Bernie J Mitchell: What is Next for European Coworking Events

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Hello Ladies and Gents! We’re well into October and the Coworking Values Podcast is going to bring you more news about the coworking world.

For this Podcast, Bernie J Mitchell, one of your Coworking Values Podcast hosts will be talking about the Coworking, Coliving and Freelance Virtual Events that are happening this month and onwards. He will also be talking about blogs and relevant podcasts not just with the coworking world but also with the current issues the world is facing like inclusion, equality and diversity – the European Coworking Assembly is building an inclusion workbook for the Coworking Community.

Below are the links of the digital events,podcasts and blog posts that are mentioned in the podcast. 

 

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Bernie J Mitchel 

Hello and welcome to this week’s exciting episode of the Coworking Values. Podcast. It is just me this week. I don’t know what I said, but everyone’s left the studio, so we’re going to go alone, but before we do let’s get to Cobot. 

 

Zeljko Crnjaković  

This episode is brought to you by Cobot, a leading management software for coworking spaces, office hubs and flexible workspaces around the world. You know one of the best things about Cobot is that it is produced by people who manage a coworking space and know the ins and outs of the main problems and issues, bugging coworking managers. So, if you want more time for your co-workers and community, check out Cobot at cobot.me and take your coworking management to the next level.

Bernie J Mitchel  0:00  

Everyone’s left the studio. So, we’re going to go alone. But before we do, let’s get to Cobot. 

 

Zeljko Crnjaković  0:09  

This episode is brought to you by cob, our lead management software for covering spaces, office hubs and flexible workspaces around the world. You know, one of the best things about cobalt is that it is produced by people manage accordingly, space, and know the ins and outs of the problems and issues bugging code managers. So, if you want more time for your co-workers and community, check out cobalt and cobalt.me. And take your co working management to the next level. 

 

Bernie J Mitchel  0:43  

Thanks again to Cobot for always supporting the show, even through economic downturns and pandemics. What we’re going to go through today is the next three significant events for the European coworking community and, should already be happening. So, if you do know something going on, just hit reply to the coworking newsletter or get in touch with me, google Bernie J Mitchell, and you’ll find me somewhere. So, the next big thing to come up is of course, European Freelancers Week, which has been going for five years now. And this event started with a group of freelancers and independent economic agents, just really concerned about how it kind of blew out at the end of the sharing economy hype in early 2013 era. And there was a lot of concern for freelancers, ride security, job security, how freelancers got treated. It’s an incredibly precarious pastime. And the more freelancers and people who run small businesses connect, the easier it is. I’ve done it myself. I’m always reinventing the wheel, and Freelancer’s Week is like people getting together. I have probably said that a lot in previous podcasts, the more we get together at this time, the more we can help each other. And like the message inside of that is do you want to go in alone? almost 76% of businesses in the UK do not employ another person, meaning they are the only person working in a business. And then on top of that there is an additional 20% of businesses that only employ one to nine people. So, we think that the coworking world is all mega this and global this, but so much is generated from small, micro independent economic agents, freelancers. So, that is why I’d like you to get together for Freelancers Week. How to do that? Go to freelancers page, and click the links in the European Coworking Assembly newsletter, and that will take you down to where you can find those events , coworking spaces and co-living spaces and other organization clubs and meet-ups. Anyone who’d like to put their event on our platform, we can help share that around your thing. 

The other thing I’d like to bring to your attention is the Coworking Co-living Conference which the live podcast with Jeanine and Cate was about. This is an online conference; it is half a day. Free to attend. But the reason to the attend is  not because it’s free, it’s because you know the collision between coworking in that particular event. Leave a donation because a lot of things that we’re running in Freelancers’ Week, Misha and his crew are running in the Coworking Co-living Conference. Donations help make it happen. So yeah, not a lot of people are getting rich off online events at the moment, particularly in the freelancing world. Everyone getting together to connect will help make a shift in how the rest of this year goes forward. 

