January 17, 2016

Network Factories: The new requirements for development

“Information networks has removed distances, but the public’s need for space lingers”

We have been living in urban areas with evergrowing populations for decades. The ever-changing conditions call for us to fit our lives to the new conditions, or shape the conditions ourselves. Those of us who are lucky are able to build continuous relationships through our jobs, projects and volunteering.

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I am one of those who are lucky. I have found the opportunity to observe spaces available in Turkey and abroad through my work and travels. I  have come to the realization that due to the workload, we sometimes have to spend our limited time only in assembly halls, in hotels or some street food sellers nearby.

In the last two years, I had the opportunity to see hubs working as business networks, in cities such as Stockholm, Bilbao, Washington, Brussels, London, Chicago and Istanbul. These ‘hubs’ work as innovation centers and common offices that serve as places for people from diverse backgrounds to come together and network. They are attractive economic centers given that they are the centers of the networks.

As Manuel Castell put it, all the processes, urban areas, organizations, public structure and business operations are run inside networks. Castell continues with stating that despite the fact that information networks have removed the distance, the public need for space lingers on. Of course, as internet and technology continue to develop, the shape of these needs has changed in the last 10 years. If you fail to recognize the change, you are left out, and the need to join becomes important.

Is it really hard and expensive to join those networks and its locations to satisfy our needs?

To put it shortly: not at all. The first step is to be open for change and be adaptable to the changing mindset. I have found an opportunity to see this change in mindset in an international R&D investment practice. It is not possible to facilitate change by investing in deployment or R&D. Now, R&D investments are made through network hubs and the sub-networks. To give an example, the professional athletes raised in Germany that are of Turkish origin are more ‘talented’ and ‘successful’ compared to those who were raised in Turkey since they were provided with sports areas, education and networks along with sports infrastructures in their local neighborhoods.
This calls for the need to be present in the networks and have the knowledge on how they work, and a public space for information networking. Social media has created a life that is more social, yet alone, which contributes to the need for social business networks. The development depends on these networks to increase in numbers, and to their creation of value and them developing positive practices.

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These networks are common in Istanbul which is a network center itself. But, bearing in mind that Istanbul is the center of Turkey’s networks, Istanbul still needs more of these spaces. Along with these, there is a need for information centers providing pathways to international networks. I have found the opportunity to see such a place, 1776 in Washington DC. 1776 has become a successful business incubator despite competition from Silicon Valley. They are bringing social scientists and technology gurus together for workshops for starting companies. People who are related to innovation and technology in Washington DC wind up in 1776 eventually. 1776 also founded networks all around the world. Their neighbor  “GeneralAssemblythat offers certificates on coding to data analysis is just one of the examples.

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These network hubs serve as network factories and network altruists. Some organization similar to 1776 is present in Izmir and continues to flourish as I am observing by the first hand. GNN Offices, that is home to IDEMA’s Izmir office is building up such a network called ORIGINN that will launch in January 2016. Izmir’s new outlook for business comes together with the traditional vision of international exposition is adapted through new age approach together to build a common office and networking space that will tie the world together. ORIGINN has built an area for innovation, entrepreneurship, and development for collaboration with its potential to become an attractive hub for partnerships in design, innovation, internationalization, brand, vision, network and partnership. ORIGINN identifies itself as “the most efficient place to work and meet with its contemporary offices, coworking, activity and conference areas”, and more information is available on www.originn.com.tr.

idemahaber (IDEMA Development News) will be reporting on improvements, projects, conferences and workshops related to ORIGINN to provide insight on network building.