# Annual Plans

# Visions

# The Next Five Years

Over the next 5 years we will continue to grow and share our culture and commitment to practical action by creating and expanding co-living hubs, increasing our outreach, generating more money to expand and improving our branding. We will begin a big vision conversation about societal transformation which enters mainstream discourse. If you would like more detail, read on for our 2019 and 2020 plans. If you want to know what we’ve been up to on a monthly basis, check out the updates on our blog (opens new window).

# Long-Term

Within our lifetime and six generations hence, we will develop a federation of resilient, flourishing communities based on a shared culture (views, practices and ideals). These communities will engage with broader society and ally with like-minded groups commited to transforming society and to practical action, including large scale political efforts to address collective challenges.

See the full SCQH for context.

# 2020 Plan

# Pillars

  1. Nurturing micro-cultures that are waking up, growing up (teal) and cleaning up
  2. Catalysing a big vision conversation

# Programs

Life Itself will focus on 8 key work streams, with the primary focus in 2020 being the recruitment of value-aligned people (Pioneers, Contributors and Supporters):

  1. Comms and Branding
  2. Big vision
  3. Spaces
  4. Pioneers
  5. Business / Mutual Project Co
  6. Education
  7. Art
  8. Core

Life Itself Workstreams as of Jan 2020 (source coggle (opens new window)

# 2020 Focus Areas

# Primary focus areas

  • Finding People: Pioneers and Contributors and Supporters

# Secondary focus areas

  • Develop the Hubs: creating new ones (e.g. in Bergerac) and expanding existing ones in Berlin
  • Branding: develop the branding so that at a glance people can have a direct, intuitive feeling of what we are up to and what we are about
  • High profile outreach
  • Generating money so that we can engage people and expand our work

# Finding People: Pioneers, Contributors and Supporters

# Key results

  • 7 pioneers
  • 16 contributors

# Key initiatives

  • Refine compatibility questionnaires for potential members
  • Create a newsletter for a larger audience (including practices, e.g. embodiment and writing)

# Definitions

Pioneer: A pioneer is someone with deep enrollment, commitment and identification. They will dedicate time and energy and have usually made significant contributions and/or lived in Hubs.

Contributors: A contributor is someone who ticks one or more of the following:

  • Does sustained “work” (remunerated / unremunerated) and scores highly on Life Itself’s alignment scale
  • Produces a workshop /event with us and both parties want to continue collaborating
  • Has done some major support (e.g. helped us get funding) and they want to live in a Hub for at least a month
  • Someone resident in one of our Hubs who scores highly on Life Itself’s alignment scale, is actively engaged (on family calls), volunteers time and/or acts as an ambassador
  • Substantive contribution to artistic or intellectual output and value-aligned.

# Pipeline

In order to find pioneers, contributors and supporters, Life Itself has a pipeline which runs across the website, events, podcasts, etc. It takes people from a wide variety of external places and ‘funnels’ them down to a handful of people who are more deeply engaged, while allowing for on-route experimentation with how we can develop and sustain the culture of Life Itself. It is designed such that if it starts with e.g. 1,000 people, then the likely outcome will be to identify maybe c10 people who are more deeply engaged.

The pipeline consists of the following:

  1. The proposition: Life Itself can help you:
    • Connect with people like you
    • Deepen your practice to perform better in areas you care about
    • Discuss the big questions of life
  2. Call to action: Sign up to get info from us (target of 10k participants) (Set up a patreon that helps fund content development)
    • Get info/content on it (newsletter)
  3. Call to action: Tell us about you (target of 5k participants)
    • We’ll tell you what kind of monk you are.
  4. Call to action: Join a virtual story circle (target of 1k participants, 100 per story circle)
    • Get real, connected experience with people like you (or, not like you) that we think you’ll like by hearing and sharing life stories
    • (People who’ve joined these will ultimately run them, but at first they will be run by people in hubs, in nucleus, etc.)
  5. Call to action: Join a family call (call can be in person) for three months (target of 100 participants).
    • Sustain and deepen your practice with people like you
    • (At first, (like now) people in hubs, in nucleus, etc run these but then people who’ve been on them can run them.)
  6. Call to action: At three months, see if they want to continue with the family calls. Ideally, they start to host them.

At any point, when available, we can offer the below, but trust that the further down the pipeline people are, the more likely they are to be a good fit for the below.

  1. Offer bespoke engagement opportunities (businesses, engagement, live with us, gathering, events, etc) (target of 10 participants)

Family calls

In-person engagement is recommended first, and if the person is interested they can then join a family call. At the 3 month mark there is a ‘checkpoint’, with an option to renew participation.

Family calls are not geographically based, so that people who move around can have a place to connect. Family calls require having an elder on them to best preserve the culture.

# Developing the Hubs

# Bergerac Hub

Our 2020 goal is to acquire the space in Bergerac and perform a “level 1” renovation so that we can start renting it as a Hub in 2021.

# Key results

  • Submission of plans to town Hall
  • Getting a mortgage either for purchase or new build
  • Basic renovations done

# Parameters

  • Size: maximise space
  • Main usage: community, retreat space, co-working space, Art, and holistic health center
  • Principles: agile process
  • Look: create a beautiful shell that takes into account lighting (permaculture approach.)
  • Avoid later permits: have a clear list of all the things that require permits, so as not to have to apply again later on.
  • For permanent residents: all units to be of a similar size. Half of the residential units will be in the old farmhouse, and half in the new buildings, so that there can be an integration between old and new buildings. It’s also important to work out how the two spaces can interact.

