“When talent, passion and innovation are concentrated in a place, things aren’t bound to happen, they will happen!” This lovely quote defines “the reason why” there is an increasing number of travellers working around the globe in common shared spaces – co-working spaces.
Imagine if you’ve found your passion and you’re a self-employed individual dedicating days and months to improving your ideas. However, instead of sitting alone in an office, you are in a cool vibrant place surrounded by other passionate folks. Folks who might work on something completely unrelated to your activities, but with the same state of mind: sharing, exchanging and helping each other out. Why? It is simple, the environment affects you tremendously and creating a mutual idea-sharing platform is beneficial for everyone. Therefore, all around the world, we see industrial places being transformed into collective spots, where the only thing that really counts is the quality of human interaction.
Sounds interesting? Well, here is a selection of some of the best co-working platforms around Europe.
Located in the most creative city in Belgium, LikeBirds‘ ambition is to create a better place where freelancers, creative entrepreneurs and other inspiration seekers, can build and grow their business! This inspiring place now buzzes with a second hand pop-up store for clothing & co and regular events organised by its founder Vicky Persyn, who turned an empty industrial building into a cosy place. High ceilings, big windows, great coffee and a very diverse crowd of creatives: it is all that every freelancer could wish for in Ghent!
Bulgarian pastries, ancient ruins, handmade origami lamps, family vibes, rakia, hacker culture and a surprisingly tech ecosystem – these are some of the expectations you might have before entering Sofia’s co-working scene.
From hacking to CV design, education to e-commerce, software engineering to journalism and caffeinated drinks – Betahaus Sofia is home to a comprehensive cross-section of the Bulgarian tech scene. The industrial space previously served as a call centre and it is right in the middle of a sleepy residential quarter. Nevertheless, the dynamic is definitely not missing thanks to the distilled energy of the Sofia tech scene. Definitely a place worth working in!
Poligon or Pop Up Dom, as locals call it, is a project of several Slovenians dedicated to bringing a change to the community. And three years after opening the doors in 2012, Poligon Creative Center has already had a major impact on the future of the Slovenian creative sector. Located in Ljubljana’s abandoned tobacco factory, Tobačna, the co-working space started an important conversation about alternative solutions to unemployment, and support for creatives through crowdfunding and co-working. Poligon hosts events several times a week, which focus on tech, media, design, exhibitions and film screenings. It is definitely not to be missed out on!
Impact Hub Geneva
On the surface Impact Hub Geneva is an open space where people who care about the world, can meet, work, learn, share, host events, design products and services, or simply enjoy a lunch together in the community kitchen. At its heart though, Impact Hub is about caring and developing a diverse range of programs through trainings, expert support and other resources to enable entrepreneurial ventures of purpose-driven teams and individuals. Proof is the latest crowdfunding campaign to create scholarship funds to empower young people to take action for a better world!
A cool co-working space in Riga – Birojnica, is set up like a cafe, but also gives you a desk to work at. It is based on a 3 in 1 concept principle – a creative community to meet new people, a workspace, and a conference/lecture space. For those of you who’ve decided to spend a day there, they offer a Free Wi-Fi connection and a selection of various teas and snacks, as well as surprisingly good coffee. You can become a regular member after you buy a subscription for a day/week or month, or just drop by the trendy “Berga Bazars” shopping arcade to buy a cup of coffee in Birojnica when you need some free internet time.
Platforma Art Zavod Kiev
Literally translated as “art factory platform”, Platforma Art Zavod promotes activities including creative industry events from visual art to software development. Thanks to a developer more than 6,000 sq metre of industrial space in Kiev has been transformed and now it serves as an exhibition, learning and working space for all enthusiasts!
Wherever or however you are running your business, just remember that there is still the option of joining communities of co-working enthusiasts! Apart from possibly getting fresh ideas for your business, you can enjoy the joy of working in constantly different places. As Gordon Lightfoot said “You just get the vibes of your surroundings and it rubs off on you!”
What’s the coolest co-working space you’ve seen around the world?