Tag Archives: co-working

Freelancer’s Unite

10-01_resources_roadmap_freelancing_ld_imgFreelancing is increasingly common. In my research, I write about the precariouness of entrepreneurial and freelance work so I was very interested to see this post on the Islington Hub’s blog. The article is writen by Enda Brophy (Simon Fraser University), Nicole Cohen (University of Toronto), and Greig de Peuter (Wilfrid Laurier University), researchers working on a project called Cultural Workers Organize, and describes an event called “Freelancers Unite! What rights are we fighting for?”

 Taking inspiration from recent efforts in Berlin to ignite a freelancers’ movement, this event was part of the space’s “50 Days of Freelancing” series. Speakers gave a big-picture view of the spread of independent work and zeroed in on the flipside of making a living in a flexible labour economy. Among concerns that participants shared were clients who don’t pay, pressure to do work for free (or almost free), and uncertain access to contracts following maternity leave. One of the things that the “Freelancers Unite!” event demonstrated is that coworking spaces are promising places for gathering members of a workforce whose trademark dispersal can make it tricky to reflect—and act—on livelihood issues collectively.

Despite the challenges in freelancing, the authors are positive about the oppportunities individuals have through co-working and developing aletrnative models of work. There is a lot of inspirational literature about how individuals can develop coping mechanisms for a better work/life balance but they are not always feasible in a real world context. Joint action and collaborative initiatives have the potential to address some serious issues such as social protections and income security. At this stage, just raising awareness amongst freelancers and cultural entrepreneurs would be a good start!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The importance of unexpected conversations in business.

In his book, The Serendipity Machine, Sebastian Olma describes how one firm in Utrecht, Holland, opened it’s doors to entrepreneurs in exchange for their social network.

Olma uses Seats2meet.com to explore serendipity, also known as a ‘happy accident’, at work. Initially, Seat2meet.com invited individuals to co-work in the lounge area of the office, an underused space, for free. 20 people soon turned into 150 but instead of feeling things had got out of hand, the owners of the business decided to make the most out of the opportunity. Continue reading The importance of unexpected conversations in business.

What is Creative Citizenship?

Today I attended a  Creative Citizens research project meeting held at Birmingham’s Moseley Exchange. I was invited to attend the meeting by one of the co-investigators, Caroline Chapain from the University of Birmingham. The research is partly funded by the AHRC and involves four universities each with their industry or community partners. Continue reading What is Creative Citizenship?