Work&Co: The collaborative economy is making headway
Organized and hosted by Pierre Bataille and Steffi de Jong

A social business founded in 2014, Work&Co proposes a tour of a former textile mill and part of Dunkirk’s industrial heritage renovated into an innovative space that combines shared working areas, an organic and fair trade coffee shop and a small daycare center. Work&Co has been designed with solidarity in mind. Curious to discover a new way of working? Join the visit of this site, where the motto ‘Work Different’ couldn’t be more appropriate.

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Work&Co is the fruit of an elaborate strategic reflection on how best to apply the concept of social entrepreneurship. This newly created living and working space is located in the Mall District, just a 5-min walk from the train station in a district undergoing revitalization.
The recently opened shared workspace includes meeting rooms, a reception room, a small innovative daycare center (10 cribs) and a coffee shop (featuring organic and fair trade products).

The Work&Co design is intended to differ from conventional company layouts, by announcing up front that the workspace will also host various training modules (websites, business model adaptation, etc.) and accompaniment sessions by participants and consultants. “A telecommuter or freelance journalist, for example, can take advantage here of more than an Internet connection and coffee, with the possibility for real exchanges. Contacts might even be made with other professionals, entrepreneurs, accountants, designers,” notes Mr. Bataille. Social entrepreneurship goes hand in hand with “limited gain”: a large share of the profits will be reinvested in structural projects.
Inspired from Scandinavian-style models, the “Kids&Co” daycare center will introduce an educational program based on the notion that the child must be “the entrepreneur of his own life”. Work&Co is also applying for an “ecological” center label, whereby children will have access to organic food and wooden toys. Diaper services will also be ecologically managed.