Co-Liv Summit, Day 1 presentations (part 2)

The Billion-Person Market You Haven’t Thought About Yet
Talk by Matthias Hollwich (of Hollwich Kushner)

As people lead longer and healthier lives, the housing market must adapt to serve an aging population that faces issues like loneliness and the need for support. By fostering strong communities, facilitating care, and promoting independence, coliving can offer compelling solutions for these problems. But, it will take innovative design thinking to adapt current models of coliving to address seniors; unique needs and concerns. So: how can coliving improve the lives of the world’s senior population? In this talk, Matthias asked how we could reconceive coliving spaces — typically designed for millennials — to suit the needs of older generations? How could coliving support independent lifestyles while promoting community and facilitating care? What are the benefits of intergenerational living and how can coliving promote it?

Co-living as a societal inclusion stakeholder
Talk by Laurent de Cherisey (from Simon de Cyrène)

Inspired by a car accident that left his sister Cécile severely handicapped, Simon de Cyrène is dedicated to the social housing of people with disabilities.

In Laurent’s talk, he asks the question ‘what does our life stand for if we ignore those that need us’. Those that are handicapped cannot engage with society if we do not help them.

He didn’t start with brilliant thoughts, but rather the basic question ‘what can I do now to help’. ‘It’s only a person in her chair’ he says. When you listen, trust grows and she will tell you what she needs.

Co-living as an enabler for a new remote economy
Talk by Dane Andrews from Roam

“I wanna be where the people are”, Dane says of their members.

Roam is home to a global tribe of nomads. They are always working on something, not necessarily a company, but on a project. In this remote economy, their members can be anywhere due to more flexible work styles. Their members are a mix of singles and couples between the ages of 20–60s.

They face problems such as logistical headaches, high sense of purpose and low sense of belonging. Dane says ‘it’s great to do what we love, but when part of what you love is travel, are you stuck leaving your community behind? Does this have to be a sense of loneliness?’

Co-living: being in the business of community. What we’ve learnt and how you can overcome the challenges.
Talk by Ed Thomas from The Collective

‘Why does community matter?’, Ed asks.

As animals, we are social creatures, where connection is essential yet in cities it’s harder and harder to have a place to meet people. Nodes of community are dissolving.

“Living here brought me back to life…having people around to ask me how I am has made all the difference” says Collective member Matty Pepprell.

Living in community is an antidote to the problems brought by living in big cities. In a co-living space, we can fulfil this need for social connection, helping each other build self-esteem and a sense of belonging.

Why is building community hard? It takes time and requires nurturing.


Convenience vs participation (I want to be served vs I want to serve)
Scale vs Intimacy (I don’t mind not knowing everyone vs I want to know everyone)
Transience vs Belonging (I’m here for a bit vs I’m here to stay)

Solutions — Community toolkit
Learning #1: Set your vision for community 
Learning #2: Decide on your model 
Learning #3: Assemble your team around the vision
Learning #4: Measure your impact!

Co-living as a city builder, the good and the bad
Talk by Jonathan Imme from consultant to the City of Berlin

Jonathan opens with the questions ‘What is our responsibility around building cities?’ and ‘What is it that cities need?’

In his talk, he outlines what co-living could bring to the city of Berlin, focusing on:
Integrating city newcomers
Becoming a hub for entrepreneurs
Building bridges between citizens
Developing spaces in participatory ways
Promoting local culture & companies
Becoming a smart(er) city
Bringing urban qualities to the edges
Creating mixed use spaces
Pushing cooperative and public ownership

“Don’t ask what the city can do for you, but what you can do for the city”