The Co-working EU Conference 2013 set in the fantastic Fabra i Coats, a former clothing factory in a Barcelona suburb, brought together over 300 people involved in the global co-working scene, from Shanghai to LA, Norway to Australia all to discuss the challenges and joys of running, supporting or growing co-working spaces.
The most striking thing I found was the real desire of the leaders to create communities of wonderful people. This was as much about creating a dream social group as it was about start-up businesses or entrepreneurship. And these were true social magnets, great community leaders. Each space had its own unique quirk, but they all exuded a sense of solidarity amongst the community, the heartbreak when a member needs or, God forbid, wants to leave, the joy of celebrating the success of a fellow member and the serendipitous developments over beers on Friday night after work (although for some, there were no time restrictions on getting the beers out!).
There was a true sense of a wider social movement, as someone who has spent his whole 20s using various social networks; it seems we are now reaching a point again where spending time around other amazing people is increasingly valuable. Communities, co-working spaces, coffee shops, sports teams or any group of hobbyists, reaffirm our confidence in our endeavours, and help us strive to achieve even more as a result than we could dream of in isolation. These connections make us braver, bolder, enriched and multi-talented by extension.
If you ever feel like you need a little bit more of this in your life, come and speak to us, we have some of the most amazing minds in Wales based at ICE on a daily basis.