“Free Coworking”: Space collaborations in Prague and Seattle

Veröffentlicht am 18. Februar 2012 von Felix Schürholz in Kategorie: CoWorking Basics, Konzeptionelles, CoWorking Kultur, CoWorking News International, Fundsachen, Praxisberichte, Beispiele, Best-Practice | Trackback URL | Zur Diskussion

Currently I see two very important developments in coworking. One is the increase in collaboration between coworkers for example in the jelly coworking mode (example Jellyweek). Secondly I see more collaborations between spaces and coworking operators like in Prague and Seattle ( as described in this article below). Both developments use “Free Coworking” and help to bring about a more integrated and interconnected coworking community.

Collaborations between Coworking Spaces are of course not new. When I look at the development of coworking in Germany I feel that the collaboration and exchange of coworking space operators has been instrumental in the growth of coworking here. When we started the series of coworking meetings for space operators and starters in October 2009 in Meiningen, it became clear that coworking could only grow and reach a wider public when space operators collaborated. Apart from a great shared and multiplied enthusiasm many important tools resulted from this and the following meetings: The German Wikipedia Entry for Coworking (written by Nico Krause),  the growth of the German Coworking Directory, the setting up of the German Coworking Starter Directory, the German Coworking Week to name just a few.

The quality and intention of the collaborations now seen in Prague and Seattle is new though. To quote the Czech collaboration:

“Central to the collaboration is a recognition from all of us that there are many ways in which we all gain by focusing on how we can collaborate as well as on how we can co-promote the idea of coworking, coming together as coworking spaces much as individual space members might come together to facilitate something greater than the collection of individuals. We all believe the potential future size of the coworking community in Prague is much larger than the capacity of our combined spaces, and that at least for now the more options out there the better for the success of coworking more generally. For now–I think–the biggest barrier to our collective success is not one another, but the extent to which the public and media are unaware of the coworking option, and how valuable it can be.”

In fact I see at least two arguments there.

Firstly, I guess everybody will agree, coworking is not mainstream yet! I certainly support this view. This is  also where I see a strong connection with “Free Coworking”. Just to explain, why we set up the “Free Coworking” Facebook group: The main purpose of the group is to gather at least 10.000 Facebook Users interested in “Free and Collaborative Coworking“. This is, by the way, an iterative process, as it involves a common understanding of what “Free Coworking” is and secondly to gather those 10.000 people who have this common understanding.

Secondly, I believe the collaborations in Prague and Seattle, just like “Free Coworking”, support the idea, that more collaboration and concrete action is required. One example is the use of  Free Coworking and Free Coworking Events/Jellies:

+ Co-sponsor a Jelly (free, informal coworking open to the public) that meets every two weeks and rotates across 7 different coworking spaces in Prague.

+ Participate in a “Coworking in Prague visa program” (inspired by the international Coworking Visa) that allows members of any one of 5 coworking spaces in Prague use the other spaces for free for up to 25% of one’s membership time.

+ Share a common website and Facebook group (please join it, we just started up) for promoting the idea of coworking and communicating options for coworking in Prague to the public and to the media.

+ Help organize cross-space events that can bring our members together as well as bring awareness about coworking and what it has to offer to the public.

We, the “Free Coworking” Facebook group, like to extend our invitation to the collaborations in Prague, Seattle and everywhere else to join in one big Facebook group to make Coworking visible for the wider public. If we manage to gather these 10.000 people with a common understanding of what “Free Coworking” and Coworking in general is, we produced a breakthrough not only for Coworking but for the way we will all work together in the future!

For more information on what “Free Coworking” is and already provides please refer to our Resource page.

Please join and spread the word for “Coworking” and “Free Coworking”!

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