How much do coworking spaces really contribute to the development of skills, to the social and work inclusion of young people? How much and how do they manage to promote solidarity, protagonism, involvement and youth participation? If, however, as it seems, the experiences in this regard are not so comforting, what are the factors that could improve the effectiveness of the action promoted by these “new spaces” for young people? The design idea of Co(youth)working is to allow coworking spaces to have a significant social impact on the reference territory, be an economically sustainable service and support the effective development of the entrepreneurial skills of the young users they host. The promoters aim to open coworking by putting them in a constant dialogue relationship both with the young people who live there and with the external subjects belonging to the local community, fueling a virtuous process of participation, active citizenship and development of the human and social capital of the territory .
The project received € 200,809 in funding from ANG and involves 4 organizations from France (CO-ACTIONS), Portugal (APPJUVENTUDE), Croatia (Nest 01) and the Netherlands (Impact Hub).
The specific objectives of the project are:
- outline the role of the youth worker as a key figure for the management of a coworking space, identifying the necessary skills and the training and development path of the same; in fact, we aim to enhance the animation and youth work approach to support young entrepreneurs and new startups on the one hand, and the human, social and economic development of local communities on the other;
- develop a cross-sector strategy for the management of coworking that combines attention to “social impact” with support for the development of the startups present within them;
- propose a tool, a useful guide for organizations that want to open a coworking space (or innovate the existing one), which is the synthesis of the partners’ experiences: a collection of recommendations, tools, activities, possible resources and risks (and any solutions to be adopted to overcome them);
- enhance the role and involvement of public bodies and territorial networks in the management of coworking spaces, in order to facilitate dialogue between stakeholders, provide a broader vision of the society in which they are inserted, monitor the processes in their continuity, coherence and long-term impact on the territories.
The actions involve the production of 3 innovative tools:
A booklet that contains guidelines and useful indicators for those who manage coworking, which helps to build an open space ready to welcome young people and to encourage the economic and social development of the host community
A list of skills (specific to youth work) that coworking operators must acquire in order to engage young people productively
A website that allows coworking operators to evaluate themselves based on their ability to involve young people