Back in the fall of 2013, I was living in an apartment with four other people and things were not going so well, I had been miserable with my living arrangements. I had gotten to such a low that I had been looking for a place to move into. Just as I was packing up my things to go home for the winter break I desperately needed, my phone rang. A friend of mine said that she knew of an opening in a house full of motivated and goal oriented people. After taking a tour of the newly renovated home in the heart of State College, I knew that I would be happy here, in this new home developed for change makers to gather and accomplish one goal: make the world a better place. The name of the house: Co.Space.
Co.Space just opened their doors back in July 2013 and since then the house of 20 have been hard at work in the local community, on campus and even worldwide. When the two people who hatched the idea of the house were developing it, they decided that having one Co.Space house would not be enough. Currently, they are developing more houses in college towns across America and even across the sea. Residents do not just live in this house and you can understand that once you walk in through the front door just by the layout of the house (Figure 1).
Everything was planned around having organic conversations and the founders took key hints from Google and other companies who have similar ‘Theory Y’ approaches. There are whiteboards everywhere and the coffee tables were whiteboard tables so no matter where in the house you are you can leave a note or have a conversation and write things down for yourself or the house. The dining room table is custom made with outlets under the table to allow anyone to just sit down and plug in and work on a project together. Also in the dining room for everyone to see is a house goal board (figure 2) where residents post their goals.
Co.Space is a very unique example for a job because you live there. But, Co.Space is a job of sorts, we all have assignments, we all have projects we are working on for the house, we all receive benefits from working there. It just so happens that we also live there too. That is the magic of it all; so many different and open areas in the house that it just sparks creativity and motivation, it always surrounds us. Every single person who was accepted into the house had to prove that they were motivated and they had the drive needed to make the housework, much like a job interview. In order to keep everyone motivated to help make a change you need someone to talk with. This is why at Co.Space there are a mix of residents mostly students at Penn State, but there are five young professionals living in the house. Their job is to have meeting with the other residents to see where they are with their projects and to help them work through any problems they may encounter. Co.Space also hosts community dinners to help residents spread the word of their ideas and goals into...