Today I visited my friends at Bron van Doen. They are active in the Doornakker Neighbourhood of Eindhoven as connectors for social initiatives and service designers. I used to live in this neighbourhood as a student so that is how we met. It’s a typical (dutch) labourers neighbourhood and it is filled with people from all over the wold. Bron van Doen is always looking for new ways to connect people and businesses to elevate the conditions of the people that live here. And that is why they have now been awarded by the local government with a new space : An old schoolbuilding at the Bloemfonteinstraat.
Today was the opening of their new space and the presentation of their new initiative : De MEDEWRKN – The Co-works.
Focussing on three pillars : talent development, collaborations and participation activities, they want to reach out to all citizens of Eindhoven to create a local social economy. Pretty amazing stuff!
Bron van Doen shares the terrain with Uit the Buurtfabriek – A wooden furniture factory that they founded, and the #Awesome foundation. Uit de Buurtfabriek is a perfect example of the opportunities and positive results that flow from the MEDEWRKNS goal: The Buurtfabriek works with people who want to return to work but are experiencing barriers that limit their options. At their own pace participants can learn the (crafting) skills and teamwork that is necessary to function in a work environment. The buurtfabriek makes high quality products for small and big clients but it’s not cheap. Everything is honest, and honest crafted furniture can not be acquired for an ikea price 😉
#Awesome is the place for people who are out to get a good deal for little money. Sometimes you can work out a deal without money: you can swap your clothes for second hand clothes that are in perfect condition. The swap shop is open four days a week and also helps low income families and refugees settle themselves in fashion. If you want to contribute more than just clothes you can also become a volunteer for the creative atelier. Here they use the fabrics of clothing that can no longer be sold and turn it into something else like cotton bags, children clothes and pancovers.
It was super nice to tour the building and see all these initiatives have a genuine eye for people and make a good business out of it. This space will definitely grow in the future and could even become a new social economy campus. I am definitely visiting the MEDEWRKN again to check in on their talent development trajectories and to admire all their good work.