Au Comptoir Numérique

A third place for citizens in the region


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7 place maréchal foch 42000 Saint-Etienne Rhone-Alpes France
FR France


About the project Edit

Should we call Comptoir Numérique a "third place".

It resembles the functions of:

- Espace Public Numérique (Epn), a place of public support for the use of Information Technology and Communication

- a resource centre for public actors of the Loire

- a coworking space.

This "Third place" (Between home and office) welcomes the general public and associations or groups. It is "a place serving other places" (it has a support structure, resources centres ...), allowing everyone to have digital access.

It is also a workspace for a new genre combining social and economic services. A third place between work and home for telecommuters and those self-employed from all backgrounds (journalists, graphic designers, developers, consultants, coaches, translators). In short, the nomadic people of modern times and all those who can work remotely!

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Comptoir Numérique is an unusual and innovative place by the fact that it works by taking the skills and values that often oppose themselves or are ignored, like those of the Social Solidarity Economy, Sustainable Development and Information and Communication Technology.

It provides access to digital uses that caters to all audiences, whether they are novices or experts. One of the strengths of this third place is its ability to gather its actor base, which come from very different sectors, associations, companies, organizations (scop), this also includes independents, NGOs, communities and universities or project leaders, the list is long and not exhaustive.

Au Comptoir Numérique we encourage sharing at all levels, starting with knowledge.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The goal is to promote knowledge sharing, giving it priority over the sharing of material goods, which is also an obvious benefit of this project. The Comptoir Numérique’s co-working space provides a user-friendly workspace to promote the exchange and sharing of experiences.

It goes against the individualism that has predominated for decades, whereby it is absolutely essential to protect one’s data and projects in order to develop them. Here, there is no hierarchy, everyone is encouraged to actively participate, debate and make decisions. The process of creating projects is facilitated through professional social ties, circles of trust, reciprocity and common interests.

Working by distance and coworking would not be possible without ICT, which allows people to keep in touch with their services and their colleagues by from home while choosing their own hours. Distance workers have decreased levels of stress, spend less time commuting and have more time available for personal projects and activities.

Stepping outside their usual work environment, even if only from time to time, can provide distance workers with a renewed sense of freedom and autonomy. The change of environment and new social-professional connections boost creativity and enthusiasm for their projects.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Throughout its development and until the final phase of the project, a white paper is produced to provide the “source code” for the third place, to facilitate the development and adaptation of similar projects in local or remote regions.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

Supported by several public and private actors, the Comptoir Numérique was inaugurated on November 29th, 2010 on the occasion of the International Biennial event of the Design of Saint-Etienne, in conference was organized on the theme "Territories in Transitions in the era of the digital technology."

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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Conseil Général Loire
Saint-Etienne Métropole
Région Rhône-Alpes
Grand Roanne Agglomération
ville de St-Etienne
Crédit Coopératif
Loire Active
WWF France
RDAC(Réseau Départemental des Acteurs de la Cyberloire)
Ratice Loire
Coraia (coordination régionale de l'internet accompagné)
Cie Numerique
Streaming Video