“Coworking spaces have always been proud ambassadors of cooperation, diversity, inclusivity, kindness, and mutual support. Always putting the group before individual gains, they promote positive values and support local communities.”
So says Igor Dzhebyan, CEO and co-founder of andcards and VP of the Ukrainian Coworking Association. He describes the impact the war has had on coworking spaces and the country as a whole as devastating, but as a result of what he has seen, believes that the world would be a better place if we truly embraced the values of the coworking movement.
He has been devoted to the coworking industry for many years, and since the war in Ukraine began, seeing people jump into action has further strengthened his belief in the capabilities of the coworking and coliving industries.
Igor points out that the coworking industry has seen some difficult times and had to face many challenges caused by the pandemic prior to the war in Ukraine.
Throughout these challenges coworking spaces have been reinventing themselves and adapting to the rapidly changing environment, says Igor.
This can be seen in how the coworking community mobilised immediately and effectively when Ukraine came under attack on 24 February 2022. Quick action was taken, lives were saved, and many lifelines were cast to assist the coworking community in Ukraine.
- Read Igor’s blog about true stories of Ukrainian coworking spaces during the war.
Donation platforms were set up, connections were made, and people were relocated to ensure their safety. Hector Kolonas of Syncaroo spearheaded the creation of a structure to allow purchases of coworking passes from Ukrainian coworking spaces directly was created and implemented to ensure those affected by the war in Ukraine had a reliable revenue stream during the first uncertain weeks and throughout the war.
The European Coworking Assembly, acting with its member, the Ukrainian Coworking Association and the global IDEA Project, created a page of resources available for people wishing to assist those in Ukraine and is connecting projects for housing and employment with needed resources and manpower right across Europe. The ECA has a single point of contact in Poland in Piotr Boulange [link] and is recruiting hands-on volunteers across Europe to assist those in need of support or relocation.
To share more details of his experience, Igor will be speaking at the Coworking Spain Conference, on 26 April at 11:00 am CET. His talk, Coworking Resiliency, will be focused around how coworking spaces have adapted to recent events.
Be sure to attend one of Europe’s longest established coworking and coliving conferences, which has been running for 10 years. Plus, if you book your ticket through the European Coworking Assembly, you will receive a €20 discount.