On November 15, RGCS Amsterdam organized the 3rd edition of the researchers’ meetup during the Coworking Europe Conference, which took place in the historic Boekman Library in the center of Amsterdam. This was the perfect place for our event, as one part of the program was the soft launch of the Coworking Library. Around 40 people with different backgrounds took part in the event, mostly conference attendees and people who are interested in coworking research. It was an event full of woman power, as the organizing team as well as the panel participants were all female.

The first part of the program was an exciting panel about Amsterdam’s flexible work spaces. The first researcher, Boukje Cnossen (post-doc at Leuphana University of Lüneburg) told us more about her ethnographic research on creative hubs or ‘art factories’ in Amsterdam, their institutional and ideological backgrounds as well as their usage. The second presenter, Fiza Ahmed (researcher and lecturer at VU University, Amsterdam) shed light on hotel lobbies and how they are used as (co)working spaces. The “shabby chic” design of the lobbies she researched is also common in coworking spaces, whereby coziness and a “living room feeling” is created through the material space. Finally, Julia Schlegelmilch (PhD candidate at VU University, Amsterdam) talked about digital nomads and their (work) spaces, which are often coworking spaces. We learnt more, what drives those persons as well as the challenges they have. The panel went along with a fruitful and lively discussion with the people of the audience, who were very interested in the topics and contributed with their own experiences.

In the second part, Johanna Voll (European University Viadrina) introduced the Coworking Library, an interdisciplinary open online database for coworking research. It is a joint non-profit project by the German Coworking Federation e.V., Deskmag and included.co, supported by Cowork7/24. The audience was very curious about this project and its purposes. Especially students, who are new in the field of coworking, as well as practitioners, who want to know more about existing coworking research, can benefit a lot from this database, as it provides access to all relevant research papers about coworking, which are searchable by keywords and disciplines. For every publication an English abstract will be available. The publications, which are already listed in the Coworking Library, indicate, that coworking research is very interdisciplinary and that not only coworking spaces, but also the interest of scholars to research this phenomenon has been grown tremendously within the last years. At the moment, the Coworking Library is already accepting submissions. We encourage all researchers in the sphere of collaborative spaces to enter their publications. New features will be implemented soon. i.e. an advanced search, a PDF upload and contact links to the authors.

The researchers’ meetup was closed by drinks and informal talks and discussions among the attendees. We thank again our sponsors Leuphana University of Lüneburg and AgoraRDM, that made this event possible, as well as our partners of the event, the Coworking Library and the European Coworking Assembly, whose members did a great job in promoting the event in advance.

We are looking forward to the 4th edition of the researchers’ meetup next year!

The organizing team Boukje Cnossen (Leuphana University of Lüneburg), Johanna Voll (European University Viadrina), and Alexandra Bernhardt (Chemnitz University of Technology)

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