The Thousand Village
My name is Anton Chernikov and I'm a recent member of the London Hub.
I'm an architect turned entreprneur and since graduating seven years ago I have been building startups / consulting on the side. My business is called The Exponentials if you want to get a deeper sense of the work I do.
Over the last 18 months I have been researching smart cities and alternative communities and asking myself the question 'How do I want to design and live my life?’ I'm guessing that this is a question that many Thousanders are also exploring.
After going to Burning Man last year I have begun a transition away from building websites and tech startups and towards the business of building and transforming physical spaces. However, rather than just riding the wave of urban co-working or co-living I have been exploring the concept of ‘rural regeneration’ and 'building smart villages'.
I am now co-founding Transform Evia in Greece and Landstory IO in the UK. My long term vision is to establish an open-source Village 3.0 blueprint that will enable many more communities to build their own 'dreamscapes' across the world.
The challenge / proposal that I would like to make to
the Thousand community is this...
Let's co-fund, co-design and co-build a
Imagine a magical place designed around the core values and rituals of our community. Imagine a place that we can use for hosting regional and global summits as well more intimate retreats and work aways. Imagine a place with a warm climate and an abundance of nature where you can build your dream home and let your kids roam free. Imagine a place that celebrates diversity and blends technology with nature. The Thousand Village can literally become a platform for experimentation, where all of us can co-create new ways of living, working, learning and playing together.
We have found an 800 acre site called Faracla. It takes just over 2hrs to drive to the site from Athens International Airport.
The site has two large fields that can be used for building an eco-resort / festival site and a residential village which includes an epic co-working hub and workshop. The rest of the site is made up of woodlands, 10% of which can be harvested and used for further construction according to planning rules. The vision is to co-fund, co-create and co-build the entire development. We want this site to not only be a perfect venue for running global and regional summits, but also a basecamp / second home for nomadic thousanders who are thinking about buying a property and potentially starting a family.
The top field and the woodlands will be owned by the Thousand Network Charity and will be used as an eco-resort / festival site / co-working Hub. The bottom field can be privately owned by members.
(Key Point. We are just at the beginning of the journey and nothing is set in stone. Evia, Greece is just one of many potential locations. Ideally we will encourage many different smart village developments to take place across the world)
The rationale for choosing Evia comes down to climate, land price and proximity to a major airport. Evia is a place of immense natural beauty; with mountains, beaches and forests just a short car ride away. It is also only a two hours drive away from Athens airport. Given it's location and warm Mediterranean climate, it is surprisingly under-developed, with an ageing population. Basically, right now we can buy land at a very low price compared to other European locations and then design and build whatever we can dream up, without too many planning restrictions.
Many Thousanders have talked and dreamed about creating a physical place for the community. I believe we have an opportunity to make this happen in Evia, Greece.
Over the next twenty years can we create a global network of Thousand villages that we can all call home?
We have just gone through a big transition as a network with the shift from Sandbox (business) to Thousand (charity). It’s feels like the timing is right to challenge ourselves to co-create something that has never been done before… to build a crowd-owned smart village and eco-resort that can be duplicated as a blueprint to other locations across the world.
A project like the Thousand Village has the potential to energise the community and make some epic headlines. It can make running retreats and summits much more affordable. And above all it can become a great way for nomadic Thousanders to invest in building their dream homes.
"The timing is perfect" - the feedback so far!
(work in progress)
£100-150k : We raise funds to secure a long-term lease, masterplan the site and build the infrastructure we need to host a heavily subsidised regional or global summit.
£700-1M : We purchase the land and start building the Thousand Village alongside the eco-resort, worshop, co-working Hub and festival site.
Let's learn from Summit's Powder Mountain and avoid taking any Venture Capital investment. We want to create an authentic and inclusive place that represents our core values. Ideally the entire development will be crowdfunded with low interest loans through the Thousand community. The members who invest the most with either their time or money will be rewarded with shares in the development. These share can then be traded back in return for land. Once again the details of the deal will need to be carefully interigated.
The potential to create the world's greatest crowdfunded development is in our hands.
If you want to join me in making this happen get in touch.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Outline Implementation Plan
1) Convene a working group who are most committed to the project.
2) Agree on budgets, commitments, funding strategy and governance structure. Do we fundraise equity or loans? How do we incentivise all members to engage with and contribute to this project? What if we don’t raise enough from the community? Should we seek out external funders too?
3) Launch a crowdfunding campaign in Sep / Nov 2017.
4) Use Capdesk to manage all stakeholder communications / contracts. All financial transactions will be ‘blockchained’ to ensure full transparency.
5) Secure land purchase or at least a long term lease by the end of 2017.
6) Spring 2018 Design Lab - Rent a 10 bedroom open-house for three months with good wifi in Prokopi, Evia (close to the Farakla site) and recruit a multi-disciplinary dream team from both within and outside the community to masterplan the development. Think through the business models, local services, infrastructure and contributions that the Thousand Village can make to the local economy / community.
7) Build out basic on site infrastructure for ‘Building Man’ European Regional Summit (100-200 people)
8) Host the ‘Building Man’ European Regional Summit.
9) Raise next round of funding to build out the Thousand Village. Consider how we can get grant / EU funding to experiment with cutting edge research for how to build out resettlement zones for migrants.
By combining the concepts of a micro-festival venue, an eco-resort and a small residential and co-working village we can create a truly unique, impactful and commercially viable development.