Brussels Shared Spaces
The Hub Brussels is bankrupt.
Some former members discuss opportunities.
Current brainstorming from Dante :
Would gladly contribute to an
- 1 Assessment
- 1.1 Financial overview ?
- 1.2 Sociology ?
- 1.3 Hub as Community Entrance for Cosmopolitan Primo Arrivants ?
- 1.4 Pied a terre for ( non-Brussels based ) Belgians ( Flemish and Walloon )
- 1.5 Unemployed and "pre-seed" as members ?
- 1.6 Various financial situations, and diverse and resilient income streams to cover costs ?
- 2 Minimalist structure
- 2.1 Personal Employee Suggestion
- 2.2 Some more potentials for cultural and community partnerships
- 2.3 Internet and internet related businesses and professions
- 2.4 Not for profits and International Not for Profits
- 2.5 Eurocrats + People interested in new visions for career path change ?
- 2.6 Nomadbase and Shared Living Spaces ?
in relation to understanding the Hub's sociology, or potential sociology ? and its relation to ( future ) financial backing...
Financial overview ?
I am not sure if you have access to the financial accounts of the hub. Perhaps there is a way to access them ? Not sure if they are published openly ? / openly accessible to all members ? or at least, I would suppose, to former shareholders of the Hub ?
Regarding financial situations, structure, income streams, It may be interesting to make comparisons with other coworking spaces, including the other Hub's. Perhaps the HUB+ could provide such data ?
About my views on the HUB Brussels, and ideas regarding what may be seen as value building; and potential interested populations :
A particularity I see in relation to the HUB Brussels, is has a culture that it is mostly english speaking, converging people with various backgrounds.
Yesterday , with Olivier - Hans and Juan, we included in our talk views on needs there may be from any potential members of a new coworking space, and what people are prepared to pay for.
For example, Olivier expressed as a need a connection to international social networks of the hub.
From what I perceived out of yesterday's talk, a lot of members seem to appreciate contributing as to feel part of a community, have access to social networks, even if they do not spend much time at the space itself.
Understanding needs with the current members of the Hub, and comparing it with other potentials, such as lifestyle oriented needs from a variety of professional and sub-cultural backgrounds, also seems of interest to me.
For example, in Brussels , I see various shared dynamics amongst architects, designers, dancers, people active in theater or even subcultures such as... hitch hikers ( of which I have been actively part - we had at some point various "bases" in different cities, where we could live , and organize a yearly get together - also see : http://sharewiki.org/en/Sharespace ; http://nomadbase.org/ ).
Hub as Community Entrance for Cosmopolitan Primo Arrivants ?
I see Brussels, and even more specifically Ixelles / Etterbeek / Center of Brussels / Saint-Gilles as having a very specific blend of populations. Including cosmopolitan, highly mobile people, who may be interested in a coworking space with a international network, and a openness to newly arrived people ( over 50 000 "primo arrivants" every year in Brussels ), searching for a community to connect to as to feel more connected to the city.
Pied a terre for ( non-Brussels based ) Belgians ( Flemish and Walloon )
who have meetings in Brussels a few times a month :
I also see the potentials related to Brussels as a meeting place ( and political / decision making center ) , both for french speaking and flemish speaking belgians,
who pass by Brussels once in a while and may appreciate having a pied a terre to spend a few hours to socialize in between their meetings.
Unemployed and "pre-seed" as members ?
From what I understood when talking yesterday, many, if not most of the members are actually... officially unemployed ? I also remember Olivier saying the Hub seems to converge people who are in a "seed", or "pre-seed" stage of business development... ?
I sense such people are generally very open to socializing, making connections, attempting to find or create opportunities for each other... but... if one takes for example my own situation... do not necessarily have finances to support costs.
Various financial situations, and diverse and resilient income streams to cover costs ?
So I try to imagine how to find a blend of current situations as to better enable financial resilience.
I like the prospect of a minimalist structure, with no debts, and costs as low as possible.
I imagine a not for profit - asbl ( costs 150 euros, requires 3 moral persons to set up - can be organizations , and 2 weeks o one month to process its set up )
I imagine the structure focusing on managing the costs of the space : rent , heating, electricity, water, and eventually other shared costs, including employment of one person to manage all of this.
Personal Employee Suggestion
I'd suggest the not for profit I would want to help setup, to employ me under a minimum salary scheme, which in addition could benefit from cheaper then labor market options, as I can benefit from "plan activa" or "article 60", which would make my cost as employee minimal.
Actually, the not for profit could decide to fire me anytime, and would not even officially need to be my employer.
Furthermore, I'd be prepared to put part of my income directly back into covering costs until financial security of the organization is enabled ( depending on certain factors ).
In effect, if I would be an employee, I could cost between half and up to a quarter of the cost of another minimum wage employee, while being fully committed :) ( as I feel engaged in the viability and success of such social startup )
Some more potentials for cultural and community partnerships
I imagine a future space being in connection with other "share spaces", including DIY spaces such as "ateliers couture" or "computer clubs"...
I personally feel that, at least in terms of catering to people with income, and that would be able to contribute financially,
that the field of IT is important. A number of programmers or graphic designers working as independent,
or small companies in the field of IT, may see an interest in supporting and spending time / having their offices at a coworking space.
I personally work very often with technologists, and would aim at converging interest from such professional subcultures.
Not for profits and International Not for Profits
May also be a sector to which I feel it may be of interest to develop specialized services. For example, attracting a professional fundraiser to work at / from the hub and create synergies,
eventually creating a separate legal structure in support of such approach.
Eurocrats + People interested in new visions for career path change ?
I am aware there are more financially affluent populations. Amongst the cosmopolitan english speaking in Brussels, there are the european bureaucrats. Though I may interpret their needs as being slightly different. I would see potential contributions from eurocrats through servicing needs in terms of community get togethers, in the evenings after work, while also offering venues for ( socializing ) workshops discovery of innovating approaches which may stimulate them intellectually and provide them some sense of meaning, even if they can not commit full time to projects.
I somehow sense that such kind of environment, catering to such needs, could be developed from an initial subset of engaged people who self organize and create community dynamics at the hub,
and that more financially affluent members, but with less time, could even become financial backers of seed projects.
I could even imagine that people involved in cosmopolitan lobbies or in corporations may also be interested ? Especially if they wish to open up perspectives to develop their own projects, and perhaps change careers ?
An additional business model that can be investigated, can be an extension into a 3nomad Base", where people share costs what concerns not only a coworking space ( the "shared living room" ), but also a living space ( where one can sleep, eat, relax ),
while at the same time having the flexibility to come and go ( many people in Brussels spend part of their time abroad - for artistic projects or , simply enjoying travel ) , yet while having a sense of community, reduced cost ( yet with more limited privacy ).
also see : http://nomadbase.org/