Kofi Oppong – Coworking London, Sport, Inclusion & Goals

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Welcome to another podcast. Our guest for this podcast is Kofi Oppong, founder of Urban MBA. They provide enterprise and employability training to young adults. They are said to be the University for Street Entrepreneurs. How great is that?

 

In this podcast, Kofi talks about coworking, sports, inclusion and goals. He also shares a little background on what prompted him to establish the Urban MBA. He also delves in the importance of inclusivity within the coworking community

Why do you think inclusivity is important?

Okay, so I think right now coworking is that that area where it’s about to explode in the UK, it’s 18% of GDP. So it’s growing into that area. And coworking is getting ready for the new freelancers of what we’re talking about, the new entrepreneurs and new contracted workers, different people are going to be doing different ways of working. 

If we can already take a look of that we don’t have to in 10 years time retrospectively look at how we include people of disability, people from ethnic minorities and all of that. And if we start talking about it now, that narrative can be woven into the beginning of this coworking cycle, period, because right now, and again, I’m talking about the UK, there are young Vietnamese, which is called Black, Asian minority ethnic in the UK, who are got as much talent as some of those hipsters, geeks, technical whatever you want to call them who are doing in the tech space, but they don’t feel welcome in a coworking space because it’s not their environment.

There are no Cultural references that allow them to, in that the two areas that are growing the most is the creative and the tech sector. And in the UK, that sector, there is only 18% of BAMEs. And that’s because there are no role models there. 

So frequently still, I’m getting people from who want to go into areas like music and fashion, which are saturated, it’s hard to make money in those because still, all their role models are there. If we don’t provide them with these role models or coworking isn’t thinking about how it talks to them, they’re still going to be the people who are deprived and marginalized because they will not get into this new trend early enough.

 

Kofi online

Urban MBA

Urban MBA Twitter

Kofi on Linkedin

 

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Zeljko Crnjakovic 0:03  

Welcome to Coworking Values Podcast of the European Coworking Assembly. Each week we deep dive into one of the values of accessibility community openness, collaboration, and sustainability.

Zeljko Crnjakovic   0:14  

Hey guys, and welcome to another episode of the Coworking Values Podcast. Glad to have you back. My name is Zeljko Crnjakovic, you can call me Jack, and I’m a coordinator at a small coworking space in Subotica, Serbia. We’re coming to you again with an interview from the Coworking co living conference of south-eastern Europe, which we record in Belgrade in October.

Zeljko Crnjakovic  

 And this time, I talked to the amazing Kofi Oppong, who runs the urban MBA program. A lot of what we talked about is diversity, inclusivity about entrepreneurship, about getting out of a rough place and educating people in order to give them the tools needed to basically survive everything that life is throwing at them. So, enjoy the interview and think about how your coworking story goes along with Kofi’s points on inclusivity and empowering people; enjoy. 

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 coworking and community check out cobot@cobot.me and take your coworking management to the next level. 

Hi, everybody. And today we have a guest from the UK on the Coworking Values Podcast and it’s Kofi Oppong, and we’re, of course sitting still at the Coworking, co-living conference of south-eastern Europe in Belgrade, Kofi Oppong. Welcome to the show.

Kofi Oppong    2:26  

Thank you very much.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 2:28  

Kofi Oppong runs a charity called urban MBA for the past seven years. But before that, you worked on a lot of different places. Can you tell us something about your background?

Kofi Oppong 2:42  

Okay, I see that that’s really interesting because it seems like I have but really, I haven’t because I’ve only ever had two or three jobs ever in my life. So initially, after having quite a challenging childhood, I ended up working for JD sports, the sports and fitness brand and I became one of their managers. And I worked for JB for 10 years. And then in 1998, I joined Nike. And I opened up Nike town London, as the football manager, I then went on to become the product manager of the store. So my experiences were shaped by those two jobs in particular, not what I’m doing now was shaped by what happened to me between that period of the age of 17 when I was made homeless by my parents at that particular time, because I wouldn’t follow the rules of a traditional African family just to say,

Zeljko Crnjakovic 3:35  

And let’s go into that because you came into the UK, at about that age, right. So, with your family.

Kofi Oppong 3:44  

Yeah, I came to the UK when I was five years old, so I’ve never known anything else.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 3:49  

So all that happened to you within the UK, not within their own home state or home country. So, what did and what didn’t you fulfil?

