In the past 3 days, Lisbon hosted more than 300 cowork owners and managers from the 4 corners of the world. Why? Because this year’s Coworking Europe Conference happened in Lisbon at Cinema São Jorge.
Coworking Europe 2014 Lisbon was born from a partnership between Global Enterprise, Cowork Lisboa and the Lisbon Municipality. The goal was to create the most insightful event in Europe regarding the rise of Coworking and its impact on entrepreneurship, innovation and, overall, the future of the workplace.
On day 1, participants had the chance to attend some keynote speeches and panels. This day was clearly focused on learning from each other in a structured way. There was space for all kinds of conversations: the impact of coworking on the real state industry, collaborative economy, the art of managing coworking growth and more.
The next two days were more about peer-to-peer learning with an unconference on the second day and workshops and tours on the 3rd day.
PortugalStartups.com was there to learn more about the coworking industry and besides talking with some coworking owners, we ended up attending a few sessions. Here are some of our most important take aways:
- The reality of coworking spaces is quite different from country to country, even from city to city. In some cities, you can already find a coworking culture where people value to work and network with other people from different areas. In other cities, there is no culture and it’s much more difficult to engage the local community;
- Good hosting and community management is the secret sauce for a successful coworking space. Conversations were focused on activities to engage the coworkers and build communities, on how to measure the impact of the community and how to make sure that even if the coworking space grows, the community stays engaged;
- There is a rise in the number of makerspace and Fablabs that are being created by coworking spaces. This is an interesting way to improve the value proposition of coworking spaces and reach new target groups;
- There are lots of discussions about the future of the workplace and work. Are we going to see more and more freelancers and less big corporations? Are people going to organize themselves in networks instead of companies? How is the workplace going to look like? There is a mix of concern and excitement around the impact technology is and will have in the way we work and the jobs available.
It’s also important to mention the fantastic job the Lisbon Municipality is doing to promote Lisbon as a coworking city. Lisbon has 36 coworking spaces spread around the city and all of them are somehow connected in an informal network for coworking spaces. Below you can find an infographic, prepared by Lisbon Municipality, about the coworking and entrepreneurship ecosystems in Lisbon.
To finalize, is important to note that, according to Deskmag, Portugal is now among the top ten in the world in number of coworking spaces, which validates the success of this working model in our country.