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Hi Folks! Welcome to another exciting Coworking Values Podcast episode. Wherein, we bring you coworking news that’s happening all over Europe. 

And this time, we are having Cate Maiolini, head of Ambassador and UK Ambassador for Co-Liv and Christian Schmitz, Head of Tech of Co-Liv.

We are going to be talking about the virtual Co-Liv Summit that happened last week and all about one of their initiatives which is the Tech Community. 

What is the Tech Community all about?

The tech community actually is another initiative by Co-Liv, which goes and looks after all disciplines, I mean, in Co-liv, and especially in co-living. We already mentioned community. And I mean, there are other disciplines, where property owners, the operators finally and the residents, the members are interested in. 

So its sustainability, it’s looking after how we can live and really work and share our amenities in an effective way. So long story short, we have identified that and everybody knows who are a bit more in coliving, that the one cannot go without the other. 

So tech cannot go without looking after the right design and the right spatial design concepts. It cannot go without definitely keeping in mind the community. 

So now looking after tech, specifically, we had during our one 120 events, which we ran and actually Cate organised last year, tech came up as a really dominant request. And why is it because of technology? 

I mean, it’s definitely on an acceleration path. Now due to COVID, especially, but also as coliving is and Coworking is more tech-savvy. 

So, you have to look at more flexible usage of rooms and amenities. So how can you now be efficient in the way of offering services around that? 

So tack is for many, many reasons. Part of that whole journey. And what we are now looking for, especially in the tech community, is bringing in a competitive way for tech suppliers to work jointly.



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Christian on LinkedIn

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Bernie J Mitchel  0:15  

Hello, and welcome to this week’s episode of the Coworking Values Podcast. We’ve been talking for about half an hour off air so, we’re going to try and get it on air now. So, in the, in the remote European Coworking Assembly studio we have Christian and Cate. What are you both known for, and would you like to be known for? And Christian, go first because I know you’re shy.

Christian  0:38  

No. I put ladies first.

Cate  0:45  

So, my name is Cate, I am known as the Queen of co-living, I’m just going to say that without even blowing my own trumpet. I am the Head of Ambassador for Co-live, the global nonprofit association, and I’m also the Community and Partnership Manager for Shared Living and Workplaces at Self-Assistance.

Christian  1:12  

I’m the Head of Tech at Co-live. Next to this role I’m the Global Lead for Shared Living and Workspaces, at Self-Assistance.

Bernie J Mitchel  1:24  

For those of you who don’t know, Co-live is like the European Coworking Assembly but for Co-living. Can we just get a little definition of co- living because people think it’s like student accommodation for grownups, but it’s so much more than that, isn’t it? 

Cate  1:52  

Well, I think co-living is so much more than that because it’s the co in front of the living, me and you already discussed that many times, but it’s the community that you’re building around your brand, your space, and everything you want to achieve with this living environment that you want to create. The community has to be, I think the first element that you have in mind. And then you can start to develop everything around that. Every co-living has a different community, it targets different communities. But I think that’s really the substantial difference compared to any other more traditional sharing space.

Bernie J Mitchel  2:32  

Do you want to add anything ,Christian?

Christian  2:35  

Yes, sure. Totally right, I can second Cate’s answer. The point to make, I think, is that we see a lot of blended living projects. So, it’s not just what we were used to; co-living just for young experts, the time after, studying and then going and living in a shared community. It’s more than that, so we see already great initiatives in the senior living as well as living with families, so it’s more than that. It’s not just living with young people together in a shared community, it’s more psychologically matter, so it doesn’t matter the age, if you have the right mindset and you would like to work and live in a different way, then the living in a new community is definitely something which has the “co” in mind.

Bernie J Mitchel  3:39  

Lovely. I first heard about co-living maybe like 2016, and then I went to the first Co-live Summit when Co-live was called something else, Pure House Project it was. I went to that, and I thought, because we were podcasting and I thought I was going to go to a room full of people in white clothes with MacBook Airs, talking about nomad living and  four-hour workweek. And when I got there, I was amazed and delighted because there were really robust talks about how we’re going to exist as human beings going forward, and how we’re going to live together, and the difference between cities. It was so comprehensive. One of the many standout talks that really got me was by Mattie Matthews Holly, which is what he said in his book, ‘New aging’, that blew my mind.

Cate  4:47  

You really loved that book because I remember you telling me about it. Even when we met in Belgrade for the Co-living and Coworking Conference, or when we were cycling around you were just like you have to read this book, it’s like ‘the’ book.

