Coworking Events Code of Conduct

We expect coworking events to commit to providing an accessible and inclusive experience for everyone.

Purpose    

The European Coworking Assembly often works together with other organizations and individuals in carrying out projects consistent with the values of the Coworking Movement: Collaboration, Community, Openness, Accessibility, and Sustainability. We expect our partners to be committed to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religious affiliation.

This policy outlines how we expect these events to be carried out. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. We expect event participants violating these rules to face consequences including, but not limited to, expulsion from the event without a refund. We expect that event attendees share the values of the Coworking Movement and agree to abide by these guidelines. We expect the event coordinators and attendees will help to realize a safe and positive experience for everyone.        

What Constitutes Harassment          

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:  

  • Verbal comments that reinforce discrimination based on gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion.      
  • Sexually-charged jokes, statements, or comments.      
  • Creation or display of sexual images in public spaces.      
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or unwanted following.      
  • Harassing photography or video/audio recording.      
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.      
  • Inappropriate physical contact.      
  • Invasion of personal space.      
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.      
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.              

These behaviors, as well as others described below, are not conducive to a welcoming environment and should be prohibited from coworking events.        

Enforcement          

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, event organizers should take action in order to maintain a welcoming environment for other participants. This includes warnings, expulsion from the conference without a refund, or other measures deemed appropriate.  

We expect event organizers to address anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, making the environment hostile for participants. We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities, and we encourage participants to follow these guidelines outside of event-sanctioned activities.        

Reporting          

If someone makes an attendee, a participant at an event, or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, we believe this should be reported as soon as possible.  Event staff should be identifiable by their attire or badges, and they should be instructed on how to respond to harassment. All claims must be taken seriously and should be handled by event organizers or dedicated staff.   Reporting should be possible either personally or anonymously, both detailed below.

Anonymous Report          

Event Organizers should set up an online form to report harassment, and should fully investigate and act on information received through anonymous reporting.        

Personal Report    

Attendees should be able to make a personal report by contacting a member of the organizing team, identified by their outfit/badge, by emailing, or via telephone or text message. When taking a personal report, event staff should make sure that the issue is discussed privately and securely. They may involve other event staff to ensure your report is managed properly. At this point, you will be asked to go over the details of the harassment. This can be a difficult process, and event staff should handle it as respectfully as possible, and you should be welcome to bring someone with you for support. You should never be asked to confront anyone, and your name or personal information should not be relayed to others.  Event organizers should be ready to put attendees in touch with security, law enforcement, or any other local services requested.

Photo Policy          

All event photographers should seek to obtain permission for reposting. Participants must be  free to ask that photographs of themselves are withheld from any promotional materials. To maintain privacy and personal boundaries, all participants must ask before taking any photographs that are clearly meant to highlight a small group or single person.        

Inclusive Language     

As language is both a reflection of and a contributor towards culture, we do ask that all participants use language that demonstrates the best aspects of coworking culture and avoid language that could alienate or disparage others. This means we ask that you follow these guidelines for what constitutes disrespectful language.        

General Guidelines          

There is no place for language that is openly or casually degrading to a person or group. Any words or phrases, no matter how seemingly innocuous, that perpetuate negative stereotypes and communicate exclusion are not allowed. Some of these can be subtle and said without any ill-will, which is why we encourage participants to examine their own language and use this guide as an opportunity for learning. For some examples of language that we are trying to avoid, please see the below examples.        

Racism        

Racism is deeply rooted across societies globally, exists among all social classes, and is connected to a long history of violence, oppression, and domination.

Addressing individuals or a group of people in a diminutive, derogative, or malicious way based on their (assumed) race and ethnic background is racist, disrespectful, and harmful.    We do not tolerate any racist behavior, slurs, statements, or jokes.

Ableism    

Words like “crazy,” “dumb,” “insane,” or “lame” are examples of language that devalues people who have physical or mental disabilities. Many people use these words not because they seek to be hurtful, but because they are attempting to describe something they perceive to be outside of the norm, which reinforces harmful stereotypes and impacts real people. Instead, try to broaden your vocabulary and find ways to express yourself that are more appropriate, inclusive, and elegant.        

Sexism          

It is strongly advised to avoid using gendered pronouns as well as any gendered terms. Everyone is expected to respect each other’s chosen pronouns. Try to avoid using words like “dude” or “guys” to address groups. This shorthand contributes to linguistic barriers that drive exclusion and an unwelcoming environment.        

Mediation          

If you feel you have been falsely or unfairly accused of violating this Code of Conduct, you should notify staff or an event organizer with a concise description of your grievance. Your grievance will be handled in accordance with the event organizer’s existing governance policies.