Kofi Oppong 4:03  

Okay, so as I say to many people, if you’ve got parents from first generation parents, in particular from Africa, I mean, there’s a lot of cultures that are very similar in terms of culture and all of that. But if you’re not a lawyer or a doctor, or some form of a surgeon, you’re considered a failure. That’s because they never ever had that sort of educational opportunity as what they feel that you gained in the UK. So automatically, they expect you to respect that and say, well, this is your chance to do better. And I think they mean well, but the truth of the matter is that I really realized that the system that were the system that we had, was changing rapidly. And I don’t think I learned enough in school. That’s my honest truth. I didn’t learn enough in school. Everything that I learned really, and that’s for me from life came after school, and hence why I’m even doing urban MBA which is about teaching entrepreneurship. So, my dad wanted me to continue to study. And even when we were in summer holiday period, but what I also realized there was an element of control because those people from  back home, they expect a certain level of respect that you have to also have when you’re in that culture. 

Kofi Oppong 05:19

And maybe he didn’t feel I was doing that evil way. I ended up being homeless at 17. And having to fend for myself. And some of the things that happened to me was like, I used to get on a bus, a night bus from an area called Stratford in East London. No, take me all the way to Trafalgar Square, and then back again, because that’s how I used to keep warm. So basically, for the whole night, I would be traveling on both buses in order to stay warm at that particular time. But it formed a lot of my character. And one of the things that you cannot underestimate is that these types of things that happen to people in their lives are what gives them that resilience, in particular for a lot of the things that I’ve ended up doing,

Kofi Oppong 06:03

And even coming here in the Coworking space, talking about diversity. I’m one of two ethnic minority, there are black people here. And for everybody else, it’s not normal, but we feel it. And I feel it, and I understand that it’s one of those things that generally throughout my life, I’ve been the person that’s never opened up doors for other people, because I’ve always been at the forefront in terms of those types of things. So, yeah, I think that all those things that happened to me, has driven me to become a much better person.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 6:32  

And I want to go into inclusivity and diversity and what that means for coworking spaces and your talk that you gave on the conference. But I want to ask you a very personal question. So based on what you said, so many people, yes, are affected through a lot of the bad things and bad situations that happen that actually happen to them like yours, but most of the people don’t go out of it as strong as you did, as positive as you did most develop the bitterness. And, and, and maybe even kind of oblivious and believing towards themselves in it. So, what made you, you know, go on and be positive and be and stay strong. So that’s maybe unimportant for some of the listeners that know somebody who is in that situation.

Kofi Oppong 7:35  

That is a fantastic point. And there are two things that really saved me. One, I’m a voracious reader. I’ve been reading books since I can remember. And I always had a checked relationship. My parents I used to sit in my room and always be reading books, and a lot of them became self-development books after the age of 17. But the thing that was the initial saving point of me was sport.

 I’ve had a conversation with somebody today who took what I said in my diversity talk very seriously. And he talked to me about profiles and consumers. But he also said to me, you talked a lot about sport in there. And I had to explain to him that the similarities in sport, and the things that I learned in sport, gave me a lot of my resilience.

Kofi Oppong 08:24

 So, let me give you an example. sport has millions and trillions of pounds, and a lot of people now are using self-development or learning about having a coach or a mentor. in sport, when I was growing up, you would always have a coach or mentor because you can’t hit peak performance without it. Yeah, we are now taking that into normal society life but in the scenario of sport, where there’s millions of pounds involve that is the norm. Yeah, also, when I played sport, I always knew what the end goal was first. So as an example, I was a semi pro football player. When you develop him at the age of eight as a football player, you already know, the end goal is to play for your country in the world cup, because that’s the pinnacle of the sport. So, you’re working backwards from that straightaway. 

Kofi Oppong 09:08

People are only learning now in entrepreneurship; about that they have to have the bigger vision first. Because if you have that bigger vision first, you can then put the steps in place to get to that big vision. When you don’t have it, it’s much harder because you’re tripping up, failing, tripping up failing and learning across the way, which you’re going to do in general, but you don’t know what the end goal is. So, you’re being pulled, left, right and centre, which can take people away from things. And so those things that I learned from sport gave me a massive understanding of real life. And it’s very interesting that the two combined with self-development books, and it started showing me that people actually doing a lot of stuff that I had already learned by playing sport, and those types of things. So, I think that I am a lucky unique combination of the two things together because Gen Z. Now when we talk about, they don’t read. Yeah, they don’t read. What they do is listen to what you’re doing now, podcasts have become the norm in terms of that.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 10:11  

As the new book is the new books for them.

