Two main coworking values: collaboration and networking that we are experiencing and practising on a daily basis stood out especially in a two-week p2p exchange between two creative hubs BIZkoshnica Coworking from Zagreb, Croatia and CRU Cowork from Porto, Portugal.

Already at the beginning of the year, we decided to visit CRU Cowork in Portugal as part of the Creative Flip p2p exchange ECHN, because of our fascination by their business model and the fact that their founder is female too. Tania from CRU Cowork and me had been planning a physical exchange, however given the covid pandemic at the time we needed to realize it, traveling to Porto was no longer possible, so we decided to turn the exchange into online format. However, the topic of the entire exchange remained the same, as Mindfulness is extremely important and relevant in the times of crisis. We recognised the need of our members and workers in the creative, cultural and business sectors to learn more about mindfulness approach.

First online meeting

The member of BIZkoshnica community who beside me participated in the exchange was Saša Borovnjak, co-founder, president and educational expert of Life potential, organisation for creative solutions in the field of personal and professional development. Saša is main educator and psychotherapist that conducts workshops of personal and professional development based on NLP, coaching, mindfulness and gestalt psychotherapy methods. As Saša taught us: Mindfulness approach in life can bring more peace and stability, even in times like these, and create good foundation for creative energy in work. When we are mindful, we experience our life as we live it. We experience the world directly through our five senses. We taste the food we are eating. We smell the air we are breathing. We recognize the thoughts we are having. In doing so, we learn how our minds work and we are better able to label the thoughts and feelings we are having instead of allowing them to overpower us and dictate our behaviour.

Our exchange was done in the period from November 18 till December 10 2020. We have had five official meetings, among them three online meetings between Tania and me, and two Community meetings which were online Mindfulness workshops for both of our communities. The duration of all sessions was more than 12 hours in total. We have even added another third online workshop in the week after upon request of participants which was not part of the exchange any more. Through the preparation of two workshops and topic itself we got to know each other and our members better. We have found many similiarities in how our hubs developed through the years, what challenges have we been experiencing, what have we learned from them, what changes in our business models did we do, how to cope with current crisis, what are our plans for the future, are there possible collaboration possibilities.

But during two Community Meetings we got to know each other even better. We are really proud that we have managed to build trust in the group between the workshop participants despite the language and very sensitive topic.  The workshops were very intimate, but the participants were on the other hand very open and willing to share their experiences and emotions and helpful to one another. We have experienced that we can learn a lot from others, we have listened actively and tried some mindfulness methods and techniques that can help us in our lives.
Some new acquaintances, friendships and insights were made at the workshops and I am very grateful for such a fruitful exchange. I am looking forward to a future collaboration with Tania and CRU Cowork and I am confident there will be soon some concrete projects since we have started discussing some new project ideas.