GCUC Blog

Co-working With a New Mould

by Andrea Paoletti on February 26, 2013

WHAT if you could be a co-worker and creative social innovator outside of the usual metropolitan mould?
By taking the spirit of collaboration and the principal of co-working to regional communities, opportunities are injected into the equation, not removed.
Traditionally the progressive business and entrepreneurial world has considered cities as meccas for the birth and development of new projects.
Yet taking these people, ideas, attitudes and concepts to a country environment can be twice as beneficial.
First by providing a unique, inspiring and natural environment for the individual to think freely and experiment in.
But secondly, and just as importantly, by generating strong links with the local community and more direct prospects to improve the region in which the co-working space is situated.

Many rural communities have become depopulated and increasingly isolated because of narrow attitudes about the economic and social possibilities.
In southern Italy this is a serious concern.
Enter the experiment of Casa Netural – a collaborative and co-working space in UNESCO World Heritage listed Matera in Basilicata region.
An unlikely candidate for a revolutionary project, the unique Sassi of Matera was in fact an ideal location to house a new model of co-working.
Casa Netural endeavours to capitalise on Matera’s many strengths as a tourist magnet and a tight community unit to create a better future for the users of the space and Basilicata.
The idea is to provide a warm, flexible environment where locals, visitors, entreprenuers, skilled and ambitious minds can converge to network and create. By pooling their resources, experience and different perspectives, real progress and change can be achieved.

Casa Netural is a traditional stone house set in a “vicinato”, or courtyard environment, that is a fluid space of tables, chairs, couches, recycled furniture and ambient music and lighting.
The design needs are different to the city-based projects where life is fast-paced and more insular.
It is a home, an office, a meeting space and a place where people can push their limits and open their mind in the company of others.
It is also an experiment in empowering the community and prompting people to adopt a more participatory approach toward the goal of environmental, economic and social sustainability for Basilicata.
Locals will be encouraged to stay and plan their future in a thriving community while outsiders will be drawn to the area to explore creative and business opportunities.
By starting with local, social change, co-working spaces can help these regions tap into the global business realm.

Andrea Paoletti
Founder Casa Netural
www.benetural.com/en

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy King February 28, 2013 at 3:02 am

Thank you, Andrea. I had never thought about this for our rural communities in the US, which would benefit in so many ways from coworking spaces. Many work from home or are students at online universities due to their remote locations and like us urban folk, would greatly benefit from coworking. It would be equal opportunity innovation for rural and urban dwellers.

Reply

andrea March 6, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Thanks Amy for your comment! Let’s talk about that, it could be an interesting issue.

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