Kofi Oppong 10:13  

And so, this is the whole thing about a lot of stuff that urban MBA does is how do we teach and educate people? And this sort of information that you are asking me is why I’m not bitter because I played a lot of sport, and I was taught about teamwork. I also learned about goals very early. I’ve translated that into the problems I was having at the time, and it gave me a comfort I understand that, you know, these things are very similar. You must work through them in the same way that you would have worked through that scenario in a sport and I had that comparison of the two self-development books I came to read, Think and Grow Rich. The book that actually influenced me the most in life has been the self-esteem prophecy. 

Kofi Oppong 10:53

I know people it’s the weirdest thing when I tell people, it was the LSAT and that taught me about the law of attraction. Okay. Way before the secret and all of those books ever, ever came out. And so those things fascinated me more because learning about it, I never read the 13th insight, but that book taught me a hell of a lot about stuff. And again, I compared what I’m learning. 

Kofi Oppong 11:19

When you learn about something like the law of attraction when you’re playing football, and you recognize what MLG does, and all the things and menu work, I was like, okay, so is that why when you play in a home crowd, the energy of 70% more people for you means you win more of your home games, then, do you see what I mean? I’ve compared all these things. Yeah, so the same thing, and then made sense to me. The energy bill of 70% of the people in your favour, means that you’re always going to more than likely win that game, and why home teams always more dominant in their home turf than their away turf. And it wasn’t until I read the Celestin prophecy that put the two together. It’s bizarre but it Weird. It’s completely weird.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 12:02  

I’m betting that a lot of our listeners are just connecting- Whoa.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 12:10  

Yeah, I’m going to go to a football game with a very different mind. Right and it’s weird. Yes. Okay, so and where did it for your entrepreneurship come so it didn’t come right away as from what I’m kind of piecing.

Kofi Oppong 12:24  

No, entrepreneurship came because again, being a voracious reader, I’ve read every single Rich Dad Poor Dad book.

Kofi Oppong   12:35  

And I tell you what he was saying way back from the first rich dad poor dad I pulled that he was talking about.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 12:43  

I think there are four versions.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 12:47  

I’m going to ask you; I was going to ask you. So, what changed from the first to the fourth election?

Kofi Oppong 12:53  

Good point, but then he’s got one on finance and the one on the different things but the first one is just about learning about assets. That’s a liability. And that’s the first thing that you need to sort of learn in life, what is an asset and a liability. He also taught me a very important factor is that controlling your taxes is how you make money in the world. And the best way to control your taxes is to be self-employed. Because you have no you, you’d have no say when you’re working for an organization as to what happens with your tax, whereas it gets divided into different things.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 13:27

Depending on which country you are in.

Kofi Oppong 13:27

Yes, depending on which country you’re in, obviously, I’m talking about the UK, which are very similar. And so, for those types of things, I started to begin to really understand what was going on. And then when I joined Nike, there were a couple of things. I was sitting in a conference in Tampa in 1998. And then 1998 well passed then in 2004, 1999 to 2004, whatever it was, I was sitting there, and I was like, Yeah, I can’t do this anymore. And it was one of those things. It’s like, I felt that, and I’ve already explained to you that I felt I was very lucky with what happened to me. Lots of things happened at a time when I was homeless, but I’m still here.

Kofi Oppong 14:09

So then in my mind was like, are you going to be part of the legacy of that organization? And they already have a million people who are part of the legacy? Or do you want to go and create something that will inspire people in your community to do more? Yeah. And it was the left or right decision. And I’d already made my mind up because I wouldn’t even be questioning it. Had I not? So had I stayed where I was, I wouldn’t be speaking to you now. I’d be very rich, have 2.4 children, they’ll probably be European because…

Zeljko Crnjakovic 14:40  

They’ll be European.

Kofi Oppong 14:42  

And that’s how it always works. If people from the UK ended up in Hilversum Harland, you married a Dutch girl and then moved on to Oregon. So that was that would have been my career path; instead, I’m here now at a coworking conference in Serbia, but because you are doing what you do, but much more excited about the legacy I’m going to create and how much people I’m going to influence people’s lives that’s bigger now for me than the other.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 15:12  

So, let’s talk about urban MBA. So, what is urban MBA and its primary goals? 

