Part 1 of 4-part series on Community Investment talk
Part 1 of 4-part series on Community Investment talk
We were invited last Monday, May 2nd to participate as a speaker in the world’s largest coliving gathering The Co-Liv Summit.
This year’s edition was about: Rise, Radar & Resistance, taking place in Bansko, Bulgaria. It felt like anybody that did the trip had already been connecting before that Monday, most likely over the weekend. You could sense through the screen a vibrant ambiance of people that had been sharing, and connecting, fired up with the desire to do more. I wish I was one of them, able to make it in person, as I deeply know that nothing beats in-person gatherings. Yet I was left with the second-best option, online. Especially when the event is purposely designed to be hybrid. Making sure there were plenty of breakout networking sessions even for those of us who couldn’t be there. It is not an easy task to balance hybrid, as many of you might have suffered the “come back to the office” phenomenon, where you are at the office sitting alone on a zoom call with your colleague in another room. You want those that are present to feel like they are receiving a different experience, ideally a better one, than if they had stayed home. Yet you want to make sure that people that did stay home, are not the forgotten person on a screen that can’t interact when everybody else is in the room talking, we have all been there, left on when the rest “goest out for lunch”.
So here I was, ready to live stream from our beautiful second home office, in the Dominican Republic. To be precise, I was not in our office, I was in the North of the island, in the Province of Samaná, in Las Terrenas, the so-called City of God. Presumptuous? Maybe. Can you blame them though? It is hard to beat those beautiful scenic views, crystalline water, and the fantastic developments the area has been having in the past 30 years. Beyond nice restaurants, infrastructure, roads, and access to the airport, they are even building a hospital. Actually, the area reminds me of another paradise on earth, also flirting with being presumptuous, calling themselves the Land of Gods: Bali.
As an investor in shared spaces, and advisor to landlords and operators, finding opportunities where it will be wise to invest in co-living and co-working is a top priority. I can confidently say I highly recommend the Dominican Republic, in general. When it comes to Terrenas, it will be like investing in Tulum before it was Tulum, don’t you wish you invested then?
I digress. Back to the event. It was divided into multiple categories, Market Updates, Operations, Stories, and Innovations.
As you can imagine, Grounded Innovation was invited to speak under the innovation umbrella. We were tasked to defend community investment in the Co-living sector. Now that is a challenging task. If you want to build community, you need to understand the psychology of people. If you want to build it grounded in space, you need to also understand the dynamics of Real Estate, both are the hardware for key ingredients to interact. Now, even if you understand all the mechanics of the said hardware, you are not guaranteed to be building amazing software. So I will be blunt; building a community is hard, very complex, and has a high risk of distraction. So when it comes to investment, we recommend first zooming out to see the bigger picture and only then, diving into the details. Don’t you try to get all quantitative without due diligence of the qualitative!
Being asked to speak under the Innovation category made us pause, forcing us to recognize that once again what we are offering as a service, what we are doing on a daily basis that for us seems like “common sense” in reality is still considered great innovation. Our role is to integrate all these moving parts, demystify and hopefully make it simple. For those of you who couldn’t make it, in person or virtually, we are furthering the breaking up of the talk we gave into 3 publications:
Looking forward to reading your comments. If you were present, give us your feedback on the talk and summit itself! Again, thank you to Co-Livorganizers (especially Gui Perdrix | ArtOf.Co @kristenzupancic) for putting together this full day of insights and letting us be part of it.
Podcasts, case studies, and articles about growing your business with community
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