Second regional workshop: starting to assess needs and demands in Brandenburg

The second regional workshop took us to the 42.00 inhabitant town Oranienburg about half an hour north of Berlin. Our goal was to test how relevant our previous findings would be for those in local business or culture administrations in the districts of Brandenburg. Together with Katja Dietrich-Kröck, the creative industries coordinator in Brandenburg, we invited about 20 people who already were active in this field.

The meeting place seemed like a symbol for future creative industries development in Brandenburg: we met at Oranienwerk, an ensemble of buildings that had been used as a mill until 1989. The different parts of the building structure shall be developed into a location for cultural and creative industries. The building application has been handed in, they are just waiting to kick off.

In the course of the workshop we presented some of our findings from our trip to Skåne and Copenhagen. Although to some of the participants the examples seemed to be a bit “too urban”, some topics emerged as being relevant in Brandenburg as well:

1. Infrastructure/Work Space: while some argued that coworking was indeed only a topic for the more urban structures in Brandenburg like Potsdam, others stressed that due to the  increasing lack of low priced space in Berlin, alternatives in smaller cities that still could easily be reached by public transport opened up scope for action in Brandenburg. Allowing for experiments and not being distracted by manifold events and activities in the capital could indeed be a field of action for Brandenburg in supporting creative industries.

2. Mapping and Visibility: a huge deficit is that creative entrepreneurs and companies hence are not visible enough to decision makers. While oftentimes “facts, facts and only facts” count, the value of creative industries for local and regional development is still not well-known. The participants of our workshop discussed that it would be beneficial to have a template for quantitative and qualitative measurement that could easily be adopted by towns or districts.

3. Consulting and Coaching: While a systematic account of the existing consulting and coaching structure is lacking, our participants uttered doubts whether the existing structures really served the special needs of creative industries entrepreneurs. Wolfgang Flieger, project manager at our cooperation partner IBF (Institute for occupational area research and corporate planning in the media sector) gave our participants valuable insights into his experience with creative entrepreneurs within the “Innovations need Courage” program. While there are manifold institutions and consultancies in charge of consulting entrepreneurs in the stage of the formation of their business, coaching in an earlier as well as in a later phase is lacking. The IBF thus invented an early stage consulting approach when there is not yet a business plan that could be discussed. This kind of consulting seems to be especially relevant for CCI entrepreneurs, in Brandenburg typically coming from cultural projects backgrounds

4. Networking seems to be an everlasting demand when it comes to creative industries support. In Brandenburg, there have already been attempts to address this demand, e.g. for the design sector with the “Design Days Brandenburg“. Networking towards other industries, among CCI entrepreneurs of different disciplines and also on the administrative level is still underveloped.

From our point of view, our findings about CCI instruments in Skåne and Copenhagen triggered a discussion and an exchange of ideas in the region and helped identifying need and gaps in CCI support. The workshop served as a starting point for a more regular exchange. Moreover, C2C and its cooperation partner IBF can accompany some of the initiatives arising from the workshop during the next months, giving advice and providing tailored consulting.

 

Further information

Portraits of CCI entrepreneurs inBrandenburg (in German)
Portraits of CCI entrepreneurs using early stage consulting (in German)

Umfrage zum Thema Coworking / Survey on the demand for coworking spaces in Brandenburg

Hallo liebe Brandenburger Kreative! Wie ihr vielleicht schon bemerkt habt, interessieren wir uns sehr für das Thema Coworking. Vor Kurzem haben wir dazu schon einen Workshop in Potsdam ausgerichtet und darüber bereits eine Menge über die Bedürfnisse der Potsdamer Kreativakteure erfahren. Da C2C sich aber für ganz Brandenburg interessiert, möchten wir die Masse der Befragten nun erweitern und alle Kreativen, die in Brandenburg leben und/oder arbeiten, ebenfalls befragen: würdet ihr einen Coworking Space nutzen? Wie würdet ihr ihn nutzen? Welche Features wünscht ihr euch? uws.

Um dies in Erfahrung zu bringen, haben wir eine kurze und anonyme Umfrage mit 10 Fragen ausgearbeitet und möchten euch einladen, daran teilzunehmen. Das ist eure Chance, euren Bedürfnissen Ausdruck zu verleihen und uns mitzuteilen, wie ihr euch das Arbeiten der Zukunft vorstellt!

Bitte hier klicken, um auf die Umfrage zu gelangen. Bitte teilt den Link auch gern mit Kollegen, Freunden und Bekannten, die sich für das Thema interessieren. Je mehr Informationen wir zusammen bekommen, desto mehr können wir erreichen – idealerweise können wir mit den Ergebnissen tatsächlich konkrete Aktionen in Richtung der Eröffnung von Coworking Spaces in Brandenburg bewirken.

Vielen Dank!

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ENGLISH VERSION

Hello you creative people of Brandenburg! As you may already have noticed, we have a thing for coworking and since we just hosted a workshop on that issue in Potsdam and already got a good feedback on the demand that local people have there. But as C2C is interested in the whole of Brandenburg, we would now like to broaden the scope of this mini-analysis and ask all those who live and work in Brandenburg’s other regions what they think of the subject: if they would use a coworking space, how they would use it, what features this space should have etc.

To this end we designed a short anonymous survey with 10 questions on the subject and would like to invite you to participate in it. This is your chance to verbalize your needs and wishes for the future of working together!

Click here to access the survey and please feel free to forward and share the link! The more information we gather, the more impact we can create – and ideally initiate concrete actions for establishing coworking spaces in Brandenburg.

