Coworking Spaces and the Transcendence of Social Innovation Knowledge in the Smart Territory

Coworking Spaces and the Transcendence of Social Innovation Knowledge in the Smart Territory

Guillermo J. Larios-Hernandez, Alberto Borbolla-Albores
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2097-0.ch016
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Smart territories favor social entrepreneurship, which develops in a collaborative effort requiring networking and skilled facilitation. Coworking spaces (CWS) advance as mediating organizations that bring together entrepreneurial communities in smart territories. This chapter develops a practical framework for knowledge dissemination in CWS. It bases this framework on the analysis of three spatial characteristics that allow for the assessment of the knowledge transcendence originating in CWS, namely, physical, social, and informational spaces. To test this framework, the authors analyze the Roma-Norte corridor in Mexico City, whose results indicate the presence of two models: one constituted of private organizations that place collaboration as a secondary value, subject to their office rental services, and an umbrella model that clusters other social innovation facilitators that transcend their territorial strip. This latter meta-space model expresses positive effects in terms of knowledge spillover, suggesting the concentrated bottom-up construction process of a smart territory.
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Entrepreneurship and innovation are essentially dynamic spatial phenomena that change over time (Groys, 2005). The pursuit of profit or the realization of economic sustainability in a social venture can only take place in a specific location, whose characteristics are defined by a functional space comprising interactions, ideas, and social context (Giddens, 2011). Social innovation has to do with the advance of solutions that aim to remedy certain social needs (Saiz-Álvarez & Palma-Ruiz, 2019; Mulgan, 2006), and each territory expresses different social demands, involving the development of tailored social innovations (Bencardinoa & Greco, 2014).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mini-Cluster: Small spaces of social agglomeration in a fraction of a given territory, leading to information transfer processes and the construction of social capital.

Cluster: Agglomerate of several business organizations that share common objectives.

Coworking Space: A collaborative facility where the concepts of open and private areas are diluted, adopting an informal style to encourage the flow of information and ideas.

Smart Territory: Geographical contexts that revolve around citizens, aimed at achieving efficiency and sustainable development in a given territory.

Knowledge Spillover: The process of tacit information dispersion in the territory, which is usually collected by business organizations in the form of systematized knowledge.

Social Innovation: Social practices that create alternative solutions to relevant societal problems, nurturing general well-being in a given community.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: A system of beliefs, values, ways of being, and doing that develops a particular social and economic environment with effects on local or regional entrepreneurship.

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