As announced last week, it is time for the launch of Silicon Luxembourg’s first-ever podcast series. In our premiere episode, Gosia Kramer shares her recap of 2019 and outlook for 2020 with regard to Luxembourg as a startup nation and the development of “Future of Work”.
As the new decade has just started, we wanted to reflect a bit on what happened in the startup world in 2019 and also think about what lies ahead of us in 2020.
For this, there is, of course, no better way than asking some of the leading figures of the Luxembourgish and European startup ecosystems for their opinions.
Accordingly, Charles-Louis Machuron, Founder & CEO of Silicon Luxembourg, sent a few voice messages to some people and asked how they look back to last year, what developments they expect in 2020, and which type of trends and opportunities they see coming in the new decade.
You can listen to their replies in the form of the first season of our “Voice Message From…” podcast series with five episodes that we share throughout this week.
For this first-ever audio series by Silicon Luxembourg, we have the generous support of The Office.
Accordingly, we kick this series off with Gosia Kramer who is the Founder & CEO & of Luxembourg’s pioneer in the coworking field. By reflecting on last year and looking ahead to the future, Gosia shared some insights about the startup ecosystem in Luxembourg as well as her outlook on the general development of “Future of Work” with us.
If you enjoy also reading Gosia’s answers, you can read the full transcript below.
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Transcript – “Voice Message From…” Episode 1 – Gosia Kramer (The Office)
Charles-Louis Machuron (Silicon Luxembourg):
“Hi Gosia! I hope you are doing well. Just sending you this voice message as I am right now trying to gather some first-hand, personal insights from leading people of the Luxembourgish startup ecosystem to create a review of 2019 and outlook for 2020.
For this, I‘d like to ask you some questions. Your answers will be shared in an unfiltered way directly with Silicon Luxembourg‘s audience. If you’re in, I‘d be curious to hear your thoughts from a founder‘s perspective on the following questions:
– How do you see the development of the startup ecosystem in Luxembourg in 2019? As an expert on the topic of „Future of Work“, what highlights did you see in this field in 2019 in Luxembourg, Europe or actually the whole world?
– What trends do you see for Future of Work, including Coworking in 2020?
– What is one personal wish for you as a founder and all the others out there for 2020 and the next decade? And, Why?
Looking forward to your thoughts on this. All you have to do is to just send me a voice message back.
Thank you very much!”
Gosia Kramer (The Office):
“Hi Charles! I really appreciate it, thank you for that. And, I must say that your questions, they really resonate with what I’m thinking, what I’m having in mind. So definitely I’d love to share.
2019 – what a ride it was. In the local startup ecosystem, from what I have observed, it was the year of ‘securing the base’. And, what I mean by that: Strengthening operations, improving business models, gathering feedback. We had some fundraisings, which is always a very good signal to a startup ecosystem.
From here, however, I think that by now, we all realize that new technologies are developing quicker than humans. And startups using new technologies are growing faster than others in the market. So, ‘Hello?!’… If you thought that in 2019 we were working hard, in 2020, we need to work even harder.
And, speaking about working harder or working faster or working smarter: Let’s talk about ‘Future of Work’. So the term of the future of work. And, what is the future of work?
We all position ourselves somewhere in the future with the skill set that we are currently possessing and we see the future like sometimes in very abstract terms. But in fact what is happening in the working area… the entire new development of having basic functions replaced by machines. This is happening, this is the fact.
We should all realize that our biggest gain is going to be time because the more we use technology, the more time we have. The more automatization and efficiency we bring into our lives, the more time we win. So what we’re gonna do with this time? That’s very interesting. Guess what – we can invest it back to the communities, we can invest it back to the towns or the local economies to actually focus on them and the projects that have meaning.
My conviction is that my biggest mission here in this market is to bring awareness that: “Guys, we are losing our skills! You are not skilled enough to cope with new technologies.”
Technology is growing faster than our skills so we must do something about it. We have to stay up front on the technology. We have to develop our skills to build new functions and new positions and new jobs, possessing multiple skills to be able to work alongside the machines.
I’m going to give you a very simple example. When you think about the corporate or a start organization, you have very clearly defined jobs. So you have like kind of secretary, receptionist, operations, sales, IT developers. So that was actually the past. That’s not going to exist any longer. Why? Because thanks to the new technologies, we can discover that an IT developer can do social media marketing with no problem – because he has access to all the tools and all the system enhancement that allows him to do marketing online. So that’s also the future that the jobs that used to be complex in the past are automatized and are becoming very, very simple. So the question is really like: “What’s next?!”
It’s like… ‘responsibility to educate yourself’… it’s a keyword for 2020.
You have people around, you can be in the coworking place and just simply learn from the people that are around you and they can support you. If we are smart enough to use it to our advantage, we can actually achieve much, much more in our personal and professional lives.
Coworking places will be the places where the future of work will happen. We actually already started the trend, attracting talent to coworking places. I think that is something that is not appreciated enough when we speak about coworking because people when they think about coworking they think ‘real estate’. When I think about coworking, I think ‘community’. So for me, it’s very important to create spaces where my members feel comfortable and safe and where they can grow. And ‘grow’, I mean by sharing the knowledge, sharing their skills, motivating each other and staying efficient… and happy.
Happiness is number one. It impacts productivity massively. And it’s super interesting because I don’t want to sound here like a ‘master of statistics’ but indeed 89 percent of the people that join coworking places are just simply happier. Can you imagine?! And, like happy generations, happy societies…
The future of work will go much more remote. There is no way back because we see this trend already started and more and more people are moving this direction. Millennials, they all want to work remotely. So when we think of having 50 million millennials in the world, you can imagine the number of people working from wherever they feel comfortable working.
I think like my responsibility and the responsibility of every owner of a coworking place, even every chain, is to create the places that are not corporate-like, that really break this rule of the traditional corporate world. And, what I mean by that is to create strong communities.
I think that that’s going to be also part of the future of work: Strong communities where people collaborate, where people exchange their skills, where people get together and solve their problems together. We have lost that a bit. And to build something back… because you know it’s like with everything in life. It takes you ages to build and a moment to destroy. And, then to rebuild it again, it’s again… it takes ages.
So because we were stuck in these corporate models… with all due respect to corporates because like, you know, we know how the economies are growing. But to build a new model of working, it’s going to be a process. But what is beautiful actually about the entire future of work: It will be an interactive process. It will be a process driven by humans with the use of new technologies. And that’s so fascinating actually! We don’t know what waits. And, I think like this power, this is in our hands. It’s very stimulating. In coworking, we decide! We decide what we do and how we want to drive our professional career.
For 2020, I truly wish for myself and for anybody else in this market more meaningful collaborations. I think like staying alone as a startup, as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, it’s a very lonely journey. We should be more together, collaborate and create together. I think if we all mobilize ourselves a little bit more together, work closer, collaborate closer, also you know, corporates, governments, private and the startup ecosystem, we can bring this country to the pioneer country in the startup scene.
Talk to you soon and thanks for your voice message again. Bye!”