Meet Elena Rantsevich, Co-Liv’s Ambassador for Ukraine

I evangelize coliving as a lifestyle in my public speeches at education, business, social and hospitality events:

The Co-Liv Network

What is your relationship to coliving and how are you active in the scene?

My husband and I founded Stockholm Studios in 2016 — the first rural coliving in Ukraine. We came up with the concept in 2005, but we didn’t know the word for it.

We are an intellectual coliving in a resort town near Kyiv, Ukraine. Our mission is to create an environment for Big Stories and meaningful connections. Our guests are creative economy and IT reps, entrepreneurs. We foster intellectual networking via cultural events for our town neighbours and Kyiv audience. And we aim to involve various stakeholders in creating shared values.

I evangelize coliving as a lifestyle in my public speeches at education, business, social and hospitality events:

2019 — TedxYouth Kyiv about the importance of the quality community that we choose to live in. Speaker at annual Hospitality forums and conferences.

Panel speaker at a national forum “On the borderline” dedicated to personal and national identity with an online reach of 5 000 000 people.

In July 2020 our house hosted a workshop for best creative talents of Ukraine sponsored by a foreign grant donor, and I lectured on the topic “Lifestyle design”.

We are partners of philosophical Think Camp and European Design Upgrade projects.

As a marketing consultant I help founders to create concepts for their new colivings and other types of real estate. In 2021 I co-founded PlaceR — incubator for place founders.

How did you discover coliving and what experiences did you have with it?

I read about this format 3 years ago and understood that coliving was the right word for our space. Then I visited The Collective in London and HUS24 and K9 in Stockholm several times, including an open Ted-style event.

I learnt about the Nordic secret from Thomas Bjorkman’s book and understood what an important role rural colivings played in building people’s personality in Scandinavian countries a hundred years ago.

Why did you join Co-Liv as Ambassador for the Ukraine and what are your objectives for your region?

When I discovered Co-Liv I understood that there’s a think tank that I want to belong to. The very first event showed a lot of support and drive. Gui, Matt and Cate are fantastic people — the bearers of Co-Liv ethos.

I’m thirsty for cultural and experience exchange with the global community and I believe I can be helpful with my non-standard sustainable format, too.

Objectives for my region:

  1. Explain the values of coliving lifestyle. At the moment a number of hostels and apart-hotels wish to coin themselves as colivings. There’s a threat of devaluation of the term itself.
  2. Continue to spread coliving values among potential residents.
  3. Involve more stakeholders to generate social projects where coliving is part of the ecosystem.
  4. Educate and consult founders on the types and concepts of colivings based on Coliving Insights and Ukrainian reality.
  5. Develop training on coliving for professionals.
  6. Develop a workshop program on creating shared values for current/future coliving residents.
  7. Keep the image of Stockholm Studios as best practice.
  8. Proceed with events, find like-minded people and create a community.
  9. Create a network of colivings in Ukraine with local or foreign partners.
  10. In 2021I am working towards holding a coliving conference in Kyiv with foreign speakers.

What do you think is Co-Liv’s potential and what do you want to bring to the coliving scene?

I believe that Co-Liv is able to disrupt the coliving movement, to guide it and empower it.

I’d love to look at colivings as ecosystems that shape the future of urban development. Integrating local authorities in creating social projects, developing ideas and solutions at hackathons, preserving history and culture and shaping tourist clusters in beautiful areas.

Building connections between houses in different countries and exchanging residents’ profiles is a good idea. Say, every resident gets an exchange quota for 5 days in any other coliving. The online matching software shows vacancies worldwide.

I’d love to host coliving operators/managers at our space in exchange for similar experience in other countries.

And what should people get in touch with you for?

I’m looking for partners and investors worldwide to expand the network of *** Studios for various target groups in Ukraine and outside. Our model proved to be sustainable and we wish to grow in many locations.

I can help founders with coliving concepts, big ideas and branding. I can present my case at international coliving events.

If anyone needs contacts or market info in Ukraine, I’ll be happy to share.

And, of course, I’m open to any friendly chat on the topic.

With lots of co-love,

The Co-Liv Team

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