Coworking Europe Best Community Action Award – Applicants list
For the first time ever, we are hosting the Coworking Europe Awards.
Here we give a detailed overview of each space that applied for the Community Action category, supported by our sponsor Essensys.
Winners will be judged on which space has taken those most innovative steps towards community building.
The Jury will be made out of the 400 delegates of the Coworking Europe 2016 conference, taking place in Brussels on November 28-29-30.
Participants have described the above mentioned elements, as well as providing measurable results, like increase in network, increase in satisfaction, new feedback, etc. Here below is the list of applications :
1. Refugee Fundraiser Quiz Night – Smart Office, Belgrade (Serbia)
As Serbia is a in transition, while also being a a hot spot for emigrants who are trying to escape war zones in their own countries, Smart Office created an initiative to help welcome refugees through their “Refugee Fundraiser – Quiz Night”. Many people came along and joined for a quiz and games night and enjoyed while doing something good for a greater cause. Members also had the option to bring donations, including clothing, hygiene items, food and water, plastic bags (for packing food, items, etc.), baby products, blankets and other items. Collection of money enabled the space to provide 100 meals. Smart Office was recognized as a coworking place where their coworkers and members cherish and empower philanthropy.
2. Moscow Tech Meetups – DI Telegraph, Moscow (Russia)
Moscow Tech Meetup brings together the most creative, talented, and inspirational minds to promote technology and entrepreneurship in Moscow and Russia as a whole.
3. The Serendipity Machine – Seats2meet, Utrecht (Netherlands)
Seats2meet launched the serendipity machine, a feature that matches people working inside the same location, based on their skillsets and current project. As an open location, anyone can book and pay with social capital. Those 2 factors have brought in numerous people, based on the fact that there are always connection to be made in the S2M locations, thus increasing community. Research made by the Erasmus University we found out that 60% of the people coming to the Seats2meet locations learned unexpected things from other coworkers and 80% of the coworkers also were positively surprised by the people they met at S2M.
4. ABBA – Ten Pin winter Bowling league – Purple Patch, London (United Kingdom)
Purple Patch host a fun, community event throughout the winter to bring individuals, companies, clients and peers together. Our goal was to nurture existing relationships, create the opportunity to make new ones and help them flourish. We hold a Ten Pin Winter Bowling League. The community has grown beyond the space’s framework, making participants more sociable, and more open to stating connected.
5. Soy Wayuu – Guajira (Columbia)
The Wayuu, the largest indigenous community in Colombia, has been threatened by environmental contamination, political corruption, and abandonment by government officials, thus putting the people at risk of losing their lives. The Colombian government continues to deny the Wayuu crisis. Taking initiative, Luisa Ortiz and her collegues held a monthly event, selling cotton bags with the message “”Soy Wayuu””. Since then, they have sold 230 bags and collect some money. During the summer, the space visited the Wayuu and carried two thousand liters of water trough the hot desert, which led to the potential continuation of installing windmills and solar panels.
6. Coworkers Introduction Rodeo & Whiteboard of Opportunities – Betacowork Brussels (Belgium)
The Coworkers Introduction Rodeo + Whiteboard of Opportunities is a monthly meeting where the members gather informally at Betacowork. Introductions are based on 3 simple questions within 30 seconds: Who are you? What do you do? What do you need help with? This creates room for someone to offer tips or services, which is then discussed in detail over coffee. “Whiteboard of Opportunities”, is a blank canvas where you write your name, what you do and what you want on the whiteboard. alchemy coworking ople to make direct contact, and move within the space. The overall result has resulted in various collaborations and encouragement for members to get what they need.
7. Community Alchemy – Alchemy Hub , Brasov, (Romania)
This Romanian based space organizes various events focused on different topics which encourage the Alchemy community to work together and create things. The space also works with numerous student organisations like AIESEC, BEST and PRIME, creating collaborative events, and focusing on mentorship and entreprenurship. On that same note, Alchemy supports the newest public speaking clubs in Brasov (one for children and one for youth) and the impact has been significant, brining in many participants, and online community. The space continually works on European Funding projects for startups in the city, extending their reach.
