It’s what happens in Alessandria, Italy, where the lab121 group is warming up its future coworking community with events, seminars and meetups.
Alberto Bassi, co-founder of lab121 team, will take part in the first morning panel of the Coworking Conference 2011, in a few days in Berlin.
Awaiting to meet him in person, Cowo thanks him for answering the 5 questions.
Has your own life changed since you practice coworking?
My life is not really changed, but I believe that has improved my way of working. In the coworking network I’m making useful contacts and I’ve done decisive steps in carrying out those projects which which I had thought about for long. I go straighter into my business now.
Is coworking a commodity (i.e. the chance to share an office with little money) or a strategic option (i.e. a platform for all kind of sinergies)?
The economic advantage of renting a temporary office is undeniable, and the strategic opportunity to work side by side with people with skills and expertise different from mine is the most significant advantage. Having a project you can find someone who helps you to develop it, and with a little luck also the buyers.
After all these years of discussing, I think we should know by now if business rhymes with coworking. Does it?
Yes, the rhyme coworking-business works!! But How? Not intended as an immediate economic returns or immediate growth in turnover, but as professional collaboration between coworkers and customers from inside and outside the coworking centres.
Considering the media craze, the flourishing of spaces, the many online tools coworking-related and… why not,this conference itself, do you envision the risk of tranforming coworking in a sort of bubble, where a minority just trying to make money spoils the beauty of the idea, ultimately depriving the word coworking of its true meaning?
I do not fear that coworking can become simply a way to make money by renting a desk. Why? becouse it cannot happen! it’s natural for people to socialize and interact, so even those who rent trivially a desk, will turn to professional collaborations. Lab121 is a nonprofit association that allows members to grow through co-working, so even without the desk the Alessandria coworkers find a way to connect and work!
What are your feelings about coworking as a public service, just like schooling or health services?
I believe that the co-working is partly an evolution of the concept of cooperative learning, already applied in schools: this means that coworking should be a basic service!