Every single time we meet to talk about coworking, the same question pops up:
“Ok, but what’s coworking, really?”
At that point, somebody usually giggles.
The question is important, of course, but the answer is not a single and “stable” one, as the whole process is constantly changing.
To clear up – to us, first of all – what we’re talking about, in 2011 we felt the need to summarize our own answer as Cowo: that’s why we wrote the ten points of the Cowo Manifesto.
While the English version of the Cowo Manifesto on SlideShare has received more than 23,000 visits so far, we still feel about going deeper on its points.
After examining point number 10 “Coworking is a labour of love“, today let’s go straight to number 1:
Coworking is just a word. Only real people give it meaning.
The Manifesto could well stop here, given the importance of this aspect.
But there is more to say, on this: community and language.
It’s true, coworking is made of walls, chairs, desks and wifi, but it’s even truer that if you don’t have even a small group of people, that place is just an (empty) office.
Only relationships between people – even just a coffee together from time to time – define “coworking” as such.
Then, language: the attention to words is key for us at Cowo, as the network has developed thanks to word-of-mouth, an important and peculiar way of communications.
For all these reasons, the first point of our Cowo Manifesto focuses on community – it’s a way of saying:
If you don’t have a community… just don’t use the word “coworking”, you mind? :-)
Below, the English version: