In February 2019 we met in Warsaw to analyse the data from the interviews that had been coded over 2018 to January 2019. Warsaw was still filled with Christmas lights so we had a chance to walk around the Old Town next to the Faculty of Journalism, University of Warsaw. Over two days of cross-coding between the cities we retrieved the main findings from the study of High-Technology clusters and in-proximity public service media. This helped define and group different aspects of the organisational culture of the clusters and their internal component parts. We were also able to identify the commonalities and differences between each city cluster. Themes relating to agility, community, entrepreneurialism and aggregation emerged as factors of importance in the sustainability and success of firms located within the different aggregations (such as co-working spaces) within each cluster. There was a strong correlation to the fabric of each neighbourhood such as the number of grassroots enterprises (cafes, community groups) as well as external investment in the infrastructure and regeneration supported by the City Halls. The influence of revitalisation policies, post-industrialism and embedding of enterprise initiatives in the local community were evident.
Warsaw’s Praga district has all of this, as we again experienced during a walk around the area of the Koneser Center. It was a good moment to see the continuing progress of the district, since we first pilot study we conducted there back in the Winter of 2016. Balancing factors were the gentrification of the area, connected with a rise in the commercial interest in the district, which could have a counter - negative – effect on the grassroots activity in the future. Praga has Google embedded in the regeneration. Its presence and the juxtaposition of new design shops, restaurants, housing, conference rooms and the Museum of the Polish Vodka is likely to have an economic benefit for the city through increased tourism and the growth of commercial firms relocating to Praga. A balance between commercial and community interests will need to be maintained going forward.
The overall findings produced policy recommendations for public service media which will be included in the final project report. With the help of a Graphic Designer we will now turn to work on this document, which will be available for download on our website. We plan to launch the report during the conference of the Polish Communication Association, September 19-21, 2019 in Warsaw.
Two book chapters presenting selected findings from the project: one on the case study of Toronto’s Downtown Co-working spaces (Lizzie Jackson) and Warsaw’s Praga district (Michal Glowacki) have been submitted for an edited book on creative clusters edited by Marlen Komorowski and Ike Picone from imec-SMIT-VUB in Brussels. We are also both presenting papers at the European Media Management conference in Cyprus, June, 2019.