Thank you!

 

 

Workshop announcement: existing and new approaches and activities for better cooperation and CCI support in Brandenburg

Today in a week we will be hosting our second workshop in Brandenburg, again in cooperation with Katja Dietrich-Kröck, the creative coordinator of the region.

This time we want to focus on the existing and ongoing activities that are being carried out in the different Landkreise in Brandenburg, on existing CCI projects in the region, the encountered challenges and obstacles, as well as the potential seen within this branch.

We invited different carefully selected representatives from the economic development administration, from different cultural and touristic offices, as well as creative networkers and other multipliers in order to discuss these topics on a very practical level.

Together, we hope to find out more about the specific demand of CCI entrepreneurs in the different regions, clarify what support methods can work and which do not, help foster better networking conditions and maybe also develop ideas on how working solutions in one region can be successfully transferred and implemented to others or even better, how they can be turned into a model that works for the whole of Brandenburg.

We are very much looking forward to this workshop and would like to thank all participants as well as our hosts from the Oranienwerk!

 

What: Workshop on new approaches and activities for better cooperation and CCI support in the region of Brandenburg

When: Friday, 22nd of March, 12 to 4 p.m.

Where: Oranienwerk, Kremmener Str. 43, 16515 Oranienburg

Organized by Creative Capital Conference in cooperation with “Kreativdialog”.

 

More infos: Kreativdialog and Oranienwerk

 

First advisory board meeting

Yesterday afternoon we had our first advisory board meeting, to which we invited CCI experts from Brandenburg and other German regions, such as Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia: Nina Dreier (Kulturbehörde Hamburg), Dr. Stefan Neubacher (Kulturamt Eberswalde), Katja Dietrich-Kröck (ZAB), Dr. Manfred Wäsche (IHK Potsdam), Prof. Dr. Dana Mietzner (TH Wildau), Prof. Dr. Carsten Busch (HTW Berlin), Dr. Nancy Richter (Bauhaus Uni Weimar) and Beate Ecke (Ecke Design, Potsdam). Also with us have been the advisory board’s chairman Dirk Kiefer (Thuringian Agency for the Creative Industries) and Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Müller, the project’s academic co-director.

In a very brief and intense session of only two hours, we discussed our two hypotheses:

1. Support strategies should first and foremost asses the candidate’s personality and not only the quality of the business idea or business plan.

2. Freelancers need active support strategies (as opposed to passive ones, e.g. an institution with fixed opening hours offers a support program to creative entrepreneurs seeking help, instead of going out “into the field” to meet the creatives where they actually are)

The questions that arose triggered the methodology behind the assessment of a person’s personal quality, asked how to set the frame for a governance of self-governance (as opposed to rationalist management), why so many creative entrepreneurs seem so reluctant to grow and maximize their businesses (because of the fear of being turned into managers?), how to coordinate the active “fishing” for interesting projects especially in rural areas, how to promote the creative industries as a career path for graduates of management and economics and how the existing coaching offer can be improved in order to meet the creative entrepreneurs’ needs.

We will definitely continue monitoring these questions and meet our experts in follow-up meetings in order to find answers to as many of these questions as possible.

Thanks again to all our experts for being there and contributing to this fruitful discussion! We look forward to welcoming you again in June!

Review of our coworking workshop

Review of our coworking workshop

 

On monday afternoon, we had invited all those interested in coworking to come together at the “Schaufenster” (shop window), an empty and only irregularly used space in the city center, to take part in our first project workshop (read earlier post). The “Schaufenster” belongs to the FHP, Potsdam’s university of applied sciences, who would like it to be used as a coworking space. As spaces for freelancers, especially within the culture and creative industries (CCI) are a scarce good in the city, this idea really had the power to attract around 40 participants – representatives of both the administration and the university as well as CCI entrepreneurs and potential users – to our workshop. After three very inspiring and interesting speeches by our guests Thorsten Jahnke from iq consult, Morten Sylvest Nøhr from Republikken and Christoph Fahle from betahaus (thank you very much for that again!), we split into three groups: the red-dotted “administratives” on one side and two green-dotted “creatives” on the other.

As you can imagine, vivid discussions ensued. But the results were brilliant:

One the “creative side” almost everyone was and is personally interested in moving into the “Schaufenster” and also knows more people who would join in. Although it quickly became clear that two very different groups could be defined according to their needs – those with no equipment except for a laptop, who would love to immediately set their tents up and start working, and those with costly and heavy equipment, who expressed a reasonable wish for lockable rooms and spaces – there was a lot of consensus within the group: most people expressed a concern about the sound level (e.g. when everybody in the room is having a phone conversation at the same time) and all agreed that a basic infrastructure, such as wifi, a printer and a beamer were the basic requirements, as well as the need for being able to access the space 24/7. Generally speaking, the majority was also in favour of mixing the guilds or disciplines (such as designers, writers, film makers etc.) in order to have a more fruitful exchange, as long as this was reconcilable with the different spatial needs.

On the “administrative” side, a consensus was also quickly found and is just as quickly told: if the potential users or an external operator comes up with a solid concept, they are more than willing to support the cause – with financial as well as organizational and scientifically help (such as e.g. helping with a market research). And the FHP is thinking about accompanying the process by a student project from the culture management class.

We sincerely hope and cross our fingers that the momentum of the workshop will be used in a way as to quickly put together what it takes to turn this idea into reality and will be following the development process at close range!

For further information (in German), read about our workshop in the press: http://www.pnn.de/potsdam/730055/