The SIPTU logo –
Archive for March, 2009
Two weeks ago, as part of the Vizitant project, I visited the Third Age Foundation in Co. Meath – an older people's organization run by older people for older people. The organization was founded by Mary Nally whom I've been priveleged to know since joining the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland network last summer.
The resources and materials used by Fáilte Isteach deal with real life, everyday situations which we take for granted, such as visiting the doctor, shopping and work related scenarios. Today Fáilte Isteach has 40 students on its roll, from 14 different countries, and 15 volunteer tutors.
I'm very impressed with the Awakening Creative Entrepreneurship event being run by the Northern Ireland Business and Innovation Centre –
Ace – a.k.a "The Unconference for Creative Entrepreneurship" is an unconference-style iconic event that's dedicated to bringing together the creative community for a face-to-face collaborative meet-up where new relationships are formed, old relationships are nurtured, ideas are shared, skills are developed, creative entrepreneurs are promoted, and innovation happens in real-time.
The technology world will converge in the North West from 25 to 27 March when Silicon Valley comes to Derry/Londonderry for the ACE UnConference, which has been funded through the Arts Council’s Innovation Fund and is managed by NORIBIC – The Northern Ireland Business & Innovation Centre.
When Jason Roe (of Ryanair ruffling notoriety) invited me to co-author Coworking.ie two years ago I eagerly accepted. Coworking, officially defined as a ‘cafe-like community/collaboration space for developers, writers and independents’
was a trend I’d been keeping an eye on for many months. The idea is
simply for freelancers to take a shared office, imbue it with cafe
culture and avail of the networking opportunities afforded.
But there are many definitions of and variations on coworking depending on who you ask. For instance, Jelly is ‘casual coworking’ where people are invited to work from a host home for a day. Jelly provides chairs and sofas, wireless internet, and interesting people to talk to, collaborate with, and bounce ideas off of.
So it’s clear that coworking is as much about collaboration as it is
about shared space among independents. Hotdesking by contrast has it’s
origins in the corporate environment where a primary motivation was
cost reduction through space saving. Typically a a number of employees
operated a ‘timeshare’ on a single work station or desk space.
But hotdesking has evolved and broken free from the confines of the
company. Now it’s more about flexible temporary space for individuals.
And a number
of service providers in Ireland are experimenting with different
configuration ideas. The appeal to me is that coworking is overkill for
my purposes. I work fine out of my own home-office most of the time but
would really appreciate the opportunity to hot desk now and again,
especially when my work takes me on the road.
– More positive coverage from the national broadcaster came with last Thursday night's Prime Time on ways to fight back against the economic doom and gloom. Sean Coughlan, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, said the number of applicants to this year's awards program was up and we got a look at the success of one such entrepreneur when the camera crew visited Dara Hogan's Fledglings Childcare project.
Tony Frattaroli is the Limerick based entrepreneur behind Sals Pizza who appeared on Dragon's Den last week to pitch his pizza franchise idea. He has agreed to participate in a short Q&A session at next Thursday's (5th March) OpenCoffee Club Limerick about his experiences on the show. Begins at 11am in the Absolute Hotel and is free to attend. Everyone is welcome. From the Dragon's Den webpage –
Product: Sals Pizza started trading
on July 4th 2008. They currently have over 200 customers and they trade
Wednesday through to Sunday. They have dedicated all their time and
money so far to the business. They bake and deliver fresh pizza to an
area with over 20,000 of a population. Their product is made entirely
from fresh ingredients using an old family recipe. The opportunity here
is that no one is currently doing what they do in County Limerick. They
have a great area to tap into and having only touched the surface over
the past few months.