Meet Penny Clark — Research Ambassador at Co-Liv
As Head of Research and Sustainability at Conscious Coliving, Penny works on impact-driven experiences and spatial design for coliving spaces. She specializes in social research and pro-environmental behavioral change.
How do you currently define yourself, and what drives you?
I would define myself as a researcher, and advocate for the potential of coliving to help us live more connected and environmentally sustainable lives.
My background is in social research, specializing in pro-environmental behavior change. I’m currently finishing off my thesis - exploring coliving, cohousing and environmental sustainability.
I’m also the Head of Research and Sustainability at Conscious Coliving. We’re an impact-driven experience and spatial design consultancy — we’re all about making coliving thrive and have a positive impact for all — residents, operators/developers, neighborhoods, and the planet!
What makes you passionate about coliving, and why are you actively promoting the coliving scene?
I see coliving as one of the much-needed solutions to the changes and challenges we face. Our values and needs have shifted. We understand the health and well being benefits of strong social networks, and the economic and environmental efficiency of sharing resources.
Coliving can offer a viable ‘win-win’ solution, helping us to live more connected and fulfilling lives, whilst lightening our impact upon the planet.
What are your visions and thoughts on the future of coliving for the year to come?
I think coliving is at a pivotal moment, were the industry is growing quickly and defining itself. This is one of the reasons that I really value Co-Liv as an umbrella body, which can help to guide and shape this industry, and ensure that ‘coliving’ doesn’t become a meaningless catch-all term.
I can see a continuing rise in coliving reflecting the ‘blended lifestyles’ of today. The spatial and conceptual boundaries between work, leisure and home have blurred, and I can see many coliving operators catering for these different needs.
Also — what will happen as the first generations of colivers ‘grow up’? Are we going to see more coliving aimed at families and older generations? I hope so.
You joined Co-Liv as “Research Ambassador” — what opportunities do you want to create for the organization, its members, and the coliving industry?
Always, for myself and my organisation, Conscious Coliving, we’re pushing for coliving to (continue to) be an impact-driven industry, which foregrounds social and environmental benefits.
As Research Ambassador for Co-Liv, I would like to investigate the impacts of coliving and what good practice looks like. I’d like to be part of a team who is helping to steer coliving in a positive direction, and I’d like to advocate for its potential as a housing solution.
How did you get into coliving?
My coliving journey started with staying at and carrying out research in several intentional communities and ecovillages. Since then, I’ve been deeply interested in how the social networks within shared living can facilitate pro-environmental behaviour change.
When I stumbled across the existence of coliving I was captivated! Communal living is very much a niche, but coliving is one of those rare iterations which is aspirational and has grown rapidly. What we want at Conscious Coliving is to help it grow in the right direction…
Thank you for being part of this movement! How can people reach out, and what can you mostly help them with?
I’ve always got time to talk about coliving, behaviour change and environmental sustainability… oh, and research methods 😉
Do you have a burning question about the coliving industry? I’d be interested to hear it. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also check out Conscious Coliving. We offer consultancy on community experience and spatial design, social and environmental impact, as well as market/industry research.
With lots of co-love,
The Co-Liv Team
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