Archivi categoria: In English

Read all English content of the official Cowo blog, with stories on the coworking space network operating with +50 spaces in Italy and Spain.

Coworking according to public institutions: 3 questions to Mrs. Cristina Tajani, Council Member for Work’s policies of the Municipality of Milan (Italy).

Mrs. Cristina TajaniMrs. Tajani might well be the first politician ever to conceive a structured plan for a public-funded financial support to Coworking Communities and Spaces.

The city of Milan has been giving support to Coworking Communities both in form of vouchers to be used by Coworkers, and in  form of public funding  to space owners in order to improve security and infrastructures.

1 – Coworking and Institutions: what has changed and what is changing in Milan?

Tajani – Since we started the work with the previous municipal administration, we have always considered  work as constantly evolving.

This is why we have tried to enhance all the expressions of work that changes.

Coworking is an expression of this change, where the value of  work is given by the relationships, and is free from the idea of “fixed place”.

Talking about Coworking, the Municipality’s attention, was primarily focused on not creating initiatives in competition with the existing ones, and secondly in developing a system of incentives that would help this work moxe to become established and consolidated.

These measures,  started in 2013, consisted of the implementation of a double measure.

On one hand, the creation of a qualified list of Coworking service providers – a register of spaces recognized by the City of Milan which certify  the offer on the territory.

On the other hand, the creation of vouchers for users, who were able to benefit – in 2013 and 2015 – of a reimbursement given by the Municipality covering the 50% of the costs incurred for the use of Coworking spaces, up to 1,500 Euro per year.

Finally, it is important to remember that last August the calls for support for Coworking, FabLab and Maker Space spaces in Milan were approved, with incentive measures, both for the spaces not yet accredited in the official list of the Municipality, and for those that already are, for a total amount of about 370,000 euros.

This renews and witnesses, after the funds already disbursed in 2013 (122,598 euros) and 2015 (567,566 euros), the commitment – tangible, in terms of economic resources – of the Municipality of Milan to support the ecosystem of new working places.

2 – Why is the City of Milan interested in Coworking?

Tajani – As Administration, we must not only decipher, but also anticipate changes.

We have been active in this for over 6 years, trying to capture the signs of change and to amplify them … this is the role of the municipal administration as well.

With this in mind, we launched the “Smart Working  – Agile Working” Day four years ago: an initiative promoted by the Municipality and addressed to the entire Milanese professional ecosystem, aimed at allowing employees and freelances to work out of office for a day.

The choice of “where to work” is left to the subjects involved, but the Municipality has sensitized companies and professional operators about the Coworking option.Settimana del Lavoro Agile 2017: i Coworking che aderiscono

Thanks to this project, one of the positive outputs that have been recorded has been the increasing use of Coworking spaces by companies, which in many cases weren’t aware of this possibility.

The “Smart Working – Agile Working” initiative promoted by the City of Milan has had a growing response, with satisfaction of all the subjects involved, year after year, to the point that this year (2017) the day was extended to a week, and the initiative expanded also to the Metropolitan City of Milan and in some cases also to the rest of Italy.

It is increasingly recognized, by those who are active  on these fronts, that you can be 100% productive even without being physically present in the workplace, favoring more sustainable choices from the point of view of life quality ( near home, fewer travel time, less use of the car, less pollution, more time for the family and personal hobbies).

From the point of view of the employers, it has been tangibly verified, that productivity does not suffer, on the contrary, the performance of those who practice the Smart Working is better.

3 – Is it possible for the commitment of the City of Milan on Smart Working and Coworking being an example for the rest of Italy, and possibly Europe?

Tajani – We are aware of which role a city like Milan can play on the national  and international scene.

In this sense, we try to develop projects and practices that can – if necessary – be taken up again by other administrations, with whom we maintain relations of collaboration and mutual support.

We have tested how the most valid ideas that arise in Milan sometimes find interest and local applications elsewhere; we have just talked about extending the “Smart Working – Agile Working” intiative far beyond our city, as well ad for other activities and projects of the Administration.

Coworking a Milano: informazioni e incentivi economici


Improving our International Conversation: enjoy more Coworking posts in English!

More Coworking posts in English on the Cowo blogWe are happy to see an increasing attention from non-Italian readers, wow!

In some cases they are potential coworkers interested in the services of our spaces during their travelling, in some other cases they’re just simple readers, who enjoy going through our Cowo® news.

Well, thank you for your attention, international friends!