There are people from all over Europe speaking at our event, there’s also our friend Alex Hillman from Indy Hall in the States. There’s Kofi, who works with us in London on youth projects in the Arch club. And he runs urban MBA which has been on this podcast. Cate who’s also based in London. She runs the Co-live movement. It’s been in a gigantic relationship between the co-living movement and the coworking movement from 2016/ 2017. And then that really kicked off in the Co-live summit that happened in Paris in 2018. What I’d say is when I went to the Co-live summit, I thought it would be cool, digital nomads polishing each other’s Apple laptops. But it was a lot.

It was a group of people that are incredibly concerned about how we’re going to make it forward as a community, how we’re going to work together and live together in cities, and that’s one of the threads that has come out of everything that has happened in the last six, seven months now. The 15 Minutes city thing has really got traction in London. People are scrambling to open coworking spaces. Kara has been on this podcast and has done a beautiful community thing. So, there’s a whole new way of living. I don’t want to sound overly optimistic and delusional about that, but I live in Zone 4 in London and no one’s ever wanted to live in a coworking space here, even though it’s like half an hour from the financial district. But now everyone’s trying to find a building to open a coworking space. The next thing I want to draw to your attention, the coworking virtual pass. And you can find that if you just google Coworking in Europe, there’s a virtual pass. What we have done this year is included a link to the past events. And there’ll be regular online events going forward. So, it’s like one big conference online, and then regular events going forward. That’s something a lot of people in this podcast go to. And we just have to be able to make it this year. After that, one of the most interesting things I have ever found in the future work conversation is the research group for collaborative spaces. And they run a symposium every year. We went to the one in London this year and has been in London to Barcelona. And there is a group of academics from all over the world, researching every element of coworking, co-living future, we’re freelancing, slashes, hackers, maker spaces, corporate coworking spaces. A lot of people from that were in our current working symposium event that we did with Professor Marco, the Assistant Professor at Prague University, it is an opened lab, if you like, for researching the future work, in post COVID society or COVID, as it happens society. So, that symposium is free to attend, but we need to turn up if you’ve got something to say. 

What I love about the research group it’s like an unconference. People go there, they interact, they make things up, they have discussions, and it’s very unstructured, but very intentional. So, some of the most interesting conversations you’ll ever have in your life about the industry there in a very deep way. And what’s great about that is it’s connected to the Coworking Library, which is part of the family of London, European Coworking Assembly project, and that’s run by Hector from Included and his ongoing mission to aggregate a lot of the academic research that’s done and respected industry research that’s done on coworking. He runs a coworking space, you can go to the thinking of how do I do this? Or has anyone looked into this? I wonder if that happens. 

You can go to the Coworking Library and search it and find someone to do that. And if you can’t find it, it is always good to ask us because there are a lot of people that don’t actually get their research onto that platform. And we know who they are. So, some of these people work for the software companies you know and love in the industry. They’re working in coworking spaces, and a really good example is Fernando and Coworking Lizzie. Fernando, a lot of people know him, spent three or four years doing a PhD, studying the micro learning. I was giving the example of when for two years I was in a working space called Main Yard in Hackney in London and I sat next to Neils. I learned  more about WordPress by him chatting a little bit each day and saying I’ll press a button if you move that there if you upload this file like that. So that was sort of enormous amount of micro learning that we can’t just take for granted or you want us to put it on our website,  learn how to use WordPress by sitting next to someone for two years. 

So, there’s a lot of interesting stuff that just happens that we might miss in the space as we are. So, three events there is the European Freelancers Week which is recording on Mondays so that’ll be next Monday, we’ll be in before class. There is Coworking Europe. Get a ticket now, and is on the 25th and the 27th of November and then the 14th. And the 15th is the research group for collaborative spaces online and, we’re working on some kind of hackathon online event to work out how people can get involved with the library in a very easy. And the other thing to rush to when you go to the European Freelancers Week website, please sign their Manifesto, which is a declaration column based around the coworking values, a declaration of  freelancing going forward in Europe, and this was a few years ago, this was written and it’s been updated for this year’s event. The other big announcement is, for a long time, in London, we run the London Coworking Assembly, which is all part of the UK co-workers. They’re all a very, very connected and the same people in the engineering team. And we’ve launched the London Coworking Assembly, which has been going since 2014. When Rebecca and I got back from Coworking Europe in 2014, you’re really excited about  artists doing this here. And for six years, people have been in London chatting, doing events, writing workshops together. And in 2018, we got serious about meeting every week month for breakfast in a different coworking space. 

