There are nearly 3,000 abandoned villages in Spain. What should we do? We are forming a group of remote workers to "group buy" one of these villages. Remote work is becoming increasingly common, and it can mitigate a serious problem: You may be able to find employment in a big city, but it will be hard to save money, and nearly impossible to own a home. As gentrification cycles and real estate development are only becoming more rapid, we are returning to the village, but now with laptops.
Firstly, there is an abandoned village in Southern Spain that we will be repairing, and thereby prevent the loss of its infrastructure and preserve its history. Secondly, we are building a group of 150 people who will be able to call this village their home and build a lasting community in it. In cities such as London, it is becoming exponentially difficult to create community, where rent increases are constantly displacing residents. We want to stop this cycle.
We will own and live in the village in Southern Spain. Also, importantly, we will have a framework which we will be able to share with others interested in creating similar projects, and potentially consulting with them on how to.
We are negotiating with several town halls in Spain, and since receiving a large amount of publicity recently, we have had local governments offering to give us their villages for free. With this, we have more than enough prospective villages, and so we feel that this aspect of our project is solved. The challenges we have to address now mainly include deciding on which "village applicants" to select, and thereafter collectively choosing a village. We are currently a team of 22, and we will grow to 150. We have approximately 500 applicants (and growing). We are applying data science to choose the remaining villagers, and we are selecting for several attributes including trustworthiness and network diversity. For all collective decision making, we are using loomio.org to deliberate.
The 150 Villagers - remote workers, predominantly from large cities across Europe, age range 25-55. The nearby town will also be a stakeholder in our village, as we will be buying many goods and supplies from them throughout the existence of the village. Since we will be bring in currency from outside of their local economy (as we are remote workers bring in euros, dollars and pounds from across the world), we expect this will have a particularly large beneficial impact on the local economy.
Arguably, the most novel thing we are doing is applying data science to building our group. We are of course a grass roots movement, but we are also applying tools comparable to what a bank or insurance company would use - two worlds that normally don't connect. We think it's the best of both worlds, creating a community apart from the trappings of the big city, while using powerful science that has been established within these cities.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Financial and legal services to broker our group buying - 10,000 EUR. Travel and accommodation to finalise location - 3,000 EUR. Travel subsidies for low-income villagers - 5,000 EUR. Data science / tech development costs - 5,000 EURO. Personnel costs - 5,000 EUR. Initial renovation costs for co-working and living spaces - 22,000 EUR
Any other location recommendations? We are mid-negotiation in Southern Spain, but are still open to other ideas.