# Life Itself Press Pack

# What is Life Itself?

Life Itself manages co-living spaces in London, Berlin, and Bergerac. We also conduct research, and host workshops, events, and gatherings.

# Why? The vision.

We’ve never had it so good! But we’re still not that well/happy, even (or especially!) when rich. Progress is distributed unequally and many traditional sources of hope have faded.

At Life Itself, we are pragmatic utopians. We think that a radically better world is possible. Radically better means (more) awakened – a wiser, weller world. We are committed to practical steps to create a world where individuals and societies are deeply and truly free to live the best of all possible lives.

# How?

Our spaces allow people committed to realising a wiser, weller world to share and connect, laugh and play, learn and listen. They provide ready-made communities at the heart of urban life that give dreamers and thinkers, artists and poets, scientists and entrepreneurs a stable base from which to learn, grow, and get things done.

# How we’re different

We balance the spiritual and the rational. We like meditation as much as we like getting things done. We want meaningful work and a meaningful life. We value the environment and technology, art and science. We take action, both personal and political. We’re the middle way between the suit and the hippy, between the billionaire and the monk.

# In 30 words

Life Itself manages co-living spaces in London, Berlin, and Bergerac in the South of France. We create communities committed to realising a weller, wiser world, to solving collective action problems, and to getting things done.

# In 100 words

Life Itself manages co-living spaces in London, Berlin, and Bergerac in the South of France. We’re pragmatic utopians. We are committed to practical steps to create a world where individuals and societies are deeply and truly free. Our spaces allow people committed to realising a wiser, weller world to share and connect, laugh and play. They provide ready-made communities at the heart of urban life that give dreamers and thinkers, artists and poets, scientists and entrepreneurs a stable base from which to learn, grow, and get things done.

# In 300 words

We’ve never had it so good! Things have got a lot better materially: a good portion of humanity no longer want for food or shelter, and science and technology mean we know a lot more about the material world.

But we’re still not that well or happy, even (or especially!) when rich. Greater wealth and power has not come with greater wisdom. Our errors now play out on a larger scale, from aggression exaggerated by biological and nuclear weapons to the tragedy of the commons threatening the entire biosphere. Furthermore, many traditional sources of hope for progress seem to have faded, both in religion and politics. It’s been 150 years since the “death of god”, and roughly 40 since the “death of socialism”. Politics has been reduced to managerialism for economic growth, and there exists a postmodern disdain for vision and values: we live in the “post-truth” era, flanked by a resurging reactionary fundamentalism on both sides.

At Life Itself, we are pragmatic utopians. We think that a radically better world is possible through the transformation of individual and collective being (or “culture”).

Our co-living spaces exist, not only as a social network, a home of value-aligned people in an otherwise impersonal city, but as a vanguard of the culture we intend to create. The hubs are a network of resilient, flourishing communities galvanised by the possibility of transformation, primacy of being, getting stuff done, committed non-attachment, agape, presence and purpose, engaging with broader society and allying with like-minded groups to foster a culture of awakening that can transform society and is committed to wise practical action, including contributing to large scale political efforts to address collective challenges such as climate change on the timescale of our lifetime and 6 generations hence.

Keeping sight of this vision, and taking practical action toward it, grounds the Life Itself community. No one can drive transformation by themselves, and the hubs are real spaces, with real people, committed to taking practical action toward our shared vision of a better future.

# About Us

Life Itself is a multi-disciplinary initiative of artists, researchers and technologists who are committed to being wise and taking practical action to solve collective challenges such as climate change and the decline of democracies.

Life Itself has worked with the Rockefeller Foundation, Plum Village, IPPR, CRI and LSE amongst others. Our approach focuses on fostering a community of people seeking a wiser world. Our activities are wide-ranging and include co-living communities in London, Berlin and near Paris; a network of experts and changemakers; and a research Institute exploring the principles of wise societies and our cultural blind spots.

# Our Work

# Hubs

Life Itself has three co-living venues: London, Berlin, and Bergerac in the South of France. These “hubs” are central to Life Itself’s mission of bringing together value-aligned people to tackle the collective action problems that threaten our future. They exist as a living, breathing representation of Life Itself’s culture, and provide a ready-made community for those eager to make a difference. Read more about our hubs here: https://lifeitself.us/hubs/ (opens new window)

# The Gathering

Life Itself hosts a week-long annual gathering at Le Cheraille, a small farming hamlet on the outskirts of Paris, each August. It exists to facilitate conversation on what living wisely looks like, and has a structured programme of workshops, talks, and group activities like meditation, dance classes, and late night bonfires. Read more about the Gathering here: https://lifeitself.us/gathering/ (opens new window)

# Calls

Life Itself hosts a number of online calls that exist to bring people together so they can collaborate and share their work in an uplifting environment. Offerings include the Get S*** Done series, which is a daily practice designed to hold you accountable to achieving your goals, and the Creative Practice calls, which bring creatives together for one hour per week to deepen their practice. See our current range here: https://lifeitself.us/calls/ (opens new window)

# Research

The Life Itself Institute exists to answer the questions of what it means to live well and live wisely. Some specific interests include co-living, wise technology, and collective intelligence. Read more about the Institute here: https://lifeitself.us/institute/ (opens new window)

# Possibility Now

Possibility Now is an initiative that dares us to think big: what’s your vision for a wise and well future? Learn more here: https://possibilitynow.org/ (opens new window)

# Contemplative Activism

Life Itself is committed to contemplative activism. This is the activism you’re already used to, but with a contemplative mindset: in other words, with a focus on giving wholeness its proper place in our lives, in organisations, and in society.

# Our Principles

Our work is underpinned by a number of foundational principles. These include:

Primacy of Being
Love
Reverence for life
Possibility of transformation
Appreciation of beauty
Non-violence
The value of the mysterious
The value of reason
Deep listening
Nourishment and Healing
Wisdom
Understanding
Non-judgement
Critical open-mindedness
Integrity
Mindfulness
Rigour and discipline
A focus on the necessity of a Big Vision
To be in community
Getting Shit Done
Pragmatism
Right livelihood

These are the principles we stand for. If they resonate with you, read more about how you can get involved with Life Itself: https://lifeitself.us/get-involved/ (opens new window)