Along with other popular up topics like AI and blockchain, the Sharing Economy is definitely is on top of the list.
In a few words, the sharing economy allows distributing abundant resources over large groups of people with the use of online platforms, apps, and state-of-art technologies. Although, there are still arguments whether the biggest companies who have adapted sharing economy principles go around legislation and taxes, it is needless to say that the sharing economy is a large step away from consumerism and over-materialistic society. The shift is clear, and we are witnessing it ourselves these days.
Let’s take a look at Utrecht – an average young student town in the middle of the Netherlands – one of the most progressive countries in the world. There are around 70.000 students in Utrecht, and only around 6.000 study spots in university facilities. Without even getting into housing situation, the bottom line is – the space is scarce.
We, three co-founders of Time Space, had studied and lived in Utrecht for some years.
Looking at the scarcity of space, we started thinking: “Are there just too many people in Utrecht or spaces are simply underutilized?”
Our thought process was guided in the right direction when we’d met Ronald van den Hoff – the owner of one of the most progressive co-working companies and the founding father of Society 3.0. In Seats2Meet, a fast-emerging co-working all over the world, the value is created out of sharing of social capital between the people in the network. So, if professionals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers could already find their solace in progressive co-working spots, why couldn’t we create something similar for students?
And we did. Time Space was opened in September 2017 and became the first co-studying space in the Netherlands. We are a social enterprise that creates spaces for students by utilizing the spare capacity of the co-working spaces as study spaces. Our first location is situated in the center of Utrecht on the premises of Seats2Meet, at the Social Impact Factory, where we provide excellent study spaces with complementary coffee, meeting rooms and a motivating atmosphere. Time Space is not a physical location, it’s a concept with a philosophy behind it.
Co-working companies and offices are usually open from 9 until 6 on weekdays and are closed on weekends, which goes well in line with a professional daily routine. Students, on the other hand, tend to have a slightly more hectic schedule. They have classes in the morning, and the rest of the time is dedicated to self-study. Especially intense study periods fall on pre-exam seasons when weekends and night are as busy as the weekend. By using various facilities of co-working centers and offices we can manage to adjust to the demand by utilizing otherwise not used office spaces. And going beyond the functional needs, Time Space allows students to build professional connections, and network wih freelancers in entrepreneurs by simply sharing the same building.
Of course, as a business, you’re nothing without a user-friendly online platform and a fancy app. Therefore, an online booking system of Seats2Meet is now available for Time Space visitors to get guaranteed study spaces and get the gratification of confirming it in advance. On top of that, Seats2Meet passport is also available for students to match with relevant opportunities, articles, events and experts.