Meet Kristen Zupancic, Co-Liv’s Chief Operating Officer
How do you currently define yourself, and what drives you?
Hi, I’m Kristen and I’m an urban-living, co-sharing, solutions-seeking, bike-riding, adventure-hopping, optimistic realist. Together with Co-Liv, I’m on a mission to empower the entire coliving community through network building, industry training and thought leadership. Personally and professionally, I use the power of positivity on a daily basis to plan, adapt and get tasks done efficiently and effectively. I’m a people person through and through, and see tremendous value in collaboration to drive impact forward, both as a team and as an industry.
What makes you passionate about coliving, and why are you actively promoting the coliving scene?
I’m motivated by the prospect of shaping the best possible living environments for people and our planet. I truly believe that our coliving community and wider shared living industry have so much under-utilized potential to make a truly positive impact on individuals, families, our homes and the environment now and in the future. Let’s talk about inclusivity and breaking traditional mindsets, business as usual is a thing of the past. Let’s take the opportunity to experiment with new living models to better support the changing needs of diverse demographics. It’s a win-win for everyone. We can learn from each other to drive best practices forward. To quote Ken Blanchard, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”
What are your visions and thoughts on the future of coliving for the year to come?
With some stagnancy in the coliving scene brought on by the coronavirus over the last year, I’m very much looking forward to the bracing reemergence of coliving. When I ponder about the future of coliving, three developments come to mind:
1. With remote work still being the norm, or at least flexible in terms of working location, I expect we’ll see a rise in subscription models providing added benefits for the WFA crowd, coupled with hybridization of live/work/learn/play offerings under one roof.
2. Expansion mode is ON and crossing borders (Hello Cohabs in NYC and Common in the UK). There is a new momentum on the scene and it has big plans for the year to come. Did someone say coliving passport? 😉
3. There is a timber revolution happening in the architecture world and I’d love to see our coliving industry embrace it. Concrete is one of the least sustainable materials, used on such a massive scale in real estate, let’s consider and choose the alternatives for a greener future.
You joined Co-Liv as “Chief Operating Officer" - which opportunities do you want to create for the country you represent, the organization, its members, and the coliving industry?
In my new role, I’m most looking forward to co-creating a culture that empowers the Co-Liv team and wider coliving community to achieve their goals. My focus areas will be: operations, project management and strategic creation. I would love to work towards a more collaborative coliving scene - sharing achievements, learnings, analytics, etc. to strengthen the case for coliving.
I already love working with Co-Liv because my peers and I have the autonomy to pursue and lead projects that are positively impacting the coliving community, which gets us excited on a personal level too. For this upcoming year, I’m looking forward to leading the organization of a Coliving Retreat and Co-Liv Burning Man Camp - and guess what? You’re invited!
How did you get into coliving?
My introduction to coliving started about 5 years ago and sprouted from my interest in boutique hostels. I love to travel and was always inspired by visiting these beautiful small/medium sized hostels which offer interesting programming and stunning communal spaces. I used my Twitter as a medium to share content on coliving, coworking and hybrid hospitality - at the time, it was a bit more difficult to find stand-out projects. To gain some operational experience I moved to Amsterdam from Toronto for a working holiday at a boutique hostel. The creative nature of the city is what led me to stay and pursue a career in ‘shared living’ across Europe.
Thank you for being part of this movement! How can people reach out, and what can you mostly help them with?
I’m grateful to be part of this amazing Co-Liv community. I encourage anyone who is interested in joining as a partner, member or is curious about coliving, to reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love hearing about new shared living projects and can proactively help make your coliving dreams a reality. Let’s foster a network of collaboration, after all, it’s all about CO 😉
Feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn
With lots of co-love,
The Co-Liv Team
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