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Urban Community Experiment_Journey and Vision

  1. Urban Community Experiment Updated: October, 2016 Exploring blueprints for metamodern living.
  2. Introduction An intentional community research project for like-minded people to live, co-create and evolve together To research a blueprint of how to build and maintain a community for affordable, holistic and connected living in an urban environment.
  3. Intentional community • Connected living: more than just sharing affordable living space, it is about being present and active in each others lives and personal growth journeys, cross-generational and beyond the traditional family concept. • Co-creating: the creative potential of the community is bigger than the sum of the individuals. Creating with a shared intention for the evolution of the whole. • Evolving: through community reflection, peer-to-peer support and other social tools and technologies community members become increasingly empowered to make the most out of their individual potential and live their lives to the full.
  4. Urban challenges INDIVIDUAL / FAMILY ● Loneliness and chronic isolation ● Lack of purpose and direction ● BIFI (boredom, impatience, frustration, irritation) ● Increasing Anxiety and Depression ● Disconnection from nature ● Expensive housing ● Overwhelm ● Addiction ● Distraction ● Lack of support ● Difficulty in raising a family HOUSE SHARES ● Lack of intentional community building / connection ● Do not benefit of economies of scale ● May not live with likeminded people ● Un-tapped/latent creative potential ● Human inter-connectivity challenges and unskillful conflict management CITY ● Housing crisis ● Escalating Mental Health epidemic ● ‘Gentrification’ of city centre and ghettoisation of areas ● Arts sector under pressure ● Decrease in community diversity ● Loneliness of older adults ● Anti-social behaviour ● Addiction Collectively producing results that nobody wants
  5. Global transformation is needed to allow humanity to flourish and be at its best. Transformation is rooted at the individual level, without which there can be no transformation at the community level, and in turn without which there can be no lasting global transformation. Change starts at home. Change starts at home
  6. We believe that when people rally around a higher vision, a greater purpose and live to their highest potentials, they are collectively empowered to create the change necessary for a more purposeful and compassionate society. We will: ● Become a hub where the kind of experimentation, learning and growth necessary to build this vision will be embodied and demonstrated. ● Serve as an incubator through which other communities can emerge and establish themselves. ● Contribute our voice to the call for a new pattern of living and help redefine how we interact with ourselves, each-other and the world. Vision
  7. Community Building: Demonstrating that modern urban community living can be achieved, sustained and can be accessible in our cities to people from all walks of life. Community Maintenance: Exploring the social tools and technologies that are needed to keep a community running and its members engaged and motivated. Discovering how we can co-create a safe environment to enable people to be their authentic selves and the processes and mechanisms to manage conflict skillfully. Community Research: Our purpose is not to create an inward looking utopian community but to create an outward looking community that, through its learning, is able to discover the principles, mechanisms and networks necessary for effective modern-day urban community living. We wish to act as a blueprint for building and maintaining urban communities, to serve as a working model that can be shared with and replicated by other social groups. Focus
  8. To make the a new model of living appealing it needs to: • Demonstrate tangible improvements on the wellbeing of the individual as well as impacting at the societal level. • Be resilient and be able to bounce back from internal and external shocks • Be reliable and keeps doing what it is supposed to. • Be replicable by groups from all walks of life • Have structural processes necessary to promote connection, creativity, personal growth and resolve conflict. Abide by three foundation pillars which are explained on the next slide. Community blueprint
  9. The three pillars 1. Commitment of Time & Energy: the individual needs to prioritise the project and commit time, physical and mental energy towards the project. The more you put in, the more you get out. 2. Common Purpose: The co-created common purpose is the community glue. The umbrella project of the community that is higher than the community itself and gives back to society and the extended community. 3. Inner work: The ability to self-reflect, observe patterns and behaviours, change and grow allows an individual to actualise their potential. This in turn enhances the community’s potential to create wider societal change. Whereas ultimate responsibility for inner work and personal transformation lies on the individual, the community can also engage social tools and communal practises to facilitate and encourage this process at individual and group level. Through our research of both sustainable and unsustainable communities, we have found that an intentional community should rest on three central pillars.
  10. ● Personal growth increases energy by decreasing social conditioning and patterns ● Supercharge each others evolution ● Injection of purpose for individual & community ● Motivation for prioritisation of time ● Responsible participation ● Increase quality of time and energy invested The three pillars Common purpose The community glue Time and energy The more you put in the more you get out Inner work External issues are a mirror of the issues inside ● Cultivating Emotional Intelligence ● Being present & focused ● Ability to check personal ego’s ● Skilfully dealing with conflict ● Mutual support to increase resilience towards adversity
  11. Documentation & research Standing on the shoulders of giants: ● Drawing on learning from existing intentional communities and cooperatives (e.g. ZEGG, Findhorn, Tamera, Sunday Assembly, community founders etc.) for documentation procedures. ● Building on previous academic research documenting and evaluating intentional communities (Sanguinetti, 2012; Mulder, 2006; Skinner, 1968) Recording processes of initial community formation: ● Recruitment ● Creation of shared vision and values, guidelines, decision-making process, work-share procedures Documenting community characteristics: ● Social: e.g. Community interactions, shared meals, workshops, activities ● Human: e.g. Methods for individual growth, well-being, learning ● Built/Natural: e.g. Housing, intentional architecture, financial self-sustainability, permaculture
  12. Distilling learning, replicating & training Social groups that our preliminary findings have identified could most benefit from cultivating this model: ● University students: Partnering with UCAS, universities and schools to explore alternatives in the the student accommodation experience. ● Single parent families: partnering with women’s charities to explore alternatives for single parents to raise their families. ● Older adults: Addressing the looming crisis of an ageing and socially isolated population.
  13. Community facets Documentation & research Activity hub, seminars & event space Facets which aim to benefit the wider community Personal development Community incubation Rural twin project Sustainability & Food systems Bed & Breakfast Partnership formation
  14. The Bruce Stone: The community space was planned to be on a 132ft oil barge comprising of 16 bedrooms (11 with ensuite bathroom facilities) 4living and working areas, a large community / event space and three external decks (one with all weather heated enclosure) with capacity for food production. Community housing
  15. Mooring history There are few available spaces along the Thames for a vessel of this size and finding a mooring has been a challenge. Royal Dock The initial spot for the mooring was Royal Docks, but due to the recently announced expansion of City Airport, this option is no longer viable. St Katherines Dock We have been in talks with St Katherine’s Dock near Tower Bridge. The Dock were enthusiastic about the community concept open to mooring us. however, challenges arose around the extensive exterior work and other associated costs required to bring the barge up to the aesthetic standard required by the dock management.
  16. As a community we are now looking into other housing models that have the necessary facilities to serve our needs and ambitions. The community is currently engaged in looking at alternative housing models as well as exploring the options available to us for future funding and partnerships with Local Authorities, NGO’s and Private enterprise and Individuals. Moving forward
  17. Timeline • November 2014 Community research, ongoing • March 2015 Conception • June 2015 Inception – founding members July 2015 New members join August 2015 The Bruce Stone secured September 2015 First formal recruitment process and Selection weekend. October 2015 New members join • November 2015 First visioning retreat • December 2015 Establishing values, standards, processes • March 2016 Moorings • August 2016 Second formal recruitment process and Selection weekend. • September 2016 New members join October 2016 Funding proposal for alternative housing