8. TAWJIH Mentoring Program – The Address, (Algeria)
The Address launched the 1st mentoring program in the country called TAWJIH (Mentoring in Arabic). The objective is to connect young university students with experienced professionals, many of which are members of our space or used in different forms. The initiative was celebrated by the public and press alike as one of the most impactful initiatives of the year, gaining attention from press and the Algerian Ministry of Youth to explore collaboration and expansion. The long term objective is to insert mentoring and altruism as a long lasting culture with the Algerian youth.
9. Making / Travels Jellyweek Quilt – Moleque de Ideias, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
In January of 2012, during the 2nd edition of Jellyweek, Moleque de ideias was #Jelly104. One of Moleque’s founders, Leila Miranda, invited different coworking spaces around the world to make together a commemorative patchwork, an e-textile quilt. At the end of the week there were 42 original patches created in USA, Switzerland, France, Germany, Denmark and different places in Brazil. All the work was documented with photos, movies, comments and pieces of conversation. This served as an inspiration for all types of creative projects. The Quilt was eventually assembled in July of 2012, with the patches sewed with electronic circuits, sparkling lamps and sensors, bringing together old and new technologies of communication and textiles. From September 2012 to October 2013, the Quilt was exhibited in various coworking Spaces as well as events like Coworking Europe in France, Ouishare Summit in Italy, Social Capital World Forum and DiYDays in Sweden. The Quilt Project brought together a lot of new friends and coworkers, creating relationships that are blooming still today.
10. Green Elephant Pounds – alternative currency to kickstart a coworking space startup – Halton Mill, Halton, Lancaster (United Kingdom)
Halton Mill was a derelict factory when Lancaster Cohousing bought it as part of a site they purchased for eco housing development. To help cover restoration and operation costs, the space invented ‘Green Elephant Pounds’ (£GEs), a currency paid to GE Cooperative members who worked to improve the space decorating, reception, operations manager, finance ,etc. The £GEs could pay for hotdesking, parking, storage and meeting/event space. The currency was eventually abolished after more than £GE25,000 was earned, and individuals still holding £GE to provide them with a service they wanted to pay off our debt. Some people decided to write off all or part of their debt because they felt so much loyalty to what we had created together. Working for £GE to get our venture off the ground gave people a real sense of ownership, The space is a result of a complete community action that works financially and socially.
11. FIELD TRIP PATCHWORK – Patchwork, Lausanne, (Switzerland)
Once a year for the past 4 years now, Patchwork invites their community to a field trip inspired from the study trip (“”course d’école””) from childhood. Traveling to a major European city, the group explores while community-building, perspective. The group also gets the chance to meet with changemakers and projet owners to discover and understand their initiatives, in addition to potential collaborations or exchanges. Visiting everywhere from third places to coworking spaces, cultural landmarks and local spots, this initiative brings the community together through knowledge building and fun.
12. Beta Challenge – Betahaus Barcelona, Barcelona, (Catalonia)
Betahaus boosted the creation of the ’beta-challenge’, a community event where 80 Betahaus members challenged themselves to design, build and launch a tech project in less than 36 hours. The aim was to build a project which would pull together the wide variety of skills of all the members, from programmers, designers and copywriters, to marketing experts, musicians and illustrators. The app functions as new, unique Barcelona city guide. The overall goal 100% community orientated event lead by members that would generate involvement and loyalty as well as brand awareness. In the end this project generated a large reach, receiving 15K downloads and a palpable sense of community
13. “The biodiversity, it’s me”: a collaborative strip cartoon made by coworkers – 7AY, Rabat (Morocco)
After a trip in the south of Morocco, Yasser, a coworker from 7AY returned with a photo of him holding a very cute fennec-fox baby in his hands. He explained the trafficking of these animals and the destruction of their natural habitat. After debriefing in the kitchen of 7AY, members began discussing what changes they wanted to see in the world. The idea to create comic about environmental threats in Morocco was born. Community members volunteered hours to create a comic in Arabic for children and their parents to understand environmental issues. The project created a stronger more fluid community while also leading to additional projects on the topic.
