more are  incubating and should come in the daylight in the coming months.

Besides, we won’t forget that one big  third of existing coworking spaces consider to open a second location  (cfr Deskmag). This put the expected number of coworking spaces to open their doors soon even higher.

2.  Bigger independent players are entering the coworking game

Coworking brands are emerging. Already established names, such as NextSpace, WeWork or others are growing in visibility. Meanwhile, new players  have entered the playing field . They don’t hide their ambition to build networks of coworking spaces on a national level, neither. They are ready to invest what is needed to achieve this goal. 

Grind is an interesting example, on that regard. The coworking space company, which started out with a location on Park Avenue, in New York City, plans to open other spaces in the US. In Austin, Grind invested in Coworking tent (picture) just in front of the Convention Center during the SXSW Interactive conference. SXSW is likely the biggest annual gathering in the world of the hyper-networked entrepreneurs’ generation. Taken into account the price of a piece of land, so closed from the conference’s heart, we may assume that Grind’s expansion plans are proportionally as high.

To me, it’s a good news for the coworking scene. With a rising professionalism, size and ambition, coworking will receive a greater respect from traditional players (corporations, banks, urban planners, …). This is good for the “cause”…

3. The real estate industry don’t get it yet

At GCUC 2012, I was requested to moderate the panel on Coworking and Real Estate. Having good relationships with landlords is critical for coworking space owners, as we discussed with the other panelists. However, the real estate people are still far from understanding the earthquake coworking and other flexible office models could become for their regular business.

Brian McMahon, from YourOffice Agent (a Los Angeles based advisory firm), asked how many people in the GCUC audience were real estate brokers. No one in the room raised his/her hand. “That’s a shame for the real estate industry”, rightly stated Brian, who claims that coworking is the natural future of the office real estate business, as companies will operate on a always more decentralised way, digitally and physically.

I’m almost sure the same question in Europe wouldn’t have raised more hands.

4. The liability of using the Coworking word in an unproper way

Most of us (people active in the coworking field) experience the growing opportunistic usage of the term “coworking” by traditional operators in the office, shared office, business centers or executive suites business. This is blurring the lines for users who may understand coworking just as  facility provision, whereas, as we agree, the coworking offering is not about desks and chairs but it’s about a human experience, connections with others, care and services.

This is a big challenge, both in Europe and in the US.

However, one of the my takeaway from NYC and Austin is that, maybe, the time has come for a broader, more open understanding of the coworking “community” experience.

Yes, some “business centers” like platforms, although not offering open spaces or hot desking for their members (no, not really), work on and support the development of a real community feeling between their tenants.

I had a very interesting discussion with Ray Lindenberg, on that regard, the “community manager” (a.o.) of Select Office, in New York. At Select Office, I saw  people “high-fiving” with one another. I saw 60+ year old executives in suit and with a tie around the neck working next to 20 something startups owners  wearing jeans and sneakers. Ray and his team have created a trans-generational and trans-style platform. Though, yes, the space, operating since the early 90’s, is mostly made out of private offices…

So, as we experience in Europe, coworking is diverse. Maybe even more than we think. Our vision could be too narrow, so far. But that’s what is fascinating with such a strong, walls breaking, still very young movement. My feeling is that we don’t know yet where the boundaries are and where the coworking experience will carry us to.

5. We can shake Europe and build local ecosystems using a network of coworking spaces, just as in NYC

The new breed of startup entrepreneurs and innovators is giving New York’s economy a boost. The Silicon Alley is getting closer in comparison with the West Coast’s Silicon Valley. As we discussed with Tony Bacigalupo, from New Work City, the NYC tech startup boom fuels the fast expansion of the coworking spaces offering there. All the coworking spaces I have seen in the Big Apple are almost full. Some have put waiting lists in place… Coworking spaces and associated concepts – such as General Assembly, which is a mix of a coworking space and of an incubator, planning an extension soon – are partly supporting, physically, this growing ecosystem.

The question is to see if all these new open, flexible, community driven facilities for nomad, freelance workers, innovators, intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs will support the connection between non-tech profiles…

Based on what I have seen at Grind, WeWork, New Work City, IndyHall, LooseCubes, Select Office +  Link Coworking or Conjonctured, in Texas,  in my opinion, there is no doubt about that.

So, the lesson from my European perspective is that coworking spaces can work as pillars to support the development of local innovative/entrepreneurial ecosystems, both in tech and non-tech areas.

