Planting an Eco-Friendly Coworking Space in Cairo

by Hanan Solayman, November 22, 2012

New coworking space icecairo launched this month as the third installation of icehubs, an international coworking space brand with other locations in Bauhaus, Germany and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. ICE stands for Innovation, Cooperation and Entrepreneurship.

Unlike other working spaces that have recently launched in Cairo (like The District), icecairo is promoting a particular focus on environmental projects and activities with the goal of building a “green community” in Cairo.

The space itself is a vibrant ecosystem built by the community, offering eco-friendly products, including gardening lamps, recycled furniture, a water purification system, and plant irrigation, creating a link between the people and the space.

Among the gadgets at icecairo is a hydrogenous fuel cell that produces energy from water and a Bokashi composting system to recycle and reuse organic waste for other purposes.

“We don’t just want to be a regular working space, we want to be unique by transforming ideas into viable projects, by studying the market, and recognizing the potential profit resources,” says icecairo manager Adam Molineux-Berry. icecairo is also organizing public events related to the eco-centric concept, hosting a debate this month about rules for eco-friendly development.

Egyptian-British manager Molineux-Berry explains that countries like Senegal provide a sustainable life for their citizens despite the fact that there are many more poor areas in Senegal than in Egypt. In Senegal there are over 14,000 eco-friendly villages that encourage citizens to recycle, reuse, and live sustainably to make resources last.

icecairo is trying to create a similar culture in Egypt, by crafting a space where visitors can brainstorm and work side by side to promote sustainable development and a “green community” in Cairo.

icecairo’s entry into this space comes on the heels of other social entrepreneurs trying to build awareness around recycling and sustainability in Egypt. Two other startups, Recyclobekia and Schaduf, are also working to spread a culture of sustainable living throughout Cairo; hopefully this is just the start of a new environmental trend in Egypt and the rest of the region. 

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Hanan Solayman is a freelance journalist and founder of “El Mandara”, a local news portal in Egypt. She studied Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York. You can connect with her via e-mail at hanan@mandaraonline.com or on Twitter @hananzaz.