Valencia — what an amazing city! It’s Spain’s third largest metropolis and also its third largest coworking area.
From April 24–25th, the Las Naves Colaborative Space was center stage for the 4th Coworking Conference Spain. Almost as spectacular as the Fallas (the local, traditional festival week here), the discussion got heated during the two days of conference, dedicated to the motto “Shared City.”
Find the complete program here.
For the opening remarks, Alex Hillman from Indy Hall was invited to share his experiences by answering community questions. If you’d like to hear what he had to say, you can watch this video and see how he answers questions like “What actions can I take to built up a community?” and “How can I promote my coworking space?”
The key presentation about the “Shared City” by Albert Cañiguera of OuiShare and Javier Creus from Ideas for Change included many interesting insights and ideas, including that the sharing economy will not do away with the “old powers” as some wish for, but rather introduces “new powers”. You can read more about this idea in this article.
After the opening talks, the program of the conference’s first day was divided in various tracks and workshops. For instance, one of the discussed topics was how public coworking spaces influence private ones. One of the examples given was that public spaces make life hard for private spaces by dumping prices. Is this something coworking spaces in your country have experiences as well?
Another workshop, led by Jessica from Coworking Tres Cantos and César, (who spoke English so we could join), included a brainstorming session to collect ideas about how to build up space networks and strengthen their revenue and social impact.
After this the eventful day came to end, but not without another highlight: a number of conference attendees tried their best at a karaoke competition. Which hidden and extraordinary talents were discovered, and if Thilo, our Cobot team member, was one of them, we’ll keep as a secret.
The second day started like the first, with two big talks before the schedule was divided up in multiple tracks again. We joined a discussion about coworking networks led by Laia Benaiges, member of the XECC, and Diego Tomás Espartal, member of COCOA. They talked about the main goals of their networks: to connect spaces in Spain and strengthen relationships between their coworkers. Generally, in some areas of Spain, coworking is still a relatively unknown phenomenon. The talk made clear that this movement still needs massive support and awareness-raising. We will be happy to be a part of it! Additionally, the coworking networks also want to prove that coworking projects, regardless of their size, can be realized outside of big cities as well.
After a sensational paella lunch, a food which has its origins in the Valencian area, the conference attendees joined either a barcamp or a demo session. In the barcamp, for example, Eduardo Forte from betahaus Barcelona shared his best practices in using videos to successfully promote their space, which received very positive feedback from the audience.
In a different session, the topic was coworking networks and the Coworking Association Spain. Questions like “How could the federation support the spaces’ interests better?” and “Would a coworking certification be possible and useful?” were brought up by the attendees. Unfortunately, there was not enough time left to answer all these questions. We look forward to following the discussion as it is continued, and will keep you updated!
The two-day conference was closed with good food and lively conversations at the Copass dinner, followed by dancing the night away.
We met new and old friends, learned interesting things, and took plenty of inspirational ideas home with which to further improve Cobot.