The digital nomad movement is normally associated with spiritual places like Bali and Chiang Mai, rather than the financial hubs of this world – and for good reason. But as the name suggests, digital nomadism denotes location independence, and so the trend is rapidly finding its way into our big cities where you’re more likely to encounter a football field than a rice field.
And big cities frankly don’t come much bigger than Shanghai, a heaving megalopolis of 24 million souls (more than double the population of Belgium, or eight times the population of Wales, if you prefer), the scene of an upcoming digital nomad meetup.
On 11 May, coding bootcamp specialists Le Wagon Shanghai will deliver a free evening of digital nomadism talks on how to take advantage of our “ultra-connected world to work whatever suits freelancers”. The event will be held at bar/cafe/hipster space X-Space, Jiangning Road near Fengxian Lu, which has the added kudos of being located in my former neighbourhood.
Beginning at 7pm, the evening will include a snapshot of the key challenges relating to the digital nomad lifestyle in Shanghai, short talks from digital nomads on remote work, Q&A and drinks (obviously).
(With special thanks to Brian Tam for alerting me to this.)
If surrounded by fifty shades of beige, and the thought of following a location independent lifestyle in idyllic Ko Lanta appeals but you’re unsure where to begin (other than buying a ticket to Bangkok), a digital nomad bootcamp in Barcelona might nudge you in the right direction.
The Nomad Accelerator has launched a two-week programme that aims to equip participants with the relevant knowledge, skills and mindset to get started.
During the course, nomad wannabes will learn digital marketing skills, from how to build a search-optimised website and design landing pages with high conversions to social media, from 10 experienced nomads. The programme will also include interactive workshops as well as talks.
Starting on 31 July in the Catalan capital, the bootcamp will cost USD2,750 (accommodation included) with seats for 30 candidates, so get applying.
A British wealth management firm, Mattioli Woods, is looking to see how effective and productive remote working can be – by allowing two of their UK staff to combine work with travel through the Remote Work programme for a whole year.
Sensibly, the company recognises that to retain key talent “we sometimes have to make things happen that are outside our comfort zone,” in the words of their Chief People Officer. The CEO also recognises that times are a-changing: “We have these millennials who come to work for different reasons than we do and some of the things they say may actually be right.”
Chris Smith and Suzanne Walker will spend 12 months visiting 12 cities around the world, beginning in Mexico City and ending in PP, Cambodia. The two will work in serviced offices during the day, and reserve their free time for exploring surroundings and doing their own thing.
Meanwhile, if Chris and Suzanne wish to know more about Kuala Lumpur – their October port of call – I’d be more than happy to share tips!