Laura, Project Director at Makers of Barcelona in Spain went to Germany in June 2017 to meet Coconat through the European Creative Hubs Network and the Peer-to-Peer Scheme (P2P). This is her article about the experience of exchanging knowledge, creative hub to creative hub.
When work, community and personal life become one harmonical same thing
Why I went to Berlin?
For my P2P exchange I picked Berlin in first place because who doesn’t want to connect with this city? A territory where cultural diversity exists and relates, where since the beginning of times the creative ones have went through, a place for self-expression without being judged, a land where to create and to build freely. And here it comes my second reason why i picked Berlin, to see from near and experience in first person, a different way of working and living together, the co-living lifestyle. And this is how i end up at Coconat and met Julianne, one of the founders.
A normal day at Coconat
It starts with a big breakfast at the coffee shop, you can see how some of the peers sit down in group and others alone, how some of them stay for more than 1 hour and others about 20 minutes. The day after this configuration has changed radically, the groups are different, the lonelys aren’t loney this morning and the individual timeframes have been exchanged.
After breakfast people go to work individually or together, they go to the garden, to the library, to the shared desks, to the terrace (i was always there). Others go for a walk to the lake, to ride their bikes or to buy some stuff to the grocery store. Then comes lunch time again, a big long table is set up everyday and a delicious vegetarian meal is served by different local cooks everyday. Everyone mingles again around food, a very unique way of human socialization.
Again people come back to the activities of their desire, again i go to work from the terrace with a pleasant and inspiring view of herbal and frutal fields. To night at dinner time, two of the peers want to share an idea with us. They have designed a serie of workshops for the co-livers to improve their personal and working life when having fun with their community members. Ann and Cris (the two designers) met a month ago at Coconut and now are working on a project together.
Coconut’s community is a living thing that is expanded, reshaped and contracted every single minute by its members and this is the beauty, the magic and the growing thing that makes it unique and to stay there forever.
My trip to the big city
While being 50’ away by train from Berlin i decided to spend some time there to explore and connect with others within the community, sharing, entrepreneur and creative world. Even though i just knew two people in Berlin, i got to meet and hang out with different people every day thanks to the spirit of our ecosystem, contacts of contacts open me their doors, shared their ideas and their wildest challenges. Because an ecosystem is a living organism where things and people are plugged in and out organically. Where the relations of its members is horizontal and the exchange of value is the only reason why.
The reinvention of an established model
There was a time when to have a fixed job, at the same office, with the same colleagues from 9am to 5pm was a milestone and a “well done, you have secured your life”. Around me this milestone doesn’t exist. Instead what i hear is “im moving to work from Tel Aviv for the next two months”, “I’m launching a new project in education”, “Do you know any good coworking space in Stockholm?” For the first time in history we can design our own lifestyle, is not for everyone, is not easy and unfortunately is not available for everyone yet, but we can decide on where, how, when and why to work and live. We can merge this if we want, we can share this if we want and we can change it when we want. Communities and networks are out there, we just plug in or out when is time.