While the last years have been a blooming period for co-working spaces, the next ten years will see a sky-rocking rise of a new trend: co-living.
Co-living isn’t a new concept. Closed communities like the Kibbutz, student housing or art residencies have been existing for the last centuries.
But for the first time, due to remote work and a global shift in personal values, this way of living is becoming a viable option for more people from different backgrounds, age groups and occupations — all deciding to live in shared living spaces, be part of a collective and gain a new life experience.
Unfortunately, co-living is far from its fullest potential.
Many co-living spaces are just about co-living in itself, namely putting a bunch of people together and taking care of it as a real estate business.
But that’s not what co-living should be about.
Co-living is an extension and optimisation of the most fundamental question in life — namely, why we live in the first place.
If our current life intention is personal exploration, then co-living is an extension of that desire. If our current life intention is professional growth, then co-living should be optimised to solve that problem.
Having people in the same space is a side-product of the intention, and not the other way round. The focus lies first on helping people fulfil their needs, and co-living is a means to that end.
For example, at Evolve, our co-living space in Bali, we set the intention for co-living to help people explore themselves through deep experiences and the power of community.
We want to help people on their journey of transition. Help them fulfil their intention in search for alignment. Not telling them who they should be or how they should get there, but giving them the tools, resources, community, and necessary confrontation to build a life journey that is aligned with who they truly are at their core.
And personal transformation is not the only way. Other co-living spaces like Hustlers Villa and Kindred Quarters have been setting the intention to create professional growth and a surrounding of like-minded entrepreneurs. Other spaces can be about physical transformation or mindful living.
Whatever the core intention is — we hope that putting intentions first will create more co-living spaces that deeply make sense.
It’s true that co-living has still a long way to go.
But let’s not see co-living as a professionalized collective housing. Let’s not make co-living about living, but about the experience that comes through it.
Let’s see co-living for what it truly can be — changing people’s lives.
And that starts with having a clear intention in mind.
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About Me — I’m Gui and I explore the depth of coliving. It the past, I created several short-term coliving spaces in Barcelona and Bali. I’m currently documenting the coliving scene on the Coliving Diaries, where this article was originally posted. You can find me on Twitter and chat with me here.
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