Co(youth) working

How much do coworking spaces really contribute to the development of skills, to social and work inclusion of young people? How much and how do they manage to promote solidarity, protagonism, involvement and youth participation? If instead, as it seems, the experiences in that sense are not so reassuring, what are the factors that could improve the effectiveness of the action promoted by these “new spaces” for young people?

The idea of ​​Co(youth)working is to define guidelines that allow to increase the social impact of co-working spaces on the reference territory. These must enable coworking spaces to remain economically viable and support the effective development of young users’ entrepreneurial skills. It’s important for these spaces to be in an ongoing dialogue both with young co-workers and with external subjects that belong 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 a € 200.809 funding from ANG and it involves four organizations from France (CO-ACTIONS), Portugal (APPJUVENTUDE), Croatia (Nest 01) and the Netherlands (Impact Hub).

Specific objectives of the project are:

  1. Outline the role of the youth worker as a key figure for the management of a coworking space, identifying the skills needed and their training and development path; Indeed, we aim at enhancing animation actions and the youth work approach to support, on one hand, young entrepreneurs and new start-ups, and on the other hand, the human, social and economic development of local communities;
  2. Develop a cross-sector strategy to manage coworking that combines attention to “social impact” with support to the development of the start-ups present within them;

3. Propose a tool, a guide useful for organizations that want to open a coworking space (or innovate an existing one), that summarizes partners’ experiences: a collection of recommendations, tools, activities, possible assets and risks (and potential solutions to be adopted to overcome them);

4. Enhance the role and involvement of public bodies and territorial networks in the management of coworking spaces, in order to facilitate the dialogue among stakeholders, provide a broader vision of the society in which they are inserted, control the processes in their continuity, coherence and long-term impact on the territories.

At the end of the project 3 innovative tools will be available:

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 economic and social development of the hosting community.