Kofi Oppong 15:21  

A MBA, okay, I’ve talked about, it’s the main thing that I’m frustrated about, and many people are frustrated about, but nobody’s doing anything about is the education system. The education system is, as many people say, to me not fit for purpose. So, what is everybody doing about it? I’ve seen Richard Branson. I’ve seen many people talk about this, but actually nobody’s doing anything about it. But an MBA is the realization for me that everybody needs to be some form of entrepreneur or be a creative because as we go forward in this modern world, and what I showed on my point is that there’s going to be lots of automation and unlike the previous Areas of automation where other jobs have been created this type of automation that we’re getting into is AI driven. It’s very different from previous advances in technology. Yeah.

Kofi Oppong 16:13

When it’s AI driven, it means these people, these things can do things that you can do. And so ultimately, as companies are merging, they’re reducing staff. And it’s happening all across the globe. There is only one country at the moment that has managed to so there was a study nearly a year ago, I can’t remember it’s Norway over that about the universal basic income. Governments know what’s coming, and some people are trying to prepare for it. And you can see in the ripples, Alaska have a universal basic income from the oil reserves that they do, and each person gets 1000 pounds a month, and they can do whatever it was, you’re, we’re going to have more time on our hands. If we don’t solve what we do with that time on our hands or go and give people a means to be able to live. 

Kofi Oppong 16:58

There’s just going to become a bigger surge and violence and all the other things, so urban MBA is designed to teach people how to become entrepreneurs. What are the failings? What do you need to learn, and also really important, different cycles in technology and what’s going to come along because people who are deprived and marginalized, always the end users and the end buyers, never the people that are at the top when it’s developing, in terms of where, so we won six to 12 weeks entrepreneurial course, we have a vision to create an academy that will rival university but for free, which is much more practical, and uses popular culture. So, nothing that we do is just a subject. It’s a story first, like I learned with books, we must teach stories. And then the learnings are part of the stories as you would do in African culture in Serbian culture. In all of these it’s always been stories, but the stories can easily be updated, unlike the super tanker of the education system which has to fall behind. 

Zeljko Crnjakovic 18:02  

Through the urban MBA from your experience, I’m going to go off and ask you a question so that most entrepreneurs will know. Can everybody become an entrepreneur? Is everybody fit for an entrepreneur? I know that you said and the truth that many of the people will wildly benefit for, from having entrepreneurial skills. On the other hand, I know tons of people who are far better off being employed, then I’m not  talking about skills, then being in the stress of entrepreneurship, you know, developing their own business owner, having stress, you know, ultimately it comes down to what we do or what we talk about in business, you’ll find you need to find something that drives you. And if that what drives you is that you are working as a fifth, seventh, seventh 100 and seventh man in somebody else’s company, and you like what you do? That’s totally fine. So, it’s much better than being in a job, whether it’s self-employed or not, and being unhappy. So, what’s your experience in teaching entrepreneurship?

Kofi Oppong 19:26  

So, I think you’ve got a valid point. And yes, it might not be for everybody but the one thing I would say is that entrepreneurship is not taught. So, we don’t know yet. Okay, yeah, that’s one thing. The second point is that companies like retail stores in first of all, in some places like the UK, like they’re not sustainable companies are going bust. Companies are merging. As soon as they merge they lay off. Yeah, two thirds. We are finding and what we’re finding from an entrepreneur. It’s not just 16 to 25 I’m teaching. I’m getting people who have been made redundant 35, 40 years old, who are like, what the hell do I do now? Yeah, there is no job for me. Nobody wants to take me on. Where do I go?

Kofi Oppong 20:12

That it’s not a question anymore of it’s a choice you have to because people are being made redundant by the truckloads at those age groups. Yeah, and then all of a sudden, they happen to try and make become an entrepreneur when they don’t want to. Yeah, what then do you do? So, the situation is not a question of accountability. But sometimes you’re going to be forced into that situation because you understand what to do. And got to get the right support and help and I do agree with you. The first thing that we teach also is that do something that you love because the problems that come with entrepreneurship, and it’s been said by greater people than me, come with the fact that if you, your values are always based around money, you’re going to struggle somewhere. You have to find something that you love and the trick about entrepreneurship is actually for that person to work out what they love. 