So, just as most of our European countries try to figure out which magic trick can eventually unlock Europe’s entrepreneurial and innovation potential, authorities and business people on this side of the Atlantic should carefully and seriously consider what already exist on the European coworking scene and learn from the North-American experience how to push the dynamic forward.

Jean-Yves Huwart, Coworking Europe conference organiser and Global Enterprise founder

Coworking could be the most impactful trend of the coming decade

We turned off the lights of the second Coworking Europe conference a few days ago.

Besides the wonderful spirit and the incredible energy we experienced during these outstanding three days, one strong impression remains from all the discussions we had  : Coworking is becoming huge ! 

Coworking to shape the coming decade 

More than 220 people, originating from the five continents, gathered in Berlin.

If Europe was the most represented, an important North American delegation attended the event, alongside representatives from Asia, South America and the Middle East.

Coworking is not marginal anymore nor is it a western phenomenon. Coworking is a solution which naturally and independently arises in different locations of the world. It sounds like a common answer to emerging needs in the our fast changing economies and societies.

Accordingly, my conviction is that coworking is not only there to stay and grow. Coworking will be one of the most impactful trend that will shape the coming decade.

Similarities with the expansion of the internet

As a matter of facts, the short history of Coworking reminds us of some identical milestones of the early days of the internet.

Internet, just like Coworking, emerged out of a handful of isolated initiatives led by small groups of people motivated by different purposes. One day, those actions converged. The US Army was investigating the way to build a resilient communication and information infrastucture which wouldn’t be interrupted in the case of a damage in the physical network. Besides, universities had the need for a more convenient way to share knowledge and documents between academics. Many usages popped up with time. One day, Tim Berners Lee and other pioneers managed to connect everything. The internet, as we know it, was born.

The coworking movement surfaced, according to some consensus, simultaneously, in San Francisco and London. In 2005, developers in the Bay Area had a need for a new location to meet and get rid of the burden that was working out of a coffee shop. In London, the initiators of The  Hub  network, wanted to set up a platform and a community for social entrepreneurs. In the meantime, other players around the world had the idea to create – either as a side project, as a non for profit association or as a regular business – open platforms where nomad workers could drop in, either . One day, all these independent communities acknowledged they were part of a bigger one : coworking.

The common name and the values shared by the coworking promoters helped to build bridges between coworking spaces on the national and on the international level. In a way, the shared values of coworking (openness, collaboration, innovation, entrepreneurship, freedom, sustainability,…) are the TCP/IP and HTML of the coworking movement, the common understanding allowing the nodes to connect with one another.

a new way of working in the 21st century

Both, the internet and coworking, have grown thanks to the support of free, verry committed and value driven people.

Nevertheless, nowadays, as Alex Hillman puts it, coworking is not anymore in the hands, solely, of altruistic entrepreneurs or associations, although their role as pioneers is and will remain critical (just as the role of the “sharing driven” open source developers remain critical for the improvement and the strengthening  of the internet).

In the coming future, I expect Coworking to be more understood as a “new way of working”, a new way to set up inspirational working environment based on human factors, people openness and a collective will to achieve exciting things as well as to enjoy a meaningful professional life.

So, it’s likely that coworking will steadily spread out to new layers of the economical landscape, maybe under different shapes (“hybrid coworking“, or, as Sebastian Olma nicely writes :”something between between anti-corporate activism and Goldman Sachs investment banking” ?).

A matter of style and tastes

Alex Hillman compares the broadening scope of styles in coworking spaces with the variety we have in music. Individuals can enjoy jazz more than classical, listen to pop instead of esoteric… We all know these different styles belong to a bigger thing which is music.

I fully agree. I would add that tastes change.

I can, one day, be in a mood where I will be keen to listen to a rap. The day after, I could be looking for an opera soundtrack. Just as I will pick an Italian restaurant, one day, and go for a Japanese combo the day after…

Accordingly, the challenge of the multi-membership (individuals being members of a bunch of different coworking communities) could possibly arrive on the agenda of the coworking community, as well.

Coworking answering different challenges of our time – A list

So, why will coworking become a structuring trend of the coming decade  ?

According to me, due to the economical, cultural and societal shifts of the current time…  Here, is a list of reasons, I see,, partly inspired by the conference’s speaches :

The rise of the independent workforce

As the Emergent Research study showed during the Coworking Europe 2011 conference, the rise of the independent workforce is structural (at least, within the western world). Even more striking, the majority of the independent workers and entrepreneurs choose to become independent. They will need locations to meet, work and network.