To get closer, and make Google translator work… a little less, we’re managing to publish posts in English more often, so that it will be easier for English-speaking readers to have a better understanding of what we do, why we do it, where we do it and so on.

Besides the posts on this blog – which is our #1 website, online since 2009 and carefully updated since then on a weekly basis – non-Italians may enjoy our new International Coworking Platform – – where all the 130 Cowo® spaces are listed with a whole set of info, photos, contact details etc.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our Coworking Manifesto – English Version, the 10 points on “what is Coworking for us”, written in 2011 and online since then.

(The manifesto is available also in French, Spanish, German, RussianDutch and Italian of course ).

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The Ten Coworking Commandments. Trying hard to answer the everlasting question “What is Coworking?”

“Coworking” has become a truly ambiguous term.

You may see it on a magazine cover one day, and hear about it at a TEDxConference the next day.

Or, you walk by your neighbourhood, and there it is: the trendy spot offering coffee-and-books-and-desks-and-wifi-and-coworking-and… you name it.What is Coworking? The ten Coworking commandments answer the everlasting question.

Whatever is happening around us, we’re happy about it.

We haven’t forgotten the times when – around 2008-2009 – you had to travel a few hours in order to meet someone aware of Coworking, often at far away barcamps and nonconferences.

It’s no longer so.

It’s a lot different, and it makes a lot of difference – these days – how you use the word.

It’s not a recent trend, it’s been going on for years – maybe reaching climax with WeWork and the such, making the headlines with their super-projects.

As a network of independent spaces, we’ve been feeling like pointing out what this is all about, for us.

For us, and  for the 100+ Coworking Communities that operate with our logo/guidelines/best practices.

For this exact reason,  we wrote down the 10 commandments (!) of Coworking: what is Coworking for the Cowo® Network.

Not only for people, actually: we thought that a clearly-stated community-driven approach might be of interest for other fellow Coworking owners around the world as well.

We did it, and after we did we translated it.

So you can enjoy our Cowo® Manifesto in 7 languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Dutch.

And even if – since we first published it on SlideShare –  it’s been viewed about 77,000 times, here it is again, English version. Apologies to those who know it already.

Last but not least: all Coworking Spaces who join our Network sign a contract, the first lines of which is – guess what? Exactly. The 10 Coworking Commandments ;-)

Hairdressers’ like Coworking spaces? Milan city council’s new regulation helps retailers cope with evolving market, by sharing workspace.

Hairdressers like Coworking Spaces? Yes sir.

Thanks to City Council member Cristina Tajani, if you run a hairdresser’s salon in Milan (Italy), you can now rent some of your seats to other collegues, and such sharing will be regulated by a perfectly legal contract.

Tajani is working for both the citizens of Milano – who can benefit of different services in the same place – and the small retailers coping an evolving market, often facing the shrewd competition of larger and stronger players.

“The retailers can benefit greatly from sharing spaces and coworking with other collegues. 

For this reason we have promoted a new regulation that allows similar professionals, such as hairdressers and beauticians, to share their professional workspace.”

So far the project is involving 70 professionals of wellness and beauty.

The news also fits into a broader context of initiatives that the City of Milan has undertaken during the past years promoting the sharing economy.

The city of Milan isactually one of the most sharing-oriented cities in Europe, with as many as 5 car-sharing company operating, with full satisfaction of the Milanese.

The Europe of coworking meets in Italy: see you in Milan, at the Coworking Europe conference, on november 11 – 12 – 13!

Coworking Europe Milano

As an active coworking community of more than 100 spaces all over Italy, with a spot in Switzerland as well, we are happy to announce that this year the Europe of coworking meets in Italy :-)

We’re talking about the next Coworking Europe Conference, which will take place in Milan – the city where our network started in 2008 – with one of the first coworking spaces in Europe.

After Berlin, Paris, Barcelona and Lisbon, you could very well expect the most important coworking happening of Europe, the Coworking Europe conference, to finally land in Italy, and particularly in Milan, with the partnership of the city council.

The conference will take place in the new coworking space “Ex-Ansaldo” in via Tortona 54.Ex Ansaldo a Milano, spazio coworking

The conference programme has not been released yet, so keep in touch for further details.

For now, just save the dates of November 11 – 12 – 13, 2015.

Visit Coworking Europe Blog

Like the Coworking Europe Facebook page

Follow Coworking Europe on Twitter

In the video below the Cowo® founder Massimo Carraro gives an interview during the 2008 edition in Berlin (interview starts at min 0:32″ ).

The Europe of  coworking meets in Italy: : see you in Milano november 11 – 12 – 13!