Getting ready for Coworking Europe Conference in Berlin. (Are we?).

In a few weeks the Coworking Europe Conference will take place in Berlin.

We have participated in the 2010 edition – held in Brussels – with a video and the presentation “What will be the future of coworking? Seven Cowoideas”, which introduced the Cowo network to the European audience. How nice.

It’s a honour to be invited again for the 2011 event, to speak about our project during the friday morning panel (nov. 4th), where the speakers are supposed to discuss the following:

“Should you start a coworking space as part of a coworking chain, brand or network?”

Mmmm… I’m afraid we don’t have an answer to this (and the fact we are a network doesn’t necessarily demonstrate anything).

The way we see it, Cowo is not really about creating a network, it’s more about

telling people not involved in incubators/coworking/innovation they can actually be incubators/coworkers/innovators, by sharing their space.

In other words, we feel more like extending the coworking idea, enlarging the coworking map, broadening the coworking concept by involving more and more people… rather than building a network.

In this respect, it doesn’t really matter if you join a network or start on your own, because

the difference is in the people, not in the organization form.

If Cowo has some value, it’s because of the people in all the Cowo spaces, who bring energy, ideas, involvement, events, participation (online and offline) to the project. The network is the people, really.

Case in point: I got interrupted while writing this post, by someone due to open a Cowo space in a few days. Architect, owns a beautiful studio, is willing to share his space, experience, opportunities.

For him, coworking is nothing but the platform. And the Cowo network is nothing but the activator.

What matters is that he met someone who got him interested in coworking, and he’s about to open his space.

Whether he’ll be happy and satisfied with coworking will not be determined by his space belonging to a network, but by him being able to form a coworking community at his place.

Once again: the difference is in the people.

Well… time to work on some slides now! :-)

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