New open innovation models

The technology is getting every day more complex. Innovation cycles shorten. Big companies are always more risk averse. Most of them can’t dance in a time of agility. Innovation is already coming from the outside, especially from startups and creative individuals. As the Otto Group company said, during the conference, coworking spaces can both play a role as trends watchers and serve as a bridge between innovators and big organisations.

The quest for a new corporate contract and for new corporate values

Not working “for” but working “with”. “Consider employees or freelances not as a ressrouce but as partners”, underlined Mutinerie. The economy is becoming more and more collaborative. So business organisations will (cfr Seats2meet presentation as well). Again, coworking sounds like the perfect platform/ecosystem to transform a human organisation into a more collaborative platform.

The integration of the GenY

The “twenty something” are turning their back to the traditional corporate model. They intend to be respected. They don’t tolerate to be yelled at by a boss just for the reason he or she is the boss… Nowadays, the perfect spot for them to work seems to be… a coworking space.

The emergence of a global “startupsphere”

We are at an age of rising micro-multinationals. What do you do, if you are a startup and need to expand abroad fast to breakeven, according to your business plan ? Ok, you can browse the web. But beyond that? What if you know no-one outside the walls of your city ? The coworking network is a community of communities where you will be able to get, at least, advices and connections, if not support. Nice to say, less obvious to achieve, however, warned us Liu Yan, from Shanghai (Xindanwei). Building a business, locally or internationally, is first a matter of trust building and, more and more, of sharing. Start with that. With respect to that, the coworking movement can help.

Need to bring the creative economy in cities and to interconnect local ecosystems

Coworking spaces create local ecosystems wich help to connect organically many players in a given town or city, much more efficiently than many other public intiatives with the same aim. The Berlin city, for instance, confirmed its interest regarding the impact coworking can have in the bridging of the local communities.

Jean-Yves Huwart

Coworking Europe 2011 conference initiator and co-organiser

Deskmag 2nd Global Coworking Survey

Overview of the Coworking Europe 2011 via tweets, blog posts, pictures and videos

    1. November 6, 2011 1:57:54 AM EST
  1. RT @Mazenh: #coworkingeu: imagine a discussion between #egypt #china #netherlands #france #germany #usa all those talents in 1 room! unbelivable values
    November 4, 2011 9:58:33 PM EDT
  2. RT @22a22cowodesign: it’s as simple as this: “people want to work with other people” #coworkingeu Ramon Suarez from @BetaGroup states.
    November 7, 2011 12:43:49 PM EST
  3. Sex, Coworking, & Rock ‘n Roll: awe.sm/5Ypa8 #coworkingeu
    November 8, 2011 10:35:15 AM EST
  4. “It’s not about place, it’s about people RT @EuropeCoworking: Coworking Europe 2011 conference : bit.ly/rEIf39 #coworkingeu
    November 8, 2011 4:05:23 AM EST
  5. We’re creating coworking so that it can exist. It doesn’t matter who’s doing it. awe.sm/5YpaS #coworkingeu
    November 8, 2011 1:55:13 PM EST
  6. A great experience in Berlin at #coworkingEU!
    November 5, 2011 8:11:15 AM EDT

  1. Bienvenidos a todos nuestros nuevos amigos despues del intenso fin de semana en #coworkingeu. Welcome our new… fb.me/1pwnALafR
    November 6, 2011 6:46:52 PM EST

DAY ONE

  1. November 6, 2011 1:52:43 AM EST
  2. November 10, 2011 2:42:25 PM EST
  3. November 1, 2011 8:36:00 AM EDT
  4. November 6, 2011 1:52:29 AM EST
  5. November 7, 2011 8:56:43 AM EST
  6. November 10, 2011 2:42:25 PM EST
  7. November 6, 2011 1:52:57 AM EST
  8. November 10, 2011 5:13:36 AM EST
  9. Coworking Conference 2011 (Berlin) – Day 1 (1/2)
    November 4, 2011 6:02:54 AM EDT
  10. RT @deskmag: First results of the 2nd Global Coworking Survey: bit.ly/viwDED #coworking #coworkingEU
    November 5, 2011 10:48:43 PM EDT
  11. November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  12. Coworking Conference 2011 (Berlin) – Day 2 (1/2)
    November 5, 2011 5:48:55 AM EDT
  13. November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  14. November 10, 2011 6:14:19 AM EST
  15. November 10, 2011 2:43:08 PM EST
  16. RT @maxthemonkey: I need the mayor to come my event and say “what this people do is amazing”. That’s what we need from government. #coworkingeu
    November 6, 2011 1:32:47 PM EST
  17. November 10, 2011 5:13:36 AM EST
  18. interested to know the first thing everyone attended #coworkingEU will do in his/her space ? personally, having a lot 🙂
    November 6, 2011 1:09:55 PM EST
  19. November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  20. November 10, 2011 2:42:25 PM EST
  21.  

