The collaborative community formed in coworking spaces is characterized by fluidity, flexibility, mutual understanding, and trust among members of the space. The role of hosts or community managers of coworking spaces is crucial for the aesthetics and ambiance that each space represents and diffuses to its members and customers. Community management is a process of blurring the boundaries between activities that require communication, interaction, and reciprocity.
A coworking community is a story of stories
If we seek for a definition on the concept of community, then a collaborative goal is definitely the central point. Each member’s and host’s experience is built around this common goal that can take various forms!
The concept of community in franchises and independent spaces differs a lot. Each concept is based on the forms of relationships among coworkers and between managers and coworkers. The parameters that reveal these relationships are values, such as trust and the ambiance created, such as coziness. Sharing your needs is a one-way street. Hence it is an experience that all members of a coworking space will collect at some point. The truth is that most coworking spaces are hybrid forms. As a result, there are many variations of community and collaboration narratives.
Finally, the narrative of the community constructed in each coworking space is not introverted and isolated from the larger public space. The spaces are urban meeting points in the city and they have an impact on their surroundings. Depending on the relationship they seek with the public sphere, they are accelerators of growth for startup entrepreneurship, intervention and activism for public policies, and social action and contact with the neighborhood around them.
Social impact begins from understanding someone’s needs after listening patiently and carefully. Taking advantage of impromptu happenings and serendipity moments is a great start! Unexpected experiences are what make a coworking community look like a group of friends, colleagues, or strangers at the same time. Whatever you pick, it’s your choice, as long as it helps you flourish!
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/featureimage-scaled.jpg10132560Dimitris Manoukashttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngDimitris Manoukas2022-09-28 11:00:342022-09-30 09:33:38What makes a coworking community thrive is you
Last six months, we had the pleasure to host George and Carla, a couple of marketers who traveled with their family from Barcelona to Athens! We talked with them about their international marketing projects and their experience as a family in Athens. We also inspired them to create content featuring Stone Soup! As part of his content creation aspirations, George just completed a Videography course in SAE! Stone Soup proudly starred in his first attempt at directing a corporate video!
Firstly, we asked them how they got involved in marketing as well as the pros and cons of working remotely. Before the family came to Athens they added many pins to the European map. Carla started working remotely back in 2015 after quitting her job at SoundCloud in Berlin. Back then she had already been away from her homeland, Spain, for 10 years and she was looking forward to finding her way back home. A friend was the one who connected her with a big digital project. Ever since she has remained working remotely either as a freelancer or in a permanent position. She describes her first few years as a “rollercoaster” as she craved social interaction with other team members. However, she now admits that she has mastered it and she truly enjoys the freedom she gets from working remotely. From her current perspective, going back to her previous life with a 9-5 office job seems distant and weird.
As for George, remote working came along with his promotion to a Regional Marketing Manager at SAE Institute 7 years ago. He points out that getting to work from anywhere as long as you have WiFi is very tempting. You only have to find the strength to defeat the “pyjamas syndrome”. Professionally his main challenge was to train, manage and inspire a team of young professionals exclusively from a distance. Interactions are limited to online tools and this fact consequently limits the dynamics between people.
Marketing projects they are proud of
Their positions as marketers granted them the opportunity to work remotely and enjoy traveling all over Europe at the same time. They involve themselves in many facets of marketing, so we wanted to know more about their interests in this continuously expanding creative field. Carla enjoys working on digital marketing strategies. She loves thinking of ways to find the target audience of her clients online. She also finds challenging to plan out multiple a/b experiments to test what type of targeting may perform the best. As for George, he prefers working on social media projects as there is a more direct interaction with the audience. Aside from that, he likes running event promotion projects, as they move faster, with a greater variety in designs.
Working in the marketing field means that you are designing projects that can be both impactful and creative! We asked our members to pick a couple of marketing campaigns they dealt with that are worth mentioning. George feels quite proud of a marketing campaign he runs across five countries, promoting a new portfolio of Games Production courses. It was challenging as he had to overcome cultural and market diversity issues and manage to create consistent storytelling. Carla could not help but point out that she is currently running a campaign to promote the platform adeccojobsforukraine.com. It is a portal created to connect employers with refugees and this goal motivates her to give her best. Any employer can sign up and upload their vacancies and the displaced workers can upload their CVs. It operates as an effective matchmaking platform supporting all the Ukrainians in this terrible moment of their life.