Free agents support that and so we just go to the shop by loader, food, healthy food always, of course. And 30 to 40 people in rough coworking spaces who work for software companies based in London come to breakfast, share ideas, and connect. It is very unstructured, they’re very intentional. And then when COVID hit, we just went online for every Tuesday and Thursday for six months, we had online courses, everything from business rates to memberships to real estate contracts, just a lot of heavy stuff on how to eat, somehow to work out, how to close a coworking space, some people had to work out how to keep their coworking space going big deal from that was up online memberships, what came up a lot in conversation was after the panic and uncertainty, which is still there, moved on to what are we going to do now? That’s one of the things for co-work. It was a main thing for the conference, to plan the next two weeks there and now the next six months. 

And now we’ve had a membership site, and we were thinking mighty networks, which a lot of you working at law, you will know. And then that we got to the edge of the functionality for that. And early this year, we set up a website, which is London coworking assembly.com. And now we’ve launched a membership. So, there’s two tiers of membership, there is a paid membership. You pay what you can and we’re using velvet, which is part of the co-work tools package for online collaborative payments. And then there’s a second membership, which is just a free way to get access to free events and email and a mobile app and the perks included, and you get the listing on the coworking assembly website. So, so we’ve launched that this this week. So, by the time this podcast is out, there will be in full effect. And in there, we have a fortnight mastermind group. 

There are a lot of projects already in motion, like the inclusion and diversity handbook. There was research in London has been published by the assembly. Other projects we’d like to see more of is how urban MBA is working program for young people in London is working with coworking spaces, so young.  People, particularly young people from ethnic minorities are able to access that because in London, white coworking is making a cowriters, particularly white privilege sport, if you go to a co-worker conference in London, 90% of the people are white 90% of the speakers are white male, so that is the dominant force in London. Most of the UK, probably mostly European, we go and look at other people’s websites, even the ones we don’t love. So, we’re like massively in on that. And then we have a lot of events and workshops and roundtables for people who are based in London to work together, solve problems together, learn about everything, to keep learning about everything, to run a co working space. So, we have a we have a mobile app, so the app is accessible instead of like, we’re not going to have slack channels or Facebook groups or anything. Now we have a website with an app you can use on your phone. So, you one less thing to drink from the fire hose. And this is a an already established group of people or more we’ve had to learn together is how to operate online. And a key part of this, which I certainly learned from other things, I mean is when you are part of a membership, you learn how to run a membership. And one of the ways that it’s evolving through a lot of the conversations we’re having in different groups is there’s a bit about having a coworking space of some physical and also online or virtual or wherever you want to call it a hybrid. And that is a tricky  bit to work out when you’ve always been used to doing stuff in a purely physical context. So, for 12 years, I’ve run meetups with different people in London. And I can never get it together with when COVID came along. I can never get it together.

Certainly, in freelancers, we started to run the online meetups because I spent 10 years in my mindset as creative as I like to think I am. My mindset is running meetups in person in usually in a co working space in London, which we’ll be doing for 10 years now. So, I’m somehow a cannot get my head round running me up online. We’re going to do it for the first-time next week. So little things that I don’t know, it’s like obvious how to run, you know, run hundreds of online events and over the years, and even more in the last six months. So, I don’t know why I can’t get my head around that group of people in London co-workers, me meet up. You have been there for years joined retail, and meet-ups, heavily advertising, running online events, I just cannot get it into my head to run those groups of people or invite those group of people to an online event. So, that’s what I’m going to knock on the head there. Please go to coworkingassemblyassembly.eu and sign up for a newsletter. Every week, we send out a newsletter with the latest blogs and articles and events and stuff like that. And all those stories and podcasts and articles. We go around Europe and many of you listen to this hit reply and let us know. You know this person really, really interesting interview. Interesting. Excuse me. interesting interview. So, a lot of stories we get from freelancer’s week website and the European co working assembly website are real people doing real things and telling us their story. Rather than stuff that’s you know, made in a sponsored post from huge companies hoping to achieve something else. So, go do that. Stay safe. Thanks for listening every week. I really appreciate it




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