# Principles of our approach

  • Develop the community and space in an evolutionary and agile way.
  • Set up and plan the framework and exterior, leaving room for the interior spaces to evolve (empty shell), as we don’t yet know what is going to work.
  • Mixed uses of the space.
  • Bed space should be able to fluctuate according to seasonal capacity needs.

# Berlin Hub

In 2020 we plan to develop the Berlin Hub, expanding it to around 300m². Our major need is to find a Hub Manager who can make sure the community there is thriving and aligned. Once a Hub Manager has been found and trained, we can start searching for community members and create events on the shop front to promote Life Itself. In the meantime, we can have shorter-term residents. In addition, and separate from the hub community, we will submit plans for developing the roof and have them approved.

# Key results

  • Have the core building and Hub manager ready by April 2020
  • Have 4 long-term members settled by September 2020
  • Break even on Hub operations
  • Receive planning approval for the roof

# Key initiatives

  • Recruit and train a Hub Manager
  • Potentially attend a large event if we can get a presentation space
  • Find residents (short-term and long-term residency)
  • Running Life Itself Berlin [Hub Manager]
  • High-level management of Hub operations (i.e. oversee work of Hub manager(s))
  • Submit a planning application for the roof

# Finding a Hub Manager

  • Understand the qualifications required for managing GNS and the Life Itself community Hub.
    • Example qualifications: good at management, coordination, communication, gets things done, persuasive, good judgment, can ensure things room smoothly.
  • Draft a job description and offer and decide on a salary for both GNS and Life Itself.
  • Find where we should advertise the position.
  • Work out how best to train them.
  • Work out how we can trust that the Hub Manager is creating a community that is truly aligned with Life Itself.

# Finding residents

  • Short-term residents
    • Work out how to advertise the rooms, how much to charge for rent and how to promote the Hub.
  • Long-term residents
    • Process: 3 month passive first trial of getting to know each other with no requirements, e.g. try family calls and community days, as well as attending events and dinners. Further 3 months active trial, where one must attend family calls, community days and organise one aligned event.

# Branding

At a glance people should have a direct, intuitive feeling of what we are about and what we are up to.

# Key results

  • The branding should be such that X% of closely connected people can articulate what the brand is about, and Y% of people can remember us (and our name) from a brief contact or visit to the website

# Key initiatives

  • Create and refine the narrative, name, tone of voice and design assets related to the brand
  • Develop the website & other materials

# High profile outreach

# Key results

  • Speak on 6 external podcasts, each with at least 5,000 listeners
  • Achieve a viewership of 40,000 (where speaking at an event is 20 x the value)
  • Develop 8 influential contacts

# Key initiatives

  • Hone a core but controversial message
  • Raise profile in the short term
  • Collaborate with / appear on relevant podcasts
  • Speak at relevant events
  • Write for relevant magazines
  • Develop a network of highly influential people by making them aware of the existence of Life Itself and involving them in initiatives

# Generating money

Generating money so that we can engage people and expand our work.

# Key results

  • €50k in grants
  • €50k from working cooperative / membership
  • €20k from mutual project co e.g. Datopian
  • Potentially launch transformational consulting

# Key initiatives

  • Apply for grants
  • Funding through Datopian
  • Set up a Real Estate Fund

# 2019 Plan

Intention of the year: take the next big leap forward on AET infrastructure of spaces, community and governance.

# Vision

# Phase I: Infrastructure and Community (2-3yrs)

  • Develop the base infrastructure and attract a community.
    • Physical infrastructure e.g. Spaces
    • Social infrastructure e.g. Community
    • Business infrastructure e.g. Datopian

# Phase II: Big Vision and Political Activism

  • Refine the big vision, condense and share it. This will include a plan for how to contribute to societal transformation, not just in our community but in broader society.
  • Engage in political activism, i.e. a concerted effort to engage the political discourse and action (continued bedding in on infrastructure). By this we don’t necessarily mean traditional politics, but we want our ideas to be taken into the mainstream.

Note these phases overlap and continue. Infrastructure and community work will continue on an ongoing basis.

# 2019 Focus Areas

# Primary focus areas

  • Building the physical infrastructure
    • Set up the basics for the physical infrastructure
      • Buy 20 person space in London in zone 1
      • Buy major base in France
      • Buy space in Berlin
      • Have Berlin Hub fully operational (4+ members)
      • A place in Oundle?
  • Building the business infrastructure
    • Continue with Datopian
    • Set up another business (investments and private equity)
  • Transition to a new governance model
    • Open a non-profit and develop a system for running it
      • Develop the narrative for raising money
    • Complete the official relationship between AET, Datopian and the future non-profit.

# Secondary focus areas

  • Start developing the big vision
    • Develop dense pieces of writing outlining the big vision
    • In 2-3y start condensing it down
    • Rufus and Sylvie create shorter written pieces & media
    • Host events
  • Set the foundations for going political
    • Develop the AET institute and find a director