Last week, over 400 delegates convened for the annual Coworking Europe Conference in Dublin, Ireland. The energy and creativity were apparent, and the conversations left us feeling renewed and positive about the future of coworking and power of connections. Here are the five things I learned at the Coworking Europe 2017 Conference.
#1: The first thing I learned, I learned right off the plane. Dubliners must be the friendliest, most entertaining group of people I have ever met. This may not seem to pertain to Coworking, but it does; it was an ‘in your face’ reminder that positive connection with people is one of the things that makes life better. It is the reason why sharing, be it an airport, a car ride, a home or a workplace is the way.
#2: I learned some great and useful tips. For example, a) when hiring, pay particular attention to the candidate’s natural inclination for curiosity – these will likely be the best curators; b) use smaller pots for coffee, which naturally requires people to make coffee for frequently and therefore linger longer in the kitchen where some of the very best serendipitous moments can occur, and c) don’t forget that each new member is an opportunity to reframe the community.
#3: I learned that coworkers are yearning for networks. Through the Coworking Wiki (all things coworking) there is already a Global Visa opportunity where coworking operators can voluntarily sign up to open their space for one free day to any other coworking member around the world. Coworking operators are one-by-one reaching out individually to create partnerships to strengthen their reach for their members. This is also happening through commercial partnerships like LiquidSpace and CloudVO’s Global Touchdown Network, as well as others.
#4: I learned that we are an industry where a lot of small pieces continue to make a large global impact: we allow digital nomads to thrive yet be carefree, we promote sustainability in a world of waste, we provide hospitality and global connections – in real life, not just online, and we are ourselves, creating new technologies and new ways of doing business to make our operations more efficient and effective for our members. Why else would the Lord Mayor of Dublin greet us not once, formally at our conference, but a second time at City Hall (photo below), to commit the city’s support of our work?
#5: I learned (but already knew) that coworking operators are an enormously creative, vibrant group of people, which I am glad to be a part of.