As I already wrote in a previous article on this blog, last week I took part at WabiSabi Coworking Day, organised in the marvellous and creative Studio Souk in Belfast by the deus ex machina-couple behind the communication agency Sensei.
Since I don’t like easy things, this was both my first coworking experience and also my first meeting with freelance and professionals in Belfast.
How did it go? Good, I think. For me it’s always a big work to pass days entirely dedicated to the dialogue in english language, and I admit that at first I was a bit afraid and nervous because of this. However, as the day gradually went by, I started to relax and tried to get over my shyness (yes, there’s even that) chatting with the people around. It was good to find that we were almost all coming from a variety of fields, and so to feel all the potentiality of seeing the same problem from different points of view.
It’s been an interesting experience in many ways and now I’m happy to share with you something more and to show the pictures I took.
First of all, some words about the event and the organization: WabiSabi is a community of professionals based in Northern Ireland that has the goal of creating and managing a coworking space in Belfast. At the moment they are organising day events to which independent workers are invited to meet and network; the Coworking Day I participated to was the third organised so far, and a fourth one is in the pipeline for June. I really enjoyed the idea of gathering freelance and independent workers in dedicated events: since we are mostly used to work from home, isn’t generally easy to group, and one of the things that are missed the most is the access to the precious dialogue with other professionals. Also I love the support gave to the other coworking spaces in the country and the choice of the locations, that is not making the workers regret to be away from their home work space.
Since I just said location, I present you the place that was chosen for this coworking day: Studio Souk is a shop full of original handmade and artistic objects; from the outside is already clear that you are entering a place that is anything but common.
Inside, other than the shop display, there are a cafe, some spaces in which artists and artisans work and a room with a big wooden table and books everywhere, that is where we passed our day.
My Italian character came out during the convivial breaks, that hepled me be more sociable: it’s easier for me to talk in front of a coffee and a brioche like I was in a cafe, instead of randomly starting to chat during the work hours.
However we weren’t there just to meet, but also to work, and so it’s been: essentially I didn’t have a free moment during all the morning!
Luckily, in the afternoon I had a bit of freedom, so I was able to chat a bit and to know better some of the independent realities which took part to the event. I was able to see first-hand the coworking ambient, that I always heard defined (with pretty good reasons) as extremely creative and open: since this has been my first time, for me it was more a meeting event, but I didn’t miss the potentialities of working side by side with professionals of various, different fields.
In conclusion, it’s been a pretty enriching experience and it made me feel very brave: did I really take part to an event in a foreign country, totally in english language and all alone? Until some time ago this would have been impossible! Today, instead, I’m not just only happy, but I think I’d like to do this all over again!