14. Canary Islands Coworking Association – Coworking Canary Islands, Las Palmas (Spain)
After opening a coworking space back in 2014 with the aim to unite at first was to regulate the public offer of coworking spaces, that was generating unfair competition in the market. Coworking Canary Islands aims to promote collaboration and generate resources to have a someone paid to work recurrently for the interest of all members. ACEC promotes the Canary Islands as a destinations for remote workers, as well as the freelancers and companies based in all the network of spaces, share news and events that are taking place in the different public/private spaces through a unified agenda. They also provide a program for working on a coworking visa that will allow coworkers to work in different spaces in the Canary Islands, and also the chance to negotiate collaborations of different providers that offer special deals on products & services for all the members.
15. Innovating a national business portal – LitCaf, Lagos (Nigeria)
LitCaf has built an online business portal for persons to exchange business cards electronically. This portal has included in it a compendium of indigenous information covering over 700 topics and expanding fast.
16. Trade your skills for an experience – Swiss Escape, Grimentz (Switzerland)
In October 2016, Swiss Escape ran a two week long campaign “trade your skills for an experience”. Inviting remote workers from all over the world to spend two weeks for free in our space in exchange for some of their time working on our project. The project was focused on gaining meaningful feedback not only about the space and its aesthetics but also how working around a common project can strengthen the community feeling. After the campaign their Social Media referral increased by 25%, and traffic to website increased by 13%. They also rebranded their platform based on feedback and saw significant community building and engagement.
17. Community Barista – St. Oberholz II, Berlin (Germany)
Coworking comes from the coffeehouse culture and at St. Oberholz, they offer a café dedicated to (New) work, which has become one of Berlin’s most famous coworking spaces. Last year they opened a second house and created a coworking space that is directly connected to the new coffee lab. Trained baristas are unofficial community managers, who also help coworkers and the coworking management team.
The connection of the café with the coworking spaces is very important as it is entrance to the house. The barista is the first face coworkers see and one of the most important people at St. Oberholz, thus community barista’ the focus and success of the project.
18. Startup Open House – 91springboard, New Delhi (India)
91springboard hosts, SOH, which is open up the vibrant start-up community for everyone to discover. Entrepreneurs show the rest of the audience a prototype of their product or a new feature they’ve been working on, which is an opportunity to understand what the startups pan India are up to, give feedback and advice. Each demonstration is followed by a round of 5-minute favors. This event is wildly popular in the ecosystem and is open to anyone who wants to showcase their product/idea.
19. Generate a sense of community from scratch – Kubik, Barcelona (Catalonia)
Kubik Barcelona is the oldest known coworking space, alive for 22 years, yet it was without tangible community. A year ago, Kubik renewed its image and began to work on knowing all of its members, growing awareness of their needs and talents. Kubik achieved this by integrating a welcome flexible zone for entrepreneurs that has generated dynamism and rejuvenation of the community. In addition they added more internal and external events so that the community also opens up and enriches itself from outside talent. Overall the coworking community has grown inside and out by promoting a positive atmosphere and communication. Kubik has considerably increased its presence online and offline as well as gaining a reputation for being an active, friendly space, where we take care of our members.
20. 5 O’clock Social – Cabinet Lounge, Moscow (Russia)
Cabinet Lounge is a private members business club that was developed to give club members the opportunity to get to know each other better. Their event, “5 O’clock Social” follows the traditions of London private club with its 5 O’clock tea. During these events members are able to find reliable business partners for future fruitful collaboration. The traditional Club event 5 O’clock Social is held once a month. There embers to escape from everyday routine, share their news, discuss plans and welcome our new members. This event grew community by remaining open, welcoming and cozy.
21. Community Curation – ATÖLYE, Istanbul, (Turkey)
Since 2013, ATÖLYEhas worked hard on curating a community of designers, technologists, social scientists, and connectors to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects that can create long term value. The breakdown was determined to maximise and enhance the interaction within the community to the fullest extent. Both individual and corporate members go through a rigorous application process. Every discipline has a quota to balance the representation of different perspectives as well as to maintain a unique chemistry. This allows for the community members to interact with one another in the most efficient and organic way, and facilitates the realization of possible collaborations. As a result, the projects that come out of Atolye are transdisciplinary and vary in scale and scope. Through weekly feedback sessions and 101 classes, members who are not initially involved can provide valuable insight and perspective on ongoing projects.
The Best Coworking Community Action Award 2016 will be attributed on behalf of Coworking Europe/ SocialWorkplaces.com and our Platinum sponsor Essensys.