Kofi Oppong 21:01

That’s always been the trick of life. Yeah. So, it’s not entrepreneurship, it’s a situation more of life. Yes. you know, have you found what you were here for your purpose. And if you find that no matter what you’re in, you’re going to be a success. And so that’s where we start from. It isn’t about entrepreneurship, it’s about you.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 21:21  

Very good point. So, another big thing, and what urban MBAs does is promote diversity and inclusivity. And you do that through working with a very wide group of ethnically diverse people. So, and you yourself are a big promoter of inclusivity. So why do you think that is so much more important at this point, or important to take notice and this point, then you know and not be left: Oh, you know, for the future.

Kofi Oppong 22:07  

Okay, so I think right now coworking is that area where it’s about to explode in the UK, it’s 18% of GDP. So, it’s growing into that into that area. And coworking is getting ready for the new freelancers of what we’re talking about the new entrepreneurs and new contracted workers, different people are going to be doing different ways of working. If we can already take a look of that we don’t have to in 10 years’ time retrospectively look at how we include people of disability people from ethnic minorities and all of that. And if we start talking about it now, that narrative can be woven into the beginning of this coworking cycle, period, because right now, and again, I’m talking about the UK, there are young Vietnamese, which are called Black, Asian minority ethnic in the UK, who have got as much talent as some of those hipsters, geeks, technical whatever you want to call them who are doing in the tech space, but they don’t feel welcome in a coworking space because it’s not their environment. 

Kofi Oppong 23:13

There are no Cultural references that allows them to do in that the two areas that are growing the most is the creative and the tech sector. And in the UK, that sector, there is only 18% of BA Emmys. And that’s because there’s no role models there. So frequently still, I’m getting people from who want to go into areas like music and fashion, which are saturated, it’s hard to make money in those, because still all their role models are there. If we don’t provide them with these role models or coworking isn’t thinking about how it talks to them, they’re still going to be the people who are deprived and marginalized because they will not get into this new trend early enough.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 23:53  

To ever make and what do you think that coworking spaces can do about it? So how do you find a role model to Within the blades?

Kofi Oppong 24:02  

Listen, there are role models from the Emmys that fantastic stuff you’ve got to find there are how do you make a place more inclusive, have more things that speak to that consumer? There are some very simplistic things. And I know I showed for being a London video because of even the way that community talks, you know, if you don’t have marketing material that makes them feel welcome. They won’t come. Yeah, they have already felt isolated through school. Through all of these areas, they’re wary of all of this. They want to belong, where, where people belong. And if you don’t find that out, there isn’t one answer fits all here. You’ve got to look at those profiles of those people and say what makes them tick.

 Kofi Oppong 24:47

That’s how every top company in the world does it. Apple did a campaign. Right. And you’ve seen the silhouette campaign that they did, and you’d have to make themselves cool. They had a guy with dreads and his dreads have been flung up in the air with headphones on. It’s the saying to that person, you’re cool, because I’ve got that image of you on there. So, you’re talking to him, but do co work. 

Zeljko Crnjakovic 25:11  

Do you see what I mean?  I’m gonna ask an inflammatory question. Okay. And just for the sake of discussion, so where’s the line? I’m thinking because most of the facilitators within the Coworking space, you know, we cannot choose who we are. So, I’m a classic Caucasian. If I want to be inclusive, where’s the line between inclusivity and giving, you know, kind of a feel to the to the area of the people that I want to attract and stereotyping, okay.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 21:49

Like, it may be considered that. What does he know? Because he’s me. Yeah, like, I look like I do to attract a certain ethnic minority. And what does he know about putting up a poster? That or painting a wall or giving one room of the entire coworking in a different totally field and the current hips are wide?

Kofi Oppong 26:19  

And I think there lies the problem because I’m not asking you to, I’m asking you to ask the consumer. Yeah. And that’s the problem. Every day. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I was asking you too. So, my, I saw a coworking space image and I picked it up, but I didn’t go into much detail with it. And in it, there was one black face. And but he was wearing a lumberjack shirt, red and platinum and shoes, and I’m looking at them. I’m like, you’ve invented that, because that wouldn’t be what that person would naturally look like. So actually, you’ve made it worse by trying to actually know that. That’s because they’re not asked. They didn’t ask. So, what you’ve not done is you’ve not asked a new stereotype. I was trying to say well, okay, if we’re gonna put him in there, let’s put him in there like so. If the person was attractive, and you have that person looking like that he’s not going to look at it wrong as wrong. If it’s genuinely what he does, and what he’s about what I where I think the problem always lies is that people show and do exactly what I’ve just said to you about that picture.

