Introducing TEAMWORK - an EA Coworking Space in Berlin

by Sebastian Schwiecker1 min read15th Sep 20214 comments

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In May 2021 Effektiv Spenden (an EA-aligned fundraising organization) rented a 200m2 office in Berlin with the goal to create  a coworking space for the EA community: TEAMWORK.

The intent was and is to give the numerous people working in the EA environment in Berlin a space to work together. Even if one doesn’t always work on the same projects, the informal exchange over coffee or lunch can serve to develop new ideas or get valuable feedback. Furthermore, it can be beneficial for one's own motivation to surround oneself with like-minded people. This is especially true for people who are only remotely connected to their actual teams or completely work by themselves.

In addition to the Effektiv Spenden team, employees from organizations such as Animal Charity Evaluators, Founders Pledge, CEA, One for the World, High Impact Athletes, Future Matters Project and Effective Altruism Berlin are working at TEAMWORK already. There are also several founders of new, promising EA projects, some of which are supported by the EA Funds or Charity Entrepreneurship.

We have also welcomed international visitors to TEAMWORK, for example from EA-France, EA-Netherlands, Deepmind, Legal Priorities Project, legacies.now or GiveDirectly.

For the future we are also planning to hold more in person events such as meetups, workshops, presentations and socials.

If you are working in the EA environment in Berlin and are looking for a place to work for one or more days per week among like-minded people we would be happy to hear from you. The same applies to all EAs who are only in Berlin for a few days or weeks and want to get to know the local community over coffee or lunch.

Even though it's still too early to make final judgments, the Effektiv Spenden team is very happy with the decision to start the TEAMWORK project and recommends thinking about following our example. If you are considering starting something similar in your city, we would be happy to share our experiences with you.

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I can totally recommend the office with Thomas and Basti organising it. I come here once a week and I enjoy working there a lot. The rooms are spacious, we have spare monitors, the kitchen is big enough to have lunch together and it's great to bump into people working on EA things :) 

If you are ever in Berlin, feel free to come by.

I'm curious: how much are you spending on this on a yearly basis, roughly? It seems a very effective thing to develop a real tight and collaborative community.

Very rough monthly cost all in (rent, insurance, electricity, heating, cleaning, internet... ) is around 3.500€. In addition we had some upfront costs (mostly furniture) of around 11,000€. We currently also tend to buy a lot of new stuff which adds up to a couple of hundreds of Euros every month (e.g. we got a Microwave today, last week we bought an air purifier... ). Next week we will get some phone booths which will luckily be paid for through a grant from the EA Infrastructure Fund though (around 14,000€ for 4).

So currently we are still subsidizing the office through our main project (or we just pay a relatively high rent ourselves) but we are getting closer for it to be financial self sufficient (probably not if I would honestly calculate the staff time we invested though). Still feels like a really good investment, especially since we started hosting (small) events as well (e.g. EA Berlin Meetup, EA Consulting Network Meetup, AI Lecture... ).

Make sure to visit us if you are ever in Berlin.

Sounds really cool. Time to visit Berlin! :)