Bernie J Mitchel  5:00  

It’s really simple, mainly because there’s like pictures, and not a lot of words. I think it’s very well- designed, and it’s very simple information, and basically, listeners,  the takeaway is, the more connected we are with other human beings, the more we’ll get out of life and the longer we’ll live. And we’re moving and it’s easy to get isolated. That book was written before lockdown, so it’s easy to get isolated, but my point in that little segment was like between 2018 and where we are now,  Co-live has exploded, and I want to go through what came away from the Co-live Summit last week, because as with all the online events, it was a great opportunity to get people together that probably wouldn’t have been able to travel as far. So, Christian, you want to kick off with the tech community? I love the geekiness of that. What’s all that about?

Cate  6:06  

Sorry, I’m going to intervene here just for a second. Sorry Christian, but I’d like to say, if anyone who was part of the summit is listening, I want to put out my thanks for making it, for helping us to make this an amazing event. And there will be more to come in the future and thank you Bernie for mentioning. Okay, now you can go.

Christian  6:33  

The tech community actually is another initiative formed by Co-live, which goes and looks after all disciplines. In Co-live, especially in co-living, we already mentioned community, and I mean there are other disciplines where property operators and the residents, the members are interested in that, so it’s sustainability, it’s looking after how we can live, and rework, and share our amenities in an effective way. So, long story short, we have identified that, and everybody who is in co-living knows that the one cannot go without the other. So, tech cannot go without looking after the right design, the right spatial design concepts, it cannot go without definitely the community, keeping the ‘co’ in mind. So, now looking after tech specifically, we had, during one of our 20 events which we ran, and actually Cate organized last year, tech came up as a really dominant request. And why is it? Because technology is definitely on an acceleration path now, due to COVID especially, but also as co-living and coworking is more tech savvy. 

So, you have to look at more flexible usage of rooms and amenities. So, how can you now be efficient in the way, offering services around that? So, tech is for many reasons, part of that whole journey. And what we are now looking at, especially in the tech community, is bringing in a corporate way, the tech suppliers together, and work jointly with the tech suppliers, bringing operators together, sharing their needs, and working on the joint goal of bringing the right tech solutions together in a connected way. And as we all want to connect in a community, tech applications also have to be connected in a way, and here is actually the real invention of being more customer-centric, being more human. And just to pin out the concept a bit, we are really looking into the discovery creation phase, the onboarding in house life, offboarding and afterlife, and in those phases, you always have different software’s, hardware suppliers, being part of that journey with their applications, and now bringing it all together is fun, but it also adds value because we can make sure that new startups or more solid mature brands can revisit their way of the tech infrastructure, which goes hand in hand with the customer-centric approach.

Bernie J Mitchel  10:12  

The long conversation in coworking has been, the better your tech works, the more time you get to spend with human beings. And as I saw you announcing that other thing. In our local ecosystem, there are so many companies that work together even though they nearly do the same thing, and it’s that whole collaboration over competition thing, which I think is a message a lot of us are always spreading with enthusiasm. Cate, what are the great takeaways for UK? 

Cate  10:58  

If we wanted to talk about issues, topics, etc., raised during the summit, I would say the strong focus around community and sustainability. I think they were the two very big things that came up. So, design, as you were saying before, so, they’re really understanding the space, and to make it really good, sustainable as well, but also like a really good environment for people to live in. Thinking about every single detail, from light, to materials, to every single thing. And also, really, the focus on community. Came out really strong. Even within the tech, like Christian was saying before, the importance of really combining all these elements. 

And also, what I’m really proud that we achieved with the summit, is that we were all together, able to bring to the summit in two days, so many different players in the co-living ecosystem. And even people that have not been on stage together before, or they have not actually been speaking in public or participating in any of the co-living events or webinars. And I’m not talking just about Co-live, but just in general, and I love the fact that they really understood what we wanted to achieve with our summit, and they really came along with that, which again, I think reinforced the relationship in a thoughtful way between tech, that is what allowed us to really play and have this summit. 

Obviously, we were unable to all be together, although you participated, so, you’ve seen we were live in Paris, it was phygital, half physical and more digital. But thanks to the tech, we were able to gather all of our community together. And also, something that I think perhaps, some of the events don’t really rate as much, is very underrated, is also having a bit of fun during the day. So, I don’t know if you were on for some of the polls that we put on and some of the prices and games, and things like that. It was something that we had really good feedback on.  We really remember that although we weren’t able to really connect to people in a human way, we wanted to try to keep the event very human, and fun is part of what we do.

