Conferences and Events

COWORK2023—No Work Today!?

Mar 30, 2023
COWORK2023—No Work Today!?

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending COWORK2023 (Cowork), a conference that brings together German-speaking coworking enthusiasts and professionals. The conference was spread over three days, starting with a tour and keynote at the innovative Utopiastadt in Wuppertal, followed by Barcamp sessions and a closing event at the vibrant Coworkit coworking space in Solingen.

View from the former railway platform at Utopiastadt into the sunset

Utopiastadt is a unique cultural hub located in Wuppertal, Germany. Housed in a former railway station (rebuilt in parts by volunteers), Utopiastadt brings together a diverse community of entrepreneurs, artists, and freelancers under one roof. The location offers a variety of workspaces, event areas, and opportunities for collaboration, making it an ideal location for the first day of the conference. After a tour of this remarkable venue, we took part as a supporting member at the annual assembly of the German Coworking Federation (GCF) to review the past year and discuss the future. The conference began with a warm opening, followed by an insightful keynote by Maria Herrmann and Jens Kummermehr about resilience—and what faith has to do with it. After that, we eased into an evening of conversations and catch-ups with friends from the coworking industry.

The second day took us to Coworkit in Solingen, a coworking space in the shell of a former factory. As a memory of the industrial past, this made it the perfect venue for the Barcamp sessions about new work and the future of work. We are always overwhelmed by how many participants volunteer to suggest topics, so the day was quickly filled with more tracks than anticipated, but moderators Doris Schuppe and Beate Mader handled it like pros.

One of the many Barcamp sessions that took place on Saturday

Of course, we couldn’t participate in each session that span from Community building basics to how coworking helps with sustainability, but we did like to share some highlights we took part in.

In the “Coworking and Municipalities” session, participants discussed the importance of coworking spaces in revitalizing urban centers and the need for better collaboration between coworking spaces and local governments. The conversation highlighted the necessity for improved understanding and support for coworking initiatives by municipalities. It also was self-critical. For example, the common route of relying on project funding means that it usually runs out within two years. This leads to coworking initiatives that can create precarious job positions, counter to their stated mission. Some inspiring and challenging ideas were exchanged.

The “European Coworking Day” session led by Claudius Krucker focused on establishing a new annual event held on May 10th to raise awareness of coworking in Europe. Participants shared ideas for promoting coworking through local events and collaborations, emphasizing the need for better communication and content to raise awareness about the European coworking community. It was good to bring different players to the table and establish some facts as to why a European coworking day is a good idea.

Our CEO Thilo hosted a session “Enterprise Processes in Coworking Spaces”, attendees discussed ways to enhance the coworking experience for enterprise clients. Suggestions included offering personalized introductions, facilitating pricing and negotiations through third-party platforms, and providing clear instructions and expectations to prevent misunderstandings between corporate clients and coworking operators. It helped us to gather insight into which parts of Cobot’s coworking software can help to incorporate the required processes and communication.

Our CPO Kristina took the opportunity to rally present coworking spaces from Berlin and Brandenburg to kick off the preparation for the Berlin Brandenburg Coworking Festival 2024. The session was meant to share experiences from past events and discuss plans for the upcoming 2023 edition. Attendees agreed on the importance of defining the festival’s target audience and goals, as well as improving the organization and communication between all parties involved.

No Cowork conference would be complete without the coworking quiz, which once again kept everyone engaged and entertained until the late evening—thanks to surprising facts and figures given to the audience by Dr. Alexandra Bernhard. Congrats to the winners of the golden CowOrKing Cow which now enjoys the sun in Spain.

Many had still energy after such an intense day and danced until tired to tunes mixed by the local DJ crew of beatzundkekse.

Our CTO Alex and Cobot taking a well-deserved rest at the end of the day

The final day of the Cowork2023 Conference began with a coffee-fueled networking session, followed by Andreas Schulz's keynote on “Crisis Intervention.” Participants then engaged in the IDEAWalk, brainstorming ideas and best practices for topics like energy resilience, cost-saving, coworker retention, and staying grounded during challenging times.

Afterward, attendees shared their findings in the “What's NEXT?” session, exploring potential next steps for coworking spaces. The conference concluded with a closing ceremony that included the announcement for the next conference on April 26-28, 2024.

The Cowork2023 Conference was a fantastic opportunity to (re)connect, learn, and share ideas with like-minded individuals in the coworking industry. We're grateful for the chance to be a part of this remarkable event and look forward to participating in the next Cowork. Let's continue working together to strengthen the coworking community and foster collaboration, growth, and innovation!


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