During our meeting check-ins throughout the last few months, we kept hearing the same thing: what lousy weather! Berlin was always so cold, grey, cold, and wet, did we mention cold already? Wouldn’t it be nice to be somewhere else? Even if somewhere else was also in the north, similarly wet, grey, and cold, it wouldn’t matter, at least you’d be somewhere else. Out of this realization, and a longing for something new, came the following idea: a work exchange program for collectives.
Our idea is an (international) exchange of “collectivistas” in tech. Since the pandemic, we’re now familiar and comfortable with working remotely. As such, it’d be easy to continue working for the same collective from somewhere else. So, if there are 2 volunteers, from 2 different collectives, who are keen to work x months somewhere else, such an exchange would be easy-peasy! On top of that, the collectives could help with finding somewhere to stay (or even also exchange the flats for the time of the exchange).
This change of scenery not only serves to broaden one’s intercultural horizons, but also to gain experience how other collectives work together. For example, how do they reach decisions, or how to they acquire projects. On top of this, you could share technical skills and experience. The exchangees could help directly in the new collective, and with that foster long term connections between different places.
Of course, that’s not to say there are no challenges with the idea. The biggest hurdle being that first of all 2 volunteers would have to be found, and they then have to agree on a period of time for the exchange. We can also expect that some places are going to be more popular than others. And last but not least, there’s bound to be some direct overhead cost, due to people getting used to a new working environment etc.
With this blog post, we first just wanted to introduce the idea. Next step will be to find other collectives who share our enthusiasm for such an exchange program!