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The Third Wave Of Coworking: ‘Neo-corporate’ Model Versus ‘resilient’ Practice

Alessandro Gandini, Alberto Cossu

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Coworking spaces have been affirmed in recent years as a mainstream, ‘neo-corporate’ model of flexible work in post-recession, urban knowledge economies. However, there is growing evidence of spaces that apply the discourses and practices of the coworking movement in ways that are alternative to the neo-corporate paradigm, both in urban and non-urban contexts. Exploring the ethos and practices of an urban co-operative space in London and a rural innovation hub in Southern Italy, the article illustrates the emergence of coworking endeavours that set in opposition to the neo-corporate model, and describes them as ‘resilient’. We show that resilient coworking spaces are organisational actors that interact with the surrounding context much more than their counterparts, blending entrepreneurial logics with forms of political and social activism. We argue their emergence might be the harbinger of a new phase in the evolution of the coworking phenomenon.