The 7 Keys to Creating Exceptional-Communities
We are social creatures who are hard wired for tribal connections but we've drifted so far away that we've forgotten how peacefully we can co-exist and help uplift each other in our daily lives. Intentional-Communities are clearly a big part of the solution for a distraught world and have been growing steadily but there are major challenges to overcome for harmonious cohabitation and sustainable living.
The pain-points of intentional-communities are abundantly clear and there are just a handful of keys that are needed to address them.
Idealism & Participation
Critical-Mass & Tribes
Sustainability & Resource-Sharing
Standards & Personal-Growth
Amenities & Retreats
Employment & Entrepreneurship
Idealism and Participation
Idealism is the number one hurdle because we aren't going to be able to magically leap into new ways of being overnight. There is an ingrained resistance to change so we have to be realistic about human nature, allowing gradual transitions to seemingly-effortlessly unfold over time.
This requires communities to be multi-faceted so the full spectrum is represented to provide glimpses of different lifestyles. We can leverage people's desire for novelty to introduce new concepts a little bit at a time, giving them time to acclimate to new ways of living.
Participation can become a huge source of contention due to others expecting the same level of input from everyone. The Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule means that 80-90 percent of the work or results are achieved by 10-20 percent of the people or actions, so instead of trying to fight against this human nature, we embrace it by incentivizing the individuals who actually want to take on the lion’s share of the work. This allows us to provide work-trade opportunities to people who would normally be unable to afford a community with a world-class amenities.
We focus on the most streamlined yet participatory way of governing a large organization, through our own innovative Openocracy system, where crucial discussions and decisions are facilitated through an online platform where people can take their time to read through the different viewpoints, provide feedback, debate and vote on matters. Ultimately, the final decisions are left up to an elected leadership-team tasked with making the difficult calls in a timely manner to steer the community deftly and bravely.
This allows everyone to participate, including proposing changes, while avoiding the time-sucking nature of community meetings which are eschewed for community meals where people can discuss matters organically.
Critical-Mass and Tribes
There is an ideal “goldilocks size” for communities of about 90-240 people where there is enough critical-mass to sustain a full time staff dedicated to keeping everything running smoothly, while still being small enough to have an intimate feel and know everybody in the community. People naturally form small sub-communities, aka tribes, pods or clusters, within the larger community to live closely with others based on their core values, such as veganism, entrepreneurship or athletics.
Scale is the key to forming partnerships and helping other aligned organizations, like farmers and supplement manufacturers, to grow together while lowering our operating expenses, allowing further levels of abundance.
Once a village reaches its threshold it's easy to spin off a new one in a different location with people from existing ones creating a network of villages that all work together to help each other grow into their full potential and allow residents to freely move between them to spread ideas.
Sustainability and Resource-Sharing
Our unique approach to sustainability ensures that we don’t sacrifice the feeling of abundance while caring for the wellbeing of our planet and fellow inhabitants. The key is sharing resources properly and our scale. Imagine how much energy you could free up by not worrying about owning and maintaining all those items that just mostly sit unused in our closets and garages. In our community everyone has access to a plethora of high-end professionally maintained gear with a reservation and accountability system.
Permaculture is incorporated into the design of the Village so you feel like you’re living in a Garden of Eden that is so well thought out that it requires minimal maintenance so you get all the benefits of living in an eco-village without all the work. Our aquaponics growing system allows us to enjoy fresh fish and farm fresh produce all year long in any climate.
High-Standards and Personal-Growth
We continuously strive to keep our standards much higher than most communities, especially in terms of wellbeing and aesthetics, having full time staff tasked with keeping common areas tidy, organized and feeling fresh. Our Code of Conduct strikes a good balance between being nuanced and easeful.
Our team of coaches help members grow in all areas of their lives, especially in relationships to self and others, which is where most of our personal growth happens. We encourage members to become aware of ingrained behaviors and to transcend passive-aggressive behaviors by speaking up when something is bothering them.
Our professionally-trained mediators help members communicate with each other in a way that comes across as loving and caring. As a last resort, after providing a few chances, we will ask provisional-members to leave if they are not living up to their agreements.
Amenities and Retreats
Our level of amenities rivals that of a 5-star resort including an athletics-complex, yoga studio, meditation hall, spa, makers-space and electric car-sharing. The key to being able to offer this level of amenities is our scale and hosting small retreats, which are ten days minimum to ensure that there is still an intimate feel. The retreats also provide opportunities for connections to fascinating new people, bringing fresh energy into the community.
Fully Inclusive Lifestyle with holistic health care, 3 super-healthy meals a day, supplements, clothing, coaching and abundant vehicle and gear sharing. Spa with Sauna and Cold-Plunges, Gym, Salt-Water Swimming-Pool, Pickleball (of course), Commercial-Kitchen, Makers/Hackers-Space
Employment and Entrepreneurship
One of the biggest reasons people leave communities that they love is due to the lack of employment options which we address through our ecosystem of community-based businesses, which allows us to pull in the most talented people from all over the world. Our startup-incubator program provides an amazing opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to receive the mentorship and support they need to grow into successful leaders of tomorrow.
It takes an intrepid mindset to forego conventions that have been ingrained in our unconscious psyche but the more of us that are willing to dream and design our way into a new reality, the easier it is to pull others into our vortex of wellbeing. I hope you will join our team of fascinating individuals who are working tirelessly to create a more beautiful world that will endure and inspire future generations.