By day Francesca Pogliani is a Senior Sustainability Advisor at PwC Luxembourg; by night she is running Deskover, a co-learning space and community dedicated to transforming lifelong learning into a social and accessible experience. We spoke with Francesca to learn more about this unique concept.
Could you start by explaining what Deskover is?
Deskover is the first co-learning concept in Luxembourg. We provide an affordable space and also a community for professionals who need somewhere to study and focus after work, outside of business hours.
Deskover is for anyone who values life-long learning, but we mainly attract professionals with full-time jobs studying for certifications like for example MBAs, and those learning a new language or skill through online courses, evening classes, or independent study.
So did you create a physical space in Luxembourg?
That was the initial idea. The plan was to rent a physical space in Luxembourg city and create a dedicated co-learning space. But then I realised that most co-working spaces are under-utilised in the evenings and on weekends.
So I started exploring the option of collaborating with existing co-working spaces to help them maximise their space during off-peak times and also to help keep our costs down. We have successfully tested this model in collaboration with the Foundry co-working space during our pilot phase so we’re going to stick with this approach, at least in the short-term.
How did the idea for creating a co-learning concept come about?
The idea for Deskover came up because of personal needs. I’ve always been passionate about learning and continuous self-development. But when I started working I realised that it was difficult to find good spaces to continue to learn and grow outside work.
Libraries in Luxembourg tend to close early and they are usually only open during week days. Coffee shops are noisy and don’t offer favourable studying conditions. I found myself forced to study alone, which wasn’t very motivating. So I decided to come up with a solution that would provide professionals like me with an inspirational and affordable space to help them pursue their professional and personal development goals. That’s how the idea for Deskover was born.
“Social interactions play a key role when it comes to learning and self-improvement.”
You mentioned that Deskover not only offers a space but also a community. Could you tell us a bit more about the social aspect of Deskover?
I really believe that social interactions play a key role when it comes to learning and self-improvement. Of course, having a quiet space that’s conducive to studying is important, but in my experience, receiving the support from a community of like-minded people is what makes the difference when it comes to achieving your study goals.
That’s why a big focus of Deskover is to create a community of people who are interested in learning from each other and keeping each other accountable. This is done through in-person study evenings as well as community events designed to foster social learning. More information about our upcoming events can be found on our website.
How can people join Deskover?
It’s very simple and it doesn’t involve any complicated forms or contracts. All you need to do is register and pay online. You’ll then receive an e-access pass on your phone which will give you access to the co-working space for the selected time slot. The idea has always been to have a 100% digital sign up process to make it as straightforward as possible for people to join.
What’s next for Deskover?
We are currently working in collaboration with the Foundry co-working space. As the Deskover community grows I would like to create a platform that gives people the ability to choose between a number of co-working spaces in Luxembourg. And if everything goes well, the plan is to expand the concept beyond Luxembourg.
Photo: Chris Benson on Unsplash