"In 2012 human beings used the equivalent of 1.5 planet's natural resources to support their existence.” WWF Living Planet Report
There is growing awareness of the challenges that we and our planet are facing and new solutions are emerging every day that address these problems.
Tech innovations alone, however, are not going to fix our widespread over-consumption. Significant design and behaviour change must take place to regain a balance with nature, our resources and each other.
This is our challenge.
Sand-ming in Sierra Leone: a challenge we're currently tackling.
We believe in the power of real-life community experiences to positively influence us al towards living a more open-minded and sustainable life.
By funding and creating off-grid communities and sharing meaningful, fun and inspiring cross-cultural experiences on the ground and online, we provide a positive footprint for others to follow. At Tribewanted we've been building an engaged, educated and passionate social network – a tribe – who make this happen.
Managing our Communities
We set up a company in each of our ommunity locations with local partners e.g. landowners. Initially Tribewanted’s international team manages a lot of the local activity, and builds capacity in the community so that it can be managed locally as soon as possible. The location managers are supported by the local team, international volunteers and the Tribewanted management and board. We hold weekly team meetings which anyone on location can participate in.
Why a Tribe?
We are building a social network with shared values, spirit and leadership. We are building a Tribe!
For the last 8 years, on an island in Fiji, a beach in Sierra Leone, in the Umbrian hills of Italy, and now in Mozambique, we have been working in partnership with villages and, together with 2500+ visiting tribe-members, have developed two communities from scratch. We’ve generated $3m in revenues, re-invested into the local villages and created over 100 jobs.
Vorovoro Island, Fiji 2006-2011
In April 2006 Ben Keene (26 years, UK) put out a call for people to join a new online tribe, whose mission would be to build a sustainable tourism community on the Fijian island of Vorovoro in partnership with the local landowners and villagers.
The campaign caught fire and within a few weeks 1000 people from 21 countries had joined ‘the tribe’ and paid an average of $250 each for the privilege. The story was featured across the world and even before the project began on Vorovoro in September 2006, the BBC had commissioned a documentary and National Geographic was preparing a cover story.
For the next four years the landowners, 25 local employees and an average of 15 visiting tribe-members, built the cross-cultural island community. We faced major obstacles including a political coup, a large island fire and a cyclone that very nearly undid all of our work. We survived these challenges and in 2011 handed the community over to the landowners. The project is expected to re-open under local leadership and we will support it in whatever way we can.
Impact in Fiji
John Obey Beach, Sierra Leone 2010-present
In July 2010 we arrived on Sierra Leone’s John Obey Beach, 20 miles south of the capital, Freetown, and began to build a new community alongside the local fishing village. The first two seasons saw the building of superadobe earth-bag buildings, wood & bamboo bungalows, solar energy, water recycling, compost toilets, bucket shows, a beach kitchen and permaculture gardens.
Most importantly we started to build a partnership and friendship with the fishing community of John Obey. 25 full-time earth-builders, carpenters, cooks, farmers, gardeners, managers and guides lead the development and manage the project on the ground. Season 3 at John Obey begins October 2012.
For our visiting tribe-members it has already been a unique opportunity to experience a peaceful, beautiful and vibrant country that is building a new beginning a decade after the end of the civil war.
Impact in Sierra Leone:
In order to keep on improving our sustainable lifestyle, and to show that it is possible to live in harmony, we have developed 10 indexes that help us measure our impact at Tribewanted, John Obey beach, Sierra Leone, where we have been living for the past 18 months in the hope of developing a model sustainable community.
We selected these 10 metrics because they provide a comprehensive outline of the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. We chose the factors we have direct control over. We believe that a balanced use of these metrics creates a prosperous, healthy and happy community and one that can be replicated.
For more information check out our first infographic of the metrics and our progress so far.
Monestevole, Italia 2013
We are launching Tribewanted Monestevole, in the Umbrian hills, in a 50-50 partnership with the local community of Monestevole, a 15th century 'Borgo'. Tribewanted is investing in the infrastructure work needed to turn Monestevole into a sustainable community (green energy, water harvesting and recycling, biomass heating, waste management, permaculture, organic agriculture, etc.) We are employing up to 15 local workers (full and part-time).
Monestevole will focus on promoting the local culture, making wine and olive oil, meats, bread and pasta. The goal is to be a model sustainable community in the 'developed' world, offering our tribe-members a good alternative to learn about sustainable living not just in 'remote' locations such as Fiji & Sierra Leone but in our own backyard too.
What have we learnt so far
Our priority now is to build an initial network of 10 model communities that demonstrate, educate and inspire sustainability. To achieve this, we plan to recruit 10,000 ‘tribe-members’ through a crowd-funding co-operative known as a Community Interest Company.
1. Fund: We will tribe-fund our communities, starting at £10 per tribe member per month. With every 1,000 members who join we have seed funding to launch a new community chosen by our members.
2. Create: We partner with local stakeholders to build, retrofit or renovate a community where up to 50 people can live sustainably.
3. Experience: With our local partners we provide stays at our communities from a few nights to several months. We share life on the ground with our members online, sparking meaningful actions.
Tribe members receive 5 core benefits for their support:
Our Launch: We have built a toolkit for this beta launch including a new platform, videos, graphics and 100 tribe ambassadors to create momentum to reach our 10,000 target. Help us reach our goal and be a part of this incredible journey - join today!
Tribewanted Sustainable Communities (Community Interest Company since 2012)
Tribewanted Limited (private company since 2006)
Board members of Tribewanted
The journey of a tribe-member:
"Tribewanted could revolutionize tourism." The Sunday Times
"The only place I've been on holiday that I felt homesick when I left" Justine, Tribe-member
"Thankfully someone has taken the online social network and added back the important part—the real world." Microsoft.
"If you do one thing in your life, make sure it's Tribewanted." Lisa Niari, Tribe-member
"Tribewanted is an absolutely incredible experience." Laura, Tribe-member Sierra Leone