Coworking in Washington D.C. may sound a bit unnecessary. Don’t all the lobbyists and lawmakers already work in giant blocks of grey concrete on Capital Hill? While you may think of D.C. as a city of politicians, policy wonks and paper-pushers, it is actually home to a surprising number of coworking spaces. What’s more, they are increasingly modern and innovative. Perhaps the city that is home to the most powerful government in the world is learning that it needs an army of freelancers, entrepreneurs and designers to continuously oil the creative gears of the United States’ capital city.
The public sector is now ready to contribute to financing coworking spaces, and will do so by tapping into calls for projects and creating partnerships. However, from the perspective of coworking spaces, there is a challenge when figuring out how to remain independent and avoid being forced to live on a constant income of public subsidies. Spaces, project developers and backers are now building partnerships and we will maybe one day see numerous public employees taking a coffee break alongside young entrepreneurs. In between the space of such meetings, Deskmag interviewed three spaces to better understand how the public sector is currently starting to integrate into the dynamic of coworking.
LiquidSpace, the web and mobile platform, which aims to facilitate the process of finding on-demand work and meeting spaces in the US, received US$ 1.3 million in additional funding this week. The money will be added on to the US $11 million in funding raised since 2010. According to the company, the support comes from two new strategic investors—Steelcase and the CBRE Group, two bigger companies that are also involved in the workspace industry.
The Coworking Visa is prized for its flexibility, allowing coworkers to move between coworking spaces around the world with ease. Based on geniality and mutual understanding between spaces, the visa seems like a wonderful way to maximize the mobility that many coworkers treasure. However, can this flexibility and mobility be stretched too far and suddenly a blessing becomes a curse?
Writing for a targeted publication such as Deskmag can have certain side effects, namely that you begin to pass the information around you through the broad filter of freelancing and coworking. You hear an album that was recorded in the artist’s bedroom and think about self-determination and access to cheap technology. You see a film about pirates and think about organization and collaboration. And you work as freelancer and think about the origin of this term.
All of the coworking conferences, unconferences or barcamps happening all over the world, are now taking on a big assignment. They are expected to keep up the momentum within the coworking community, while simultaneously presenting the most current state of the coworking movement. But these trends are changing fast, and it has become difficult to predict what they will be from one year to the next.
Coworking Spaces and the reinvention of the US Midwest—With the mention of coworking spaces one usually thinks of large, tech savvy cities that have always been in the world spotlight, such as New York City or London. But as the coworking movement has spread, it has now caught the interest of smaller cities. In the US Midwest coworking spaces have begun to open, largely in parallel with the evolution of the tech industry, driving the development of new industries in the US Midwest.