The mixed cooperative (also called a multi-stakeholder cooperative) involves stakeholders from all over the entire process, from unbuilt land to inhabited building. Investors, suppliers (contractor, architect, expert, estate agent, etc.), customers (residents/tenants) and external partners (care professionals, the government, etc.) all come together. Some have multiple interests at the same time and remain involved even after the completion of the building. This also ensures the continuity of the project. Bringing together people with different interests and objectives leads to understanding and respect for each other. It creates a sense of unity where they are pursuing a common interest.
Here are a few examples:
- The former owner of the empty building sells the building to the cooperative in exchange for cooperative shares. He thus becomes co-owner/cooperator/investor of the property to be developed.
- The manager of the local restaurant on the ground floor of the building is a client/tenant of the cooperative. At the same time, he is a supplier: outside the restaurant's opening hours, he rents the space to residents or third parties who organise meetings there.
- The company that carried out most of the construction work invests part of its profits in the cooperative. In this way, it becomes a co-owner of the completed building and indirectly monitors the quality of the property.
The term whatt has no specific meaning in Dutch, nor in English or French. It is a short word, and therefore easy to use.
Combined with the question mark in the Whatt logo, however, one can detect a reference to Why-How-What. The Why/How/What question forms the basis of the Golden Circle concept. This concept is central to the book Start with Why by British-American author Simon Sinek. The Why refers to the motives, the conviction, the reason for an organisation's existence. How relates to the actions undertaken and the processes set up to achieve the intended objective. Finally, What stands for the concrete result, the proof that the objective has been achieved.
The extension .eu refers to the European Union, and Brussels as its capital.
Applied to the Whatt.eu project:
There is a shortage of affordable, liveable rental housing in the Brussels Region. The general wellbeing of tenants would benefit from a widening and renewal of the supply. There is currently a lack of organisations with a transversal approach to the various problems associated with housing.
The cooperative society envisaged in Whatt's project comprises six concrete fields of action. For example, a business model will be developed around cost reduction, and construction will be carried out according to the principles of the circular economy.
The Whatt project leads to sustainable living and thinking. It is a step towards an inclusive society and increases general well-being.