Kofi Oppong 27:18

So, I looked at that and I’m like, what kind of where’s the lumberjack shirt? Right with shoes? Who’s going to be in that? Because there’s only a very small minority percentage that you will find, but I like that in that sector. So the thing you’ve got to do is you’ve got to ask, you’ve got to get those marketing materials and you got to say, guys, we’re thinking of that does this is this what would attract you is this one because it’s different from each company country and it’d be different from Serbia. It would be from UK. What, what winds me up and what I’ve heard in the past, and what I’ve heard of people and coworking, basically I’ve done these is they have assumed it’s cool for those people and that’s where they go wrong. You have not really tested it. You haven’t got a group of them together. And that necessarily doesn’t have to be you. You need to outsource it maybe to the people who are more connected with them. You ask them. Yeah, that is how all top companies do it. Yeah, yeah. But what we’re trying to do is make it out to be something radical that we’re stereotyping. No, your problem is that you haven’t done your research enough, then the same way you wouldn’t open a coworking space in an area that was dead. It would be stupid. Yeah. no different.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 28:23  

Fantastic points, and actually, I wanted to build up to that point. I don’t mind you scolding me. Because the listener will also assume what I said yes. And, and we have numerous examples in your presentation. And I just wanted to do to bring out the point, ask the audience or the target, not by yourself, even what you just said. So, outsource it to somebody, you know, they don’t want to talk to you.

Kofi Oppong 28:56  

Yes, sometimes they won’t. And you’ve got to accept that because they’re afraid Yeah, but you know, fear is the one that drives a lot of this sort of stuff. They’re afraid. So, it’s not even that and they’re like, is it really gonna help? You know, we’ve had years of nobody helping us, is this guy really going to help? Or is he going to pay lip service and say, I’m going to do this for you, but actually do nothing, which is what a lot of them have experienced. So, you cannot be upset that they’re negative or not accepting your olive branch, they’ve had years of only one type of thing. You’re gonna be sceptical. Yes. So if it’s other people that does that, and I know the company that I came from Nike, outsource things to people who are much more in the community and get the feedback to then do what they need to do. And that’s why they frequently get it right.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 29:40  

Fantastic. So, we’re coming to the end of the show. So, KOFI OPPONG thank you very much for being my guest. For the end is there one thing that you want to leave the audience with the listeners as on the from the Coworking centre, so whether they are users or facility or operators, whatever they are, from your point on? of how to I’m not gonna say anything I’m just say it’s gonna sound stupid, become more be more aware of the need for diversity and inclusivity.

Kofi Oppong 30:15  

So, there’s some fantastic people down here with and we were talking outside about my meet. And one of the things that you cannot anticipate is how much people can learn from each other.

Kofi Oppong 30:32  

Yeah, that we grow together as a people, and how much you can learn from some different person in your community and how much you can shift your mindset. It can solve that problem because it’s coming from another area. It’s not about wages, allowing these people to come into a coworking space. We’re talking about growth, growth for everybody. And that’s what I would like to sort of understand that some of these people will have a different way of looking at it. And just the fact that the knowledge and exchange from different cultures, different people from where they could potentially go can come out with some of the greatest and beautiful stuff. It is not just about, Oh, we’ve got to make them inclusive, they can positively contribute to where you are going and support growth and see things in a different way. I love talking to you. And I love even coming here. Serbia was I’m thinking that was a bit of a challenge. I’m coming to Serbia and you know, and it was.

Kofi Oppong 31:33  

It was in the beginning for me. But the point is, I’m like, oh, but it’s a new country. For me. It’s like, well, what can I learn? Coming here? This is going to be quite fascinating. So, the fear always goes away with me because I’m more excited about what I could learn when I come here and whether it’s good or bad, because I’ve learned that life is about learning. And that’s what people need to take away from this. It’s not about Yeah, I’ll say again, it’s not about lip service. It’s not about all week. It’s about hang on, these people can have a real positive contribution in your coworking space. They might help you solve problems, that different angles that come from that will mean that we can, as I say, all grow together and that’s what diversity and inclusion is really about.

Zeljko Crnjakovic 32:17  

Fantastic point. On that point, Kofi Oppong thank you very much for being my guest on this episode of the coworking valleys podcast and guys talk to you next time.

Kofi Oppong 32:26

Thank you.

 

 

 

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