For more on the story behind the video, go here.
For more on the story behind the video, go here.
I’m aware that it might be hard to visualise – so below are examples of other cities/towns that have started on the road to encouraging a large hub of start-ups and digital/tech industries.
Please enjoy (and savour!) each of them – they’re well-made productions which display different facets of the global tech-boom and its various effects on localised areas. Keep in mind how they might apply to Croydon! 🙂
2. Kiryat Gat, Israel – a framework for a ‘mediated city’
4. Berlin – Betahaus ‘People in Beta’ (co-working community)
12. Berlin (again!)
Also check out: 18 Latin American tech hubs!
If you are interested in finding out more or helping me realise my vision for Croydon as ‘The Second Tech City’, please do get intro yourself to me.
I can be contacted on Twitter: @98rosjon or by email: jonnyrose1 [at] gmail [dot] com
a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is also the social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded talented people in the same space.
The rise of co-working spaces in the last decade has been fuelled by several things, including technologies such as cloud computing; more freelancers and remote workers in the workforce, which means greater demand for flexible work arrangements; and economic pressure on firms’ property costs.
A key part of my vision for Croydon to be ‘The Second Tech City‘ (blog post soon come, I promise!) is to capitalise on this trend and cultivate a strong and vibrant community of entrepreneurs and workers in the co-working space of Matthews Yard in Croydon’s Old Town district.
For those who prefer pictures to reading this is a really interesting presentation that I found which profiles some of the effects of co-working in various European countries:
I am convinced that Matthews Yard is best positioned as a co-working space which budding entrepreneurs and more established groups in Croydon should be utilising, for a variety of reasons:
At a local level, co-working has tangible impact on micro-economies and public realm:
Coworking keeps stellar talent in town
Coworking spaces are “office buildings” for those who had the ingenuity to create their own job in a difficult economy. Without coworking, many in mid-sized urban areas (like Croydon) would have to commute or move their families to bigger cities with more opportunities. Coworking provides an opportunity for workers to stay in town, preserving their money, talent, and enthusiasm for use in the local economy.
Coworking supports small business
Don’t let the mega-corps fool you; they employ people only because it’s necessary for the creation and dissemination of their products and services, not because they want to revitalize a town (*cough* Nestle *cough*).
Small to mid-sized businesses are the lifeblood of a local economy. They live and work and shop locally, and tend to invest more into the personal lives of their employees. It might be the swarthy world-weary hotshot who just formed his own PR practice or couple of buddies who decided to create their own design company. Either way, these businesses are driving down unemployment rates at a time when multi-billion pound companies are still laying people off. Joining a coworking space means these tiny businesses will have a safe place to grow and learn from more experienced members.
Coworking creates a network for collaborative consumption
The quest for bigger, better, faster has crippled our economy. People are tired of keeping up with the Jones’ and just want to keep their families fed. Collaborative consumption means reusing, growing, renting, bartering and making instead of buying. But the sharing economy demands a network of friendly, trustworthy people to make it work. Like the people who work right next to you in a coworking space.
When a community is connected and open to sharing, people save money, learn new skills, and reduce their impact on the environment. New ideas emerge, problems are solved in creative ways, and the community at large reaps all the rewards of a happy independent workforce.
That’s what a great coworking center -particularly Matthews Yard – can do for Croydon! 🙂
To learn more about Matthews Yard or buy a membership, please go here.
N.B. This is not a politicised criticism of local parties or their respective councillors, this is more an exercise to learn more about councillors and their work in Croydon – with best intentions and no malice. SAFE. 🙂
As I work to improve my local community of Purley, I, naturally, look at others who are doing the same thing to see where our efforts and interests intersect and are making a difference.
Local govt is one such area that I continue to look to for community-centred inspiration and – as such – the work of local councillors is something that is of increasing interest to me.
A definition of the role of local councillors can be found on the Croydon council site:
Your councillor is the person elected every four years to represent your area. They can help if you are dissatisfied with a council service by advising or directing you to someone who can help sort out your problem and can sometimes progress the case on your behalf. This is often done in advice surgeries where you can meet with the councillor for your ward and discuss your problem.
I have no idea who my councillors are*, what they do and where/why/how they are doing it.
In part, this stems from my own apathy and ignorance -I could very easily have checked the Croydon council site or use google – however, I think there is also a duty on the part of local govt. representatives to remain visible in their local communities, as a matter of course, to improve channels of communication between them and the public and increase confidence in their works.
It seems, from an enlightening exchange on Twitter last night that many Croydon locals are similarly in the dark about their local representatives:
So, QUESTIONS FOR CROYDONERS:
Have you ever met you councillor in person?
What do you think about your local councillor’s profile and activities?
If you are a councillor: What do you find hardest and/or most rewarding about your role? Do you think charges of invisibility from the public are fair – or is it a two-way street and the public should take an active interest?
*Obvs, not now I googled them for the purposes of this post! 😉