Summer is when the pulse of the city slows down. Residents of Tbilisi travel to the many countrysides of Georgia to escape the heat of the city. Yet this summer, an unusual buzz took possession of Atoneli street, near the entrance of the Dry bridge. Volunteers are actively scraping, painting, sawing and assembling what’s to become a new hub of cultural, social and educational activities and events in Tbilisi.
Project & Team
Generator 9.8 is an initiative of the “International Centre for Peace and Integration (ICPI)“(1), a Georgian non-profit organization involved in numerous EU programs, including the European Voluntary Service (EVS) and Erasmus+. It will include a coworking space and a social bar.
A lot of reflection and planning has gone into this initiative since the founders first talked about it in 2013. Natali Kenkadze, Ani Kokhtashvili, Ana Philauri and Khatuna Chaladze are busier than ever but determined to make their vision happen.
Inspired by the emerging movement of collaborative consumption(2) (Natali has conducted many trainings on this topic across Europe), they have settled for a not-for-profit social enterprise driven by the energies of volunteers.
ICPI have convinced the investors of the Startup Terrace of GITA(3), of Startup Marani(4) and just a few weeks ago, of the Ministry of Sports and Youth to support the project and provide startup funds and methodological support. Additionally, ICPI is meeting both small and large companies to co-fund the Generator or to trade some support against publicity for the company. To ensure the project’s’ sustainability, ICPI has also created a club of “business angels” to raise donations on a regular basis towards paying the rent and the bills.
Location & space
The premises are a 120 square meters’ cafe on Atoneli street, at the bottom of Leonidze park and just 400 meters off Rustaveli avenue. Large trees on the sidewalk provide welcome shadow to the group of about 10 volunteers who currently conduct renovation work.
Inside, the ground floor comprises a kitchen, the cafe area with the bar and two toilets. Above, two mezzanines will be equipped to host the coworkers. The space is projected to host up to 30 coworkers or a maximum of 100 people during events. A ramp will be provided for wheelchair access to the ground floor from the street.
A day at Generator 9.8
Start your day with a hot drink and surround yourself with the studious atmosphere of the Generator. Until 7pm every day, members come to Generator 9.8 to get work done. Of course, you’re more than welcome to engage in a conversation with your neighbors and learn more about them and what they are working on. This is the essence of coworking where, through contacts made in the same work place, people expand their network and horizons!
The following services will be available: Internet, printer, scanner, xerox machine and mobile telephone as well as notarial, accounting and lawyer’s services. The staff will encourage sharing and the exchange of information (infodesk, access to a library and other resources). A wardrobe service will be made available and coworkers will have the possibility to use the fridge if they bring their lunch with them. They will also have the possibility to order Italian specialties from the kitchen.
At 7pm starts the “aperitivo”, a happy hour to transition to a more festive and relaxed atmosphere. Break the ice and engage in full-fledged conversations with other members! Drink orders during that hour will be accompanied by free snacks.
The evening program starts at 8pm, with a different cultural, social or educational activity every night. These will include an Italian language club, a film club, conferences, workshops and concerts.
Memberships will be reasonably priced in an effort to attract a wide array of young people and professionals. The projected membership plans consist in monthly passes to use the space 1 day per week, 2 days per week, 3 days per week or every day. The membership plans will include tea and coffee.
The primary target of Generator 9.8 are startups, NGOs(5) and freelancers but anyone who shares the values and objectives of the project will be welcome (students, informal groups, young people, youth initiatives…).
Rendez-vous at the end of August for the opening!
Facebook: Generator 9.8 / გენერატორი 9.8
Address: Atoneli street 29, Tbilisi, Georgia
Contact Tel.: (+995) 557 229998
(1) About ICPI
International Centre for Peace and Integration – ICPI is a Georgian non-governmental non-profit youth organization founded in February, 2011 by young people with 9-10 years of working experience in the NGO sector. The main mission of ICPI is to support socially active youngsters, promote integration and contribute to peace-building processes, to give a hand to create a more active, educated and modern society. The organization aims to support young people’s personal, educational and spiritual development, to promote the idea of active citizenship and the importance of volunteering, to deepen intercultural relations and build partnerships between Georgia and other European countries.
The organization cooperates with different NGOs in different countries of the world and is actively involved in the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Commission, organizing training courses, youth exchanges on various topics. ICPI is an EVS (European Voluntary Service) hosting and sending organization.
(2) Collaborative consumption: when technology enables people to share the use of objects which each of them would previously own. “Access” replaces “ownership”. Reference: http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2059521_2059717_2059710,00.html
(3) Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA), http://gita.gov.ge/
(4) Startup Marani, http://startupmarani.ge/
(5) NGO: Non-governmental Organization