On the second day of Coworking Europe 2019, representatives of the German Coworking Federation (GCF) will offer a World Café on the subject of coworking in rural areas. This will take place in parallel to the Unconference sessions and will allow the conference participants to explore this topic more closely. Rural coworking is discussed at almost every coworking conference and has also become a permanent topic at Coworking Europe. The World Café gives this crucial topic the space it deserves.

We live in Europe on a densely populated continent that makes it challenging to determine where the city ends, and the countryside begins. Depending on the perspective of a statistic, one can conclude that over 70 percent of Europeans live in cities. But if you subtract the suburbs and smaller towns, some of which still appear to be villages, you get only 40 percent. In some small towns and suburbs, public services and infrastructure are no better than in clearly defined rural areas. The problems are similar throughout Europe.

Coworking is one of the concepts most discussed by politicians when it comes to saving and developing rural areas. It almost seems that coworking could be the miracle solution to all rural problems. And the digitization of rural society and economy will also be possible, some seem to hope. It’s amazing what a few tables and chairs, coffee and Wi-Fi, can do. Some coworking experts are more skeptical. And yet coworking is already taking place in rural areas and throughout Europe.

Some of the most famous places are Mutinerie Village west of Paris, Mokrin House north of Belgrade, Coconat south of Berlin, Ludgate Hub in the south of Ireland, Sende in the north of Spain and Coworking Bansko in the southwest of Bulgaria. Rural coworking is a reality. But what does this reality look like? In the World Café, we want to work with the participants of Coworking Europe 2019 to find out what coworking concepts already exist in rural areas, what foundations they need, what factors determine their success, and how they should be helped.

In five sessions…

  1. “Rural Coworking concepts”
  2. “Key points to success”
  3. “Funding and Sustainability,”
  4. “Free Session” for urgent questions
  5. “Outlook: What’s next?”

…we want to understand the topic of coworking in rural areas together, work out essential insights, and develop a vision of how to further develop the topic. We want to understand what works so far, what we still lack, and who or what can help us to advance the topic. We look forward to your support at our World Café at Coworking Europe 2019.

Johanna Voll, Christian Cordes, Tobias Kremkau