    November 7, 2011 8:56:55 AM EST
  22. The #coworkingeu state of mind continues in my Cowo space, where today we welcome a team of developers from Poland! 🙂
    November 7, 2011 5:41:29 AM EST
  23. November 6, 2011 1:52:18 AM EST
  24. November 10, 2011 6:14:19 AM EST
  25. November 10, 2011 2:43:08 PM EST
  26. Cowoking, ¿opción de futuro?
    November 10, 2011 1:06:14 PM EST
  27. November 6, 2011 1:53:25 AM EST
  28. November 10, 2011 6:14:19 AM EST
  29. RT @JeanYves: Ce que les entreprises peuvent apprendre du Coworking bit.ly/sgneBE (via @MutinerieCrew) #coworkingeu
    November 9, 2011 6:03:27 AM EST
  30. RT @alexknowshtml: Loving Oliver’s talk on designing coworking spaces. “It’s not about asking people what they want, it’s about engaging them.” #coworkingeu
    November 7, 2011 7:35:23 PM EST
  31. November 10, 2011 2:45:57 PM EST
  32. November 10, 2011 6:14:19 AM EST
  33. November 10, 2011 6:14:19 AM EST
  34. November 10, 2011 6:14:19 AM EST
  35. November 6, 2011 1:53:41 AM EST
  36. RT @DCollab: Here we go! Let’$ talk about the dirty word, Money, money! @theliuyan #CoworkingEU
    November 6, 2011 11:17:44 PM EST
  37. RT @dermotegan: Corporates r using co-working spaces as a tool to experiment and rapid prototype in a way that they cannot do internally #coworkingeu
    November 8, 2011 4:20:00 AM EST
  38. Paris and Philly chatting in Berlin! This is #coworkingeu spirit! Cc @alexknowshtml @MutinerieCrew @EuropeCoworking http://pic.twitter.com/iITceLw5
    November 8, 2011 7:13:44 PM EST
  39. Comment aider à rendre les réunions créatives: post-it, Lego, pâte à modeler! Cc @CLUBOFFICE #coworkingeu http://pic.twitter.com/ohJVxshc
    November 8, 2011 7:11:26 PM EST
  40. November 6, 2011 1:58:57 AM EST
  41. November 6, 2011 1:55:06 AM EST
  42. November 6, 2011 1:55:42 AM EST
  43. November 6, 2011 1:55:56 AM EST
  44. We’re excited about mainstream. We fear mainstream. #coworkingeu awe.sm/5YpaS
    November 8, 2011 6:04:19 PM EST
  45. November 6, 2011 1:53:06 AM EST
  46. November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  47.  

    November 7, 2011 8:55:52 AM EST
  48. November 10, 2011 2:49:41 PM EST
  49.  

    November 7, 2011 8:56:25 AM EST
  50. November 6, 2011 1:54:41 AM EST
  51. November 6, 2011 1:55:29 AM EST
  52. November 10, 2011 2:42:25 PM EST
  53. November 10, 2011 6:14:19 AM EST
  54. Coworking Conference 2011: DAY ONE
    November 10, 2011 2:45:57 PM EST

DAY TWO

  1.  

    November 7, 2011 8:56:40 AM EST
  2. November 6, 2011 1:58:36 AM EST
  3. RT @dariobanfi: It’s not about place, it’s about people! (my article for italian newspaper about #coworkingeu) bit.ly/tVYJ2g
    November 9, 2011 5:29:05 AM EST
  4. November 6, 2011 1:58:12 AM EST
  5. November 6, 2011 1:56:22 AM EST
  6. November 10, 2011 2:45:57 PM EST
  7.  

    November 7, 2011 8:55:49 AM EST
  8.  