Traveling to Athens
Their story continued in Athens, where they have been staying for the last six months. Together with their one-year-old daughter, Emma, they traveled to the Greek capital and decided to try focusing on their marketing ideas from here. They both agree that Athens is a lively and exciting city with plenty of things to do and international people to meet. They comment that strolling around may not be that easy but there are so many nice spaces to go to, like the Niarchos Foundation and the National Garden. There is no doubt that having a family limits the number of outings they can have. However, they have realized that there are also plenty of international families in Athens as well, even in Stone Soup!
Why work from a coworking space?
Working from a coworking space can help in achieving a work-life balance. They find it motivating to leave the house and add some flavor to their work life. If the coworking space neighborhood is full of choices (as it is in the case of Stonesoup), then even better! This way they can also pursue their interests as well. For example, aside from their marketing work Carla is exploring the digital art scene and curates content for her Digital Art District project on Instagram. They both find it inspiring to stay creative so they also do some paste-up street art together every now and then (instagram.com/lovnoir). When we asked them what is their biggest motivation lately, they passionately agreed that their number one mission and success story is named Emma, their fantastic daughter that rules their colorful world!
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/GEORGECARLA.jpg7121800Dimitris Manoukashttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngDimitris Manoukas2022-04-19 10:56:552022-04-19 14:48:28An Expat Family In Athens: Working On International Projects Remotely
Hello, my name is Emmanouela and I am 22 years old! I have just started my internship at Stone Soup coworking space and I come from the island of Rhodes, Greece. I have been living in Athens for four years now doing my studies, but I hope to stay here much longer. Studying Marketing and Communication at the Athens University of Economics and Business. At the same time, I have also enrolled in an another school where I study Interior Architecture and Design. My professional future will definitely be in the creative sector!
This summer I decided to do my internship and I couldn’t have made a better choice than Stone Soup. Stone Soup is a social enterprise promoting a great and innovative philosophy about a new way of working. Before Stone Soup, I was not familiar with the concept of cooperative workspaces and I was very interested to learn more about it. After some research and observation, I came to the conclusion that coworking spaces are the best choice for those who work alone remotely because they have a lot to offer both on a social and professional level.
My expectations at Stone Soup coworking space
The main ingredient I am bringing at Stone Soup is my digital marketing skills. More specifically, I will be cooking the website’s digital analytics and I will be creating content for social media. Digital media should mirror the cozy ambiance of the coworking space and the diverse background of its members. By communicating our everyday life through social media, more people will have the opportunity to get to know the community and the values of Stone Soup.
I am sure that during my internship, I will gain many other skills that will help me in my professional career. Improving my communication skills and my digital literacy are just some of them. I’ll also have the opportunity to get in touch with new people from different places and various cultures. I am looking forward to it!
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Coworking-space-intern-cover-scaled.jpg17072560Dimitris Manoukashttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngDimitris Manoukas2021-07-28 15:19:292021-07-28 15:19:29A new summer intern at our coworking space!
Can AI create poetry? Will driverless cars navigate through Athens anytime soon? Will Facial Recognition Technologies be deployed in public places? One of our latest members can suggest many potential answers to these intriguing questions. Sacha analyses ethical guidelines and suggests policy frameworks on artificial intelligence (AI). She works for the nonprofit think-tank The Future Society that focuses on AI policy and ethics. We had the chance to speak with her about her research on AI and the role of women in tech, a field that she is motivated to promote.
Getting into the tech industry and AI policy
Sacha is Franco-Chilean. She was raised in Paris and studied politics, philosophy, and economics in the UK, France, and the US. During her Master’s studies in International Affairs in Paris, she participated in an exchange program in Boston. This decision was a turning point for her career in AI policy. It is during this exchange program that she met the co-founder and president of The Future Society, Nicolas Miailhe. While in Boston she became accustomed to AI and digital innovation, but also to the lack of women and minorities present in this field.
She is an inspiring example to everyone who loves traveling and experiencing new ways of working with others. Furthermore, she did research about the lack of women in the tech sector: the gap is huge for reasons that are both social and economic. Her studies led her to argue that diversity (ethnic, gender, socio-economic, political) is an important factor to boost productivity and creativity in the workplace.
