November 6-7, 2019


Arena Berlin Betriebs GmbH
Eichenstraße 4
12435 Berlin

Blended Living

The past decade can be considered nothing less than a miraculous one in human innovation. More ideas and products have been realised than any decade before, with greater flows of people, goods, and services between cities, countries and continents. In this new, global world-order, life goals and work preferences are changing too.

It is impossible to ignore the changing role of cities and pivotal importance of universities and knowledge institutions. Urban living increasingly is characterized by transience and inclination to constant change. Human capital and talent attraction are the driving force behind urban advancement in a competitive order of global cities. The fast changes in modern society are turning our lives in a permanent stage of becoming, and increasingly blurring the environment around us.

At The Class of 2020, we have been investigating the future of urban living, working and learning for a footloose generation of international talent. The recognition of the co-revolution being a natural progression for the student living sector inspires us to explore all the blends young people encounter in their living experience. While physical realities meet virtual spaces; the European market is witnessing both an institutionalization and a blurring of PBSA as asset class, embracing innovative lifestyle specific and hospitality-driven living products. The urban campus is the ultimate mash-up of higher education and novel ways of working and living together. Digitalization is disrupting our perception and experience of space, and creates learning ecosystems beyond proximity.

We enjoyed exploring these topics together with you and 800 other thought leaders in real estate investment, development and operations, international higher education and city leadership.


Oke Hauser

Creative Lead

MINI Living


Daniel Gorzawski

Harrison Street

Managing Director Head of Europe

Jorn Wisselink

Hmlet Australia

Director of Operations

Jill Ju

The Collective

Global Investment Director

Christine Neuhold

Young Universities for the Future of Europe Alliance

Academic Director Maastricht University Campus Brussels

Christine McDannell & Kindred Quarters

Founder & CEO

Anil Khera


Founder & CEO

Clayre Massey

Sheppard Robson


Gunther Schmidt

Medici Living Group

Founder & CEO

Ulrike Hagendorf


Reseaarch Manager European Residential

Eri Cuanalo



David Lefevre

Imperial College Business School

Director / Edtech Lab

Roger Hensman

WP Carey


Davide Dattoli

Talent Garden


Armon Bar-Tur

Base Camp Student


Benjamin Oeckl



Jess Gallop

Student Roost

Director of People

Dr. Philipp Bouteiller

Tegel Projekt


Rainer Nonnengasser

International Campus


Paloma Lisboa

Kings College

Director of Operations

Jamie Loizeaux

Hattington Capital


Gui Perdrix

Coliving Diaries


Claire Solon

Greystar Ireland

Managing Director

Emmanuel Javal

Le Grand Réservoir

Founder & CEO

Bobbi Hartshorne

GSA - Global Student Accomodation

External Relations & Student Wellbeing

Jake Chai


Senior Director of Real Estate

Robin Cremers

Xior Student Housing

Country Manager The Netherlands

Mindy Teo

Lyf for The Ascott Limited

Deputy Managing Director


With almost 20 panel discussions throughout the day held on three stages simultaneously, The Class Conference 2019 clustered multiple approaches to all the above challenges and opportunities into seven key takeaways:

Community is key

Each residential community is unique in its needs, wants, and demands.

To emphasize this point, the industry needs to stop thinking of generational groups as homogenous with the same needs and wants – alternatively, effective housing solutions will consider the mindset of residents, no matter what age group they fall under.

Operators are putting people first when it comes to community building. They are understanding the importance of activating space and community by empowering residents within it to share their own unique interests and connect with each other.

Affordability is demanded across the urban living sector

Housing affordability is a major issue for global cities. On The Moment for Coliving is Now panel, affordability was highlighted as the main appeal for prospective residents. To combat the affordability challenge, developers can consider new construction techniques, such as prefabrication to save on building costs and speed up the building process.

Operators can rethink their approach to amenities and luxury offerings. Based on resident feedback in coliving spaces, affordability trumps amenities. Varied opt-in/out options can also include more affordable choices for residents.

The value of branding

In tomorrow’s generation of global citizens, experience will continue to be valued over ownership. In addition to visually pleasing environments, residents are making more conscious decisions about company ethos when selecting their accommodation. Companies that are transparent with their offerings are more attractive to potential residents.

The added value of branding for investors remains marginal while portfolios sit relatively small in the continental market; however, given the projections shared at the conference, we can expect branding to become increasingly important as portfolios grow.

Reform outdated policies

Planning is lagging market trends nearly everywhere. Reforming building regulations based on historic precedents will enable innovative design to be approved – smaller, well-designed spaces with communal areas will help to increase density. However, planning also needs to continue to measure and control the quality of living environments to ensure the quality and sustainability of housing meets future demands.

Innovation and technology are driving building efficiency

Technology is not an add-on anymore but a full cycle driving force: from design and conceptualisation to construction and maintenance. In order to maximise the value of space, we need to be flexible and adaptable with design and embrace sustainability as a necessity. Smart technology can help us collect data and make data-informed decisions and enhance human experiences.

Learning is evolving to adapt to changing market demands

Learning pathways and higher education are changing rapidly. In the global knowledge economy, people need to reinvent themselves more than once in their career. Flexible learning pathways and tech enabled online learning will provide greater access to the skills needed to do so. This will require us to keep an open mind about what is meant by ‘campus,’ while keeping an eye on the technological and design needs of learning and living spaces.

Collaboration to shape the future of urban living

The Class Conference 2019 on Blended Living brought together around 700 urban innovators, educators, designers, real estate developers, operators and government officials. With an estimated 25 billion euros of current and future investment in blended living typologies onsite, there is substantial opportunities to shape the real estate industry in a blended, collaborative and more flexible direction.

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

The Student Hotel The Class Virtual Summits

Silver Sponsor

Official suppliers
Local ambassadors
Complementary sponsors
Media partners

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