Morning OS: Uncovering the town of Bagnolet
A translation of the article, Morning OS : explorer la ville à sa périphérie by Victor Wright.
Our mission was clear; to find somewhere we could work closely and collaboratively on local projects, and with the capacity to hold participatory events throughout the year. For a team whose collective assets had consisted of three DIY tables, some chairs and a screen, it was clear that entering the real estate market would be far from easy. The search, which lasted almost a year, brought us to the following conclusions:
1. We needed to explore the alternatives under the constraints of fixed costs
Ouishare is made up of independent co-workers, a handful of furniture and contracted employees. In the past we have never had to deal with the hoard of fixed costs often associated with more conventional organisations. With this lack of financial constraint, we could explore and envisage alternative solutions for the benefit of the collective. However, opening a space that we could call our own would have massively increased our costs and forced us to engage in revenue-generating activities that would have otherwise detracted from our core objectives. We therefore searched to engage with a partner from within the coworking industry, to allow us to focus on what we do best: editorial content, event organisation and opportunity creation for industry disruptors.
2. Tomorrow’s cities look beyond their centres
“Cities across the world, unite!” was the call to action at last year’s Ouishare Fest in Pantin (a Parisian suburb), where we explored examples of complex urban adaptations that address the pressing issues of our time. Our belief today is that urban transformation should extend beyond city centres and into what’s happening on the outskirts. This mentality is what lead us to discover Morning OS, in the suburban town of Bagnolet.
Morning OS: A new space with new numerous challenges
Morning OS is the result of our partnership with Morning Coworking, a 3000m² building dedicated to all things innovation. Here are the challenges we’ve set ourselves to help Morning OS reach its potential within the town of Bagnolet:
1. To unite all those creating innovation through multidisciplinary projects
Morning OS’s earliest inhabitants are organisations with shared social goals achieved through unique methods: La Belle Friche is an architecture agency specialising in collective urbanism; Cog’Innov is pursuing innovation in cognitive science; Ancoats conducts research on alternative economic models for cultural third spaces; Collectif Bam is an ethical designer. Right now, we collectively take up just 140m² of space, so there is a huge amount of opportunity for growing a community of mission-driven businesses. At full capacity, Morning OS can take up to 40 organisations. Through open governance and by identifying solutions to the issues affecting Bagnolet, we hope to unite these innovative approaches in one collective vision.
2. To accelerate positive developments in Paris
Morning OS’s nearest metro is Gallieni, an area situated on the fault lines that separate central and suburban Paris, and is within walking distance of an immense highway that encircles the city. It is, nevertheless, the perfect example of where the French government is implementing projects as part of its city development programme. To drive this change, we will laterally run thematic events that echo our own studies and activities. The first that kicked off on 7th June alongside the launch of our Sharitories 2 study, focused on urban transformation and the impact of hybridisation of city areas.
3. To make our space a local hub of activity and resource
Our ultimate challenge is this: How can we become an open centre and resource for the people of Bagnolet? How can we ensure that our space fits properly within the town and creates positive impact? We are currently conducting a territorial diagnosis (which includes the research, mapping and meeting of local community members) so that we can get to grips with Bagnolet’s most pressing issues, integrate ourselves into the fabric of the area, and offer support and resources where possible. To set the ball rolling, we plan to open our meeting rooms to local students at the end of each day, and provide assistance and advice on their entrepreneurial and / or professional projects.
Get in touch to explore the edges of Paris via our new home in Bagnolet!
With thanks to Antonin, Helene, Samuel and, Edwin for their contributions and edits.