From theory to practice: working on responsible AI adoption
Once back in Paris, Sacha was able to reconnect with The Future Society’s co-founder and evolve in an innovative, rapidly changing field. The Future Society specializes in the ethics and governance of AI while advancing its responsible adoption for the benefit of humanity. At the same time, they support the empowerment and active voice of women in tech. In the upcoming month, Sacha will work on Tunisia’s AI National Strategy.
She has also conducted research on different relative topics. These include the ethical challenges for the adoption of contact tracing apps, and the use of AI to fight against the pandemic (with the Global Partnership for AI). As a side project, she built a whole digital community of Affiliates, coming from 20 countries, to advance responsible AI adoption globally and support the organization’s workstreams. They share their views and experiences through a Slack group while using the Signal app for chatting.
Digital innovation & AI policy for a sustainable society
Sacha’s research on AI policy is about finding the right balance between capturing the upsides of AI and limiting its risks.
AI development can lead to curated educational programs and healthcare self-diagnosis on one hand, and online surveillance and political disinformation on the other. For example, Sacha notes that digital contact tracing apps used during the pandemic may be very helpful to identify clusters and limit the spread of the virus. But on the other hand, citizens may not use these apps, even when the design achieves high levels of data privacy, as they have lost trust in governmental authorities and are suspicious of technology using sensitive data! Moreover, Sacha underlined the example of automatization of work. Automatization done correctly can bring work-life balance with less working hours, more free time, and same or higher salary. We must change the way we think about labor values and measurements of productivity, she adds. Lifelong learning can help prepare workers for upskilling and repurposing of work goals and practices.
“It is important to remember that we are still at the dawn of AI adoption, so many paths are possible. We tend to think that the course of technology is linear, when actually we can collectively decide upon its trajectory.”
How does AI relate to remote work?
Digital innovation and AI policy are definitely related to coworking practices! So we asked Sacha to suggest tips and apps we can use while working remotely to keep our private data safe:
Using a Protonmail
Trying the Signal app
Connecting to a VPN
Installing an Adblocker is such a relief!
Checking the cookies on a website is truly crucial too! Let’s learn to avoid the “accept all” option!
The EU currently has one of the most regulated frameworks in the world (GDPR) so it takes two seconds to check your cookies!
The pandemic is an awakening call that teaches us to be able to organize ourselves in distance and work remotely. This can happen on a personal level. We learned from Sacha that Greece kickstarted the process to draft its AI strategy last summer. This builds on other local ongoing initiatives, such as the “AI and Rule of Law” Roundtable, which happens every October. According to the Chair Of the AI and Rule Law initiative, Nicolas Economou, who organized the second annual Athens Roundtable on “AI and the rule of law” last October, this is a very promising initiative that will also help Greece digitize its public sector.
Advocating for more women in tech
During her exchange in Boston,Sacha researched the reasons behind the lack of women and minorities in the tech sector. She shared some shocking numbers! According to a report published in 2019, there are only 18% of women researchers in the field of AI. This inspired her to build curriculums and mentorship programs in AI policy and ethics to train more women in this field. And we might get a taste because we discussed planning an AI policy and ethics discussion group at Stone Soup too (of course we’ll let you know)!
Working on digital innovation from Athens
Do you know what else boosts Sacha’s creativity? Athens itself! She ended up here during the pandemic when she realized that she doesn’t have to stay in a specific place to work. She admits that the sun makes her more productive. Athens is an underrated city in her opinion, still unnoticed by many apart on their way to the Cyclades, and she characterized it as the Berlin of the Mediterranean! She loves how the city flourishes artistically while conserving its original vibes. Because of her work, Sacha is often thinking about the future, and in Athens, she finds the perfect balance to live in the present as well. And we are happy to add her ingredients to our pot!
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Coworking-empowers-a-lifestyle-of-diversity-v7-scaled.jpg17072560Dimitris Manoukashttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngDimitris Manoukas2021-06-04 14:49:292021-06-04 14:49:29Empowering women in tech and advocating for ethical AI
Monday to Sunday: Members access Stone Soup according to their membership type