    November 7, 2011 8:55:41 AM EST
  9. November 10, 2011 2:45:57 PM EST
  10. November 10, 2011 2:45:57 PM EST
  11. November 10, 2011 2:45:57 PM EST
  12. November 6, 2011 1:59:39 AM EST
  13. November 6, 2011 2:00:01 AM EST
  14. November 6, 2011 2:00:21 AM EST
  15. November 10, 2011 2:42:25 PM EST
  16. November 10, 2011 2:49:41 PM EST
  17. November 10, 2011 2:42:25 PM EST
  18. November 10, 2011 2:42:25 PM EST
  19. November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  20. November 11, 2011 10:34:06 AM EST

  21. Coworking Conference 2011 (Berlin) – Day 1 (2/2)
    November 4, 2011 7:38:58 AM EDT
  22. Coworking Conference 2011 (Berlin) – Day 2 (2/2)
    November 8, 2011 6:24:03 AM EST
  23. Berlin 2011, seeking the future of work
    November 9, 2011 3:43:04 AM EST
DAY THREE
  1. Brainstorming 003″ session… Design like a promote of users!!… #coworkingeu
    November 5, 2011 7:37:51 AM EDT
  2. Differentiate more by creating more. awe.sm/5YpaS #coworkingeu
    November 8, 2011 2:40:09 PM EST
  3. November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  4. November 10, 2011 2:43:08 PM EST
  5. November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  6. November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  7. November 10, 2011 2:45:57 PM EST
  8. November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  9. November 10, 2011 2:49:41 PM EST
  10. November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  11. November 7, 2011 8:56:35 AM EST
  12. November 10, 2011 6:14:19 AM EST
  13. November 10, 2011 2:49:41 PM EST
  14. November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  15. November 10, 2011 2:49:41 PM EST
  16. November 10, 2011 6:14:19 AM EST
  17. November 10, 2011 2:43:08 PM EST
  18. November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  19. November 10, 2011 2:43:08 PM EST
  20. November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  21. November 10, 2011 2:42:25 PM EST
  22. November 10, 2011 2:49:41 PM EST
  23. Congratulations to all the team of the #coworkingeu, it was a great event!! We are now full of new ideas ow.ly/i/kDjO
    November 5, 2011 8:05:24 AM EDT
  24. Just landed in Barcelona, thank’s again, miss you a lot #coworkingeu http://lockerz.com/s/153540424
    November 5, 2011 2:45:47 PM EDT
  25. Berlin – barcelona- moskow, still have 10 hours to get shanghai. I miss #xindanwei and my home #CoworkingEU
    November 6, 2011 11:24:37 PM EST
  26. Back in Milano. With mind, heart, vision in Berlin, Shanghai, Philadelphia, Lisbon, Brussels, Zurich, S. Francisco, Helsinki… #coworkingeu
    November 7, 2011 7:55:55 AM EST
  27. .@EDELSTALL now on its way back to Hannover.#coworkingeu was great! We’re looking forward to next year. PICS: bit.ly/u8ZxKf @deskmag
    November 6, 2011 11:46:32 AM EST
  28. Berlin blues… So, this is my recipe for not being disoriented! 🙂 #coworkingeu @lisalombardibe http://pic.twitter.com/yqOxRvOU
    November 6, 2011 1:44:45 PM EST
  29. #coworkingeu baby blues….
    November 6, 2011 3:49:49 PM EST
  30. impressions of the #coworking conference last week @CLUBOFFICE #coworkingEU bit.ly/uoqbcA
    November 9, 2011 10:25:11 AM EST
  31. #coworkingeu quelle énergie! De retour avec des milliers d’idées pour votre futur espace liégeois! Sentiment de… fb.me/1qogWDuq0
    November 7, 2011 3:55:43 AM EST
  32. Todos los enlaces de noticias sobre #coworkingeu fb.me/1akilhAAr
    November 11, 2011 3:52:23 AM EST
  33. Taking advantage of my jetlagged morning to share my thoughts after #coworkingeu. “Sex, Coworking, and Rock ‘n Roll” dangerouslyawesome.com/201…
    November 8, 2011 8:16:34 AM EST
  34. Resting @ home after #coworkingeu. Thanks to @betahaus @deskmag @CLUBOFFICE for great time
    November 6, 2011 5:07:32 PM EST
  35. Thank you @Cluboffice and @Betahaus for hosting the #coworkingEU you’ve been the best hosts ever, hope to see you soon
    November 6, 2011 9:34:44 AM EST
  36. @CLUBOFFICE Thanks for hosting #CoworkingEU. it was a great event and you did a great job!
    November 7, 2011 9:55:55 AM EST
  37. Wow! It has been a great time having you all in Berlin #coworkingEU. Looking forward to meet again next year… @CLUBOFFICE loves #coworking
    November 7, 2011 4:29:08 AM EST
  38. RT @betahaus: Who knows where this will be…. 😉 RT @22a22cowodesign: See you next year! #coworkingeu
    November 6, 2011 7:43:16 AM EST