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Coworking Holiday Cheer

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December is the time of year when people push their laptop aside (guilt-free) and come together to share in good spirit and, hopefully, good food. Deskmag wanted to know what kind of shenanigans coworking spaces around the world were teeing up for the Holiday season in order to give back and reach out to their community. There were some creative responses, some funny responses, some interesting responses. We chose two responses that we felt captured both the season and the spirit of coworking, and hope that their acts of giving will put a smile on your face at this time of year.

The Downtown LA Drupal members had clearly been planning the evening of the 16th for a while. The evening kicked off with an info session, a round of lightning talks, job announcements, and a community Q&A, giving individuals the opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions and get an overall sense of clarity. All the while light refreshments were served, courtesy of Exaltation of Larks (another local business, tick).

It also set the scene for the remainder of the evening, which was about mingling and networking. Everyone knows this gets easier with every glass of holiday merriment, so the folks at Droplabs also organised an open invite Holiday Party, then even those who weren’t in the mood to moot ideas during the Q&A session were involved.

In true coworking spirit, the fruits of the party were the responsibility of everyone attending. People were asked to bring along their favourite snack or tipple, and were encouraged to share their plans on the forum beforehand, to avoid an entire evening of variations of potato salad and Safeway’s finest red wine. (This is very clever – and has been duly noted for my next dinner party.)

The evening tended to the Holiday needs of both their own community and the wider community, but prior to the party, Downtown LA Drupal members extended their hand to a less fortunate community, organising a food drive for the LA Food Bank and Occupy Los Angeles. Party-goers were asked to, aside from their party fare, take a little non-perishable something to be donated to the two charities, one of which distributes food to over 640 charitable organisations. How’s that for wide-reaching goodwill?

Nothing says community more than an open-invite holiday party and a food drive. Downtown LA Drupal members, at Droplabs in Los Angeles, did just that. And we think they are a worthy winner of our Holiday contest.

An honourable mention must go to Domènech 7 in Barcelona, who opened our eyes to different cultural celebrations. Tió de Nadal, whose anthems engendered many a giggle, may just make an appearance in our own 2012 festivities.

Coworkers at Domènech 7 gave life to Catalan mythology, and spent their evening drinking wine and thrashing a Christmas log, affectionately named Caga tió, in order to encourage defecation (of the log, not each other), while singing traditional anthems. Those of you who are interested to read more, which I strongly encourage, can find out from the Tió de Nadal Wikipedia page.

We hope these two stories have made you smile, and that all of you enjoyed Holiday celebrations of your own. Happy Holidays from the Deskmag team.

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