What is the Coworking Assembly?

What is the Coworking Assembly, really? A question you might have asked yourself once or maybe a couple of times. 

Senior Vice President of the European Coworking Assembly, Jeannine van der Linden, joins us to deep dive into the Coworking Assembly in its entirety. 

The discussion centres around what the Assembly is about, the goals and current projects of the Assembly, and how the Assembly can be the voice of the coworking industry in Europe and how it can help make the coworking community better than it has ever been before.

What is the European Coworking Assembly?

The European Coworking Assembly is founded by the shared conviction by everybody who is actively involved in the core team. This team  has the largest and most powerful network in independent coworking in Europe, Jeannine explains.

Although not that obvious to everybody, independent coworking is currently the dominant player in coworking and has grown even bigger due to the pandemic. Without a doubt, whether you look at square meters or number of co-workers, the assembly is the largest by far, no matter from which angle you look at it. 

Coworking has offered people to be perfectly positioned enabling them to use the infrastructure provided to step up. Whether they will step up, or not, is still an open question. The Assembly is built around the idea that the entrepreneurial network, more specifically independent coworking, needs to be leveraged to make the world better. 

The Coworking Library

One of the practical advantages of the Coworking Library is that as of recently more research is going into coworking 

For people who run a coworking space, or co-workers in a coworking space who are in the initial stages of their research or coworking journeys, the library is the perfect source of information and a great foundation for their coworking journey.

Rural Coworking Project 

The Rural Coworking project is still the new kid on the block and is a fairly good representation of how the Assembly does business. 

Unlike most projects, the Rural Coworking Project was not formally pitched, instead it was presented by someone who had a vision. After that, the support structure for the project was found and made up of volunteers It took six years for the project to find its support structure and recently the project formally started.

The Inclusion and Diversity Handbook

The inclusion project is one of the longest standing projects of the Assembly. During the team’s tours it became clear that inclusion and diversity should be practised, even though this topic held a short part in the presentation, most people understood it and supported it. 

The prominent question was not “why”, it was “how”. How to go about this? How to do it from an initial startup stage when you’re first setting up your coworking space? And the thornier question was how do you do it when you already have a coworking space and a community that is interacting in its own organic way? 

In an effort to answer these questions, the Assembly decides to develop a handbook or instructional manual which covers these topics on paper. This handbook is also available online

Cowork Tools

Jeannine believes that Cowork Tools is worthy of its own podcast. The Cowork Tools embodies and captures the vision of the Assembly. It was formed as a platform that can assist the spaces with all compliance related matters. The idea was that these tools be made available to external spaces as well and people who were starting up. 

European Freelancers’ Week 

The European Freelancers’ Week was started by Matija Raos, known to many as the driving force behind #EFWeek, who later passed in 2018,  Francesca Pesce, Vice President of Acta and European Forum of Independent Professionals (EFIP), Freelance Journalist and Reporter, Joel Dullroy, and General Coordinator for EFWeek and CEO of Euro Freelancers, Marco Torregrossa. They are all active in European freelancing organisations, two of which are actively involved in coworking. The EF Week is a series of events that focus on freelancers and the independent workforce across Europe. 

For more information on the European Coworking Assembly and all the projects mentioned, visit coworkingassembly.eu and connect with people talking about independent coworking in Europe.

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