Bernie J Mitchel  13:43  

One thing that like really got me, is I’d seen Matt, Penny, and The Cutwork folks, and you two. It’s all these people that I’ve seen in different places around the world, and probably one of the last trips I went on, was to Leon for the Research Group for Collaborative Spaces with Marco, and Matt lives in Leon, so we got to meet Matt and he got to come to the Research Group for a little bit. So, it was so nice seeing all these people who, and also the sense of all the Zoom calls and events, and connections, and blogs, and podcasts, and everything. The energy showed up in that summit as people were interacting between sessions, and it was amazing to see. Obviously, a lot of events do this, but in this particular context, like how many people care about and are committed to the co-living movement? They all showed up at once, it was an explosion. What was the thing about commute, there was a tagline in there, like community equals differences minus something?

Cate  14:58  

Yeah, you need to get Gi on to your podcast then, darling. 

Bernie J Mitchel  15:04  

He doesn’t return my calls anymore.

Cate  15:19  

His talk about community and his understanding about community. It goes beyond just that little formula that he came up with.

Bernie J Mitchel  15:29  

Whatever the little formula is, we’re going to find it and put in the show notes. I feel like we’re dampening it down, but what’s next for the Co-live movement? Because that was monumental. And all of us on this podcast are always looking to make those connections between the coworking and co-living community because there’s a lot of overlap. Do you want to say anything about that, Cate?

Cate  16:08  

With regards to Co-live as an association, we are going to carry on doing our events, which are picking up from this Sunday, actually. So, this is the first one happening again. There are more initiatives driven by our fantastic ambassadors, now I think we have about 46 ambassadors in 25 different countries, and they are getting stronger in actually starting their own initiatives, so watch out. We’ve just finished a community facilitation mastermind which was a fantastic success, so, I think we might be running the second one. There was a lot of hard work and then we had the co-shop, something that we are definitely going to push a little bit forward, and we would like to collaborate with more people. So, we would like people to send in, maybe their design if they want to collaborate with us on something, maybe some inspirational quotes that they want to put on T shirts, hoodies, mugs, and everything. It will be like a co-shop with collaboration with other people. And then there are going to be more events happening and more masterminds for members. As you know, we also have our member side. And then of course, I think there is going to be a lot happening with the tech community, but I’ll let our Head of Tech tell you a bit more about that.

Christian  17:40  

Sure. So, in four weeks from now, we will start the first get together for the first workshop. So, watch out for the schedule being published on LinkedIn and our network. So, in the first workshop, just from a concept point of view, we have many different application holders within these phases I have described earlier. And the first one will be created by Eagle Eye Networks, which is a camera supplier. We will discuss different topics which will be announced on LinkedIn to vote which of those topics is the biggest challenge for the operators and our listeners. We don’t want to select the topic in general for them or for our network, so, the network can select their topic, their need  to discuss, and that’s how it’s working. We will announce that voting today. We are really looking forward to seeing the first votes coming in, which topics are the most burning ones for the network, and then we will see, and we will meet you for the first workshop.

Cate  19:14  

And I think that just goes to show you how really forward-thinking we are. It’s not just about what we think is right, but we really want our community to let us know what they need, which is also something that during our events at Co-live, we investigate quite a lot. We try to understand what people need. So, exactly what Christian was saying before, last year we gathered the information together and we realized what our community wants us to educate, and guide, and empower them more on that. And I think that is very important. I know we’re very restrained on time, so, just very quickly before we leave, you mentioned before, the relationship between coworking and co-living, and as I said many times before I think it will only get stronger in the near future, it will blend in more and more, especially with the trend that is more rural co-living spaces where people will perhaps live and work in the same place. And also, I know there are a lot of coworking spaces that are opening in rural locations, and they are already collaborating perhaps with co-living spaces, and therefore I think everything will be a bit more, I don’t want to say like a hybrid, but technology definitely will play a big role in that because both places will be able to maybe be supported by the same type of technology and to make their members’ lives easier.

Bernie J Mitchel  21:02  

I know some of those things are happening already. And this is really interesting and exciting, and it’s been great to watch this whole relationship between both industries evolve over the last few years, and I’m just like looking in from the side. I love it where it’s going. Do you want to tell people where we can find you online?

Christian  21:29  

Sure. You can find us at co-live.org. There you find all the information about the tech community and all our other initiatives. And for the rest my email address is Christian@co-live.org.

Cate  21:58  

Mine is cate@co- live.org You can also follow us on social media and LinkedIn, everything is Co-live. You will see us because we have a blue logo. And we’re also happy to have a chat with anything else that you might want to discuss.

Bernie J Mitchel  22:20  

We will put a link in the show notes to all of that. I  really appreciate your time today, folks. And thank you ladies and gentlemen for listening, and if you go to coworkingassembly.eu and hang around, one of those little pop-up things will show up and subscribe to our email which is the podcast we produce, the events we’re running across Europe, and also blogs and articles like that. Keep in touch. Stay safe and be careful out there is a jungle. 

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