In January, I began a series of MOOCs on social entrepreneurship. One of the courses focuses on Business Models. My interest is in applying the Open Value Network Model to social entrepreneurship. All of the courses emphasize “scaling” the business. I suggested previously that developing economies of scope might be a better aim. The courses also unanimously advocate Lean processes.  In the Lean Startup approach, the social entrepreneur develops hypotheses, builds iterative prototypes, and tests them with real people. “You must leave the office,” is the mantra.

What if, in going out to meet real people, you decided to keep travelling?

The Decentralized Society Research Project demonstrates this philosophy. Included on the website is a link to “offices” (hackerbases) throughout the world.

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I am Mathijs de Bruin from The Netherlands. Having been frustrated for a long time about living as part of ‘the system’ (the economic and social structures that dominate our lives) I decided to exchange my house in Amsterdam for a more sustainable and humane form of life.

Within several (3-4) years my plan is to either join or found a sustainable community, being largely independent of dominating power structures forcing the exploitation of our planet and one another.

However, I do not know yet what this would look like.

  • What would be the best way to organize, how can we make sure all participants are fully represented?
  • How can we allow sustainable forms of living to scale, allowing more people to live in harmony with their environment?
  • What can be done to lower (economic) barriers for people to escape ‘the system’?

These and other questions I am trying to answer, while I am travelling around Europe visiting several sustainable communities or eco-villages but also hackerspaces and related events. Taking part in communnity life, contributing and talking to founders, philosophers, researchers and fellow travelers.

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Open Source

This project, as well as the communities in focus, work along an Open Source or ‘libre’ principles where:

  • Sharing is the default: unless privacy prohibits there should be full transparency at all times.
  • Leaders have no (formal) authority of any kind.
  • ‘Forking’ allows for fragmentation without degradation, allowing (fundamental) disagreements to persist while maintaining the strength of collaboration.

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Started in 2011. After 3 years as rented house hackerspace, the second version of the base restarted in November 2014, as an off-grid camp research initiative, with plans to buy land and settle in the same area: north of Lanzarote, Canary Islands.

The hackbase is a coliving habitat open to everybody at all levels, with or without projects:

  • Sustainability, off-grid, resilience and temporary architecture research & building
  •  Open source software and hardware development
  •  Open data, workflow technology, and visualizations
  •  Digital nomadism
  •  Learning and theory
  • Sound art and bands
  • Growing food
  • A nomad hacker lifestyle in a network of hacklabs
  • “Coliving” and “Coworking”
  •  Whatever else

 It has been used by individuals, groups, teams, bands and project sprints. Do whatever you want, spend almost no money + great weather.

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About the base

This hackbase is an infrastructure project designing and deploying a free living habitat. A recipe for, and an actual place, where you can live-in for almost free, any time you want, and organise a new and completely different lifestyle around.

Hackbases are live-in hackerspaces, the critically missing infrastructure to enable full-time vanguard technologist lifestyles. A common hacker is a hobbyist, hanging out at the local hackerspace, playing with personal projects after necessary main work that covers their subsistence, and then going home to an often expensive urban-area apartment. Sometimes hailed as some ultimate constructive and radical force, hackers are subsumed by the life logic of current advanced capitalist societies.

The point is to change this, and shift a negative trend of how technology is redefining societies. Currently, with “the end of work” (through work and process automation), hackers with normal day jobs are powering a bullshit neoliberal political reality, which is destroying the basic pillars of public life, like free accessible education and healthcare, rising city rents and gentrification, an ongoing ecocide, etc.

These problems are as insufficiently addressed, and structurally cannot be solved by big corporate, startup, non-governmental or academic organisations, as well as by current hackerspaces.

This hackbase began as “Cyberhippietotalism” or “CHT#1” in 2011. After 3 years as a rented house, the second version of the base restarted in November 2014, as an experimental off-grid habitat research initiative, scheming to buy first plot of land and settle in the same area: North of Lanzarote, Canary Islands . A series of experimental living situation/camps have been performed in 2014/2015 season and more will happen.

Currently !

After ?season4-D (May-July 2016), last part of “?season4”, we’re figuring a new focus for “Season 5”. Write in the subseason pad, or email [email protected] if you have any ideas. You can also use CHT’s ?stuff and start the camp yourself, following ?flocking. Look around the site for instructions, or ?contact. The stuff is there for whatever you want to do with it.

Photo by Lyalka

Photo by Lyalka

Photo by duncan

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