Coworking update – April 30, 2020

There are so many great projects happening right now to so we thought we’d set aside some time to check in on what some of these folks are working on. Our hope is to give everyone a chance to see what’s happening and find new ways to participate.


Tony Bacigalupo here, I’m a director at Open Coworking Trust, a nonprofit that oversees the free resources that power the coworking movement. Learn more at

I wanted to create this so people know who’s working on what and how to get involved.

Coworking Library

  • The Coworking Library is an open, interdisciplinary directory of research resources.
  • People can submit resources themselves.
  • More than 250 entries! (259 publications, spanning 6,890 pages.
  • English abstract for non-English entries
  • 11 languages: Bulgarian, English, French, German, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Ukranian
  • Helps coworking space owners deal with researchers asking the same questions again and again
  • Language breakdown graphic here
  • Overview of types of publications included
  • Officially affiliated with the European Coworking Assembly
  • Would benefit from energy flow from the community
  • Contribute: 

Crisis directory update

  • Active participants of the Coworking Library are freelancers—the COVID crisis hit everyone hard at various levels
  • Crowdsourced database of resources that can help anyone through this crisis
  • Access to funding, advice
  • People can submit their resources
  • You can search the resources by country
  • For members of spaces as well as the managers of spaces

German Coworking Conference Update

ECA update

  • Purpose is to give a voice to community coworking in Europe
  • Coworking is so much bigger than any one business—independent spaces collectively far outnumber the chain coworking spaces (like WeWork), but the chains have been grabbing the headlines because the indies haven’t had as strong of a collective voice. ECA seeks to shift that.
  • London Coworking Assembly is working on putting together a collective to lobby the British government because too many businesses are falling through the cracks in terms of COVID support. 
  • Putting together a group to lobby parliament to categorize coworking as hospitality instead of as a landlord, which will free up support
  • They host monthly First Friday calls to coordinate across various stakeholders. May support nation-based groups of coworking spaces in their efforts to lobby in this fashion.
  • Also organizing European Freelancers Week in October 
    • Part of EFW is the #LoveMatia project—set up funds for freelancers in medical need who cannot work
  • ECA has a podcast: 
  • Just took on a project – the Coworking Symposium in Prague in May for researchers   
  • They have Coworking Tools so spaces can provide high-level professional services to their members while remaining small (Doesn’t have a website yet, workin on it)
    • Partnered with a payment organization called Velvet
    • Module for GDPR compliance
    • Onboarding module to be compliant when taking on new clients
  • Standing for inclusion: Working on a document for Inclusion Diversity and Accessibility in coworking—how to design for it at the start or implement it in an existing space. 
  • Where to tune in for updates: 

Ashley update

  • COHIP (Coworking Health Insurance Plan) provides dental, health, life, travel insurance to members of coworking spaces across Canada since 2013
  • Expanded to cover all independent workers and small businesses across Canada, regardless of coworking space status
  • Working with Canadian coworking space operators to extend COHIP benefits to their members with waived application fees, as a way to add an additional member perk to their virtual coworking memberships
  • Doing advocacy work on behalf of coworking collectives for the spaces themselves as small businesses and the members as small businesses as well
  • Working on a Coworking Ontario Collective relaunch. It will be hosting a regional unconference. update

  • Coworking Visa now has over 458 spaces. It’s a free directory any space can join—once you, do, your members get free access to all of the other spaces in the network for up to 3 days, free of charge! Learn more and register:  
  • Focusing on acting as a switchboard for projects like the ones described here
  • Where to from here? That’s why we are having these conversations!

Coworking Pets update

Special guest visit from the wonderful Mia, founder of

Speaker bios

Tony Bacigalupo is a director at Open Coworking, the nonprofit that manages the free resources that power the decentralized coworking movement. In particular, he oversees the Coworking Visa program.

In 2008, he led the charge to open Manhattan’s first coworking space, New Work City. Since then, he’s beep speaking, writing, coaching and consulting to help people around the world build coworking communities. In recent months he’s been experimenting with new forms of online gathering, including online conferences and more. 

Jeannine van der Linden is the founder and manager, chief cook and bottle washer of de Kamer, an intentional network of coworking spaces. Managing Partner of Open Coworking, a global community of people dedicated to the values of Collaboration, Openness, Community, Accessibility, and Sustainability in their shared workplaces.

Director of the European Coworking Assembly Foundation.

Proud member of Axschat community, an open online community of individuals dedicated to creating an inclusive world, and of the #pinksocks tribe.  

Johanna Voll is a member of the German Coworking Federation e.V., the European Coworking Assembly and long time coworking enthusiast. She is one of the co-founders of the Coworking Library and the Crisis Directory. When she is not dreaming of new projects, writing about the reorganization of work, she is busy making plans to open a collaborative space in an old brewery in Halle or gardening in her permaculture paradise. Find her personal website here (in German).

Hector Kolonas is founder of and co-founder of Syncaroo, the coworking library, the crisis directory and member/supporter of a whole bunch of coworking alliances and collectives. He also curates the big bodacious list of coworking software, the tech integrations map, the quarterly proptech update video series and helps Mia with

Ashley Proctor worked to develop and launch Xpace (2004), Creative Blueprint (2006, 2015), Foundery (2011) and 312 Main (2018) in Toronto, Vancouver, and Seattle. Ashley is one of the founding members of the Coworking Toronto and Coworking Ontario collectives, and in 2013 she created COHIP— the world’s first Coworking Health Insurance Plan. Ashley continues to shape the coworking industry as the Executive Producer of GCUC Canada, partner of the Global Coworking Unconference. Working independently as an artist and entrepreneur, she travels internationally to speak about the coworking movement, transformation and social impact. Through her company Creative Blueprint, Ashley consults and collaborates multi-dimensional projects with community builders from around the world.