Today I want to tell you about one of the world’s best kept secrets. And hopefully, in the process I will ruin that distinction.
I’m Luke, one of the guys from Exosphere. I get asked all the time, “What exactly are you doing running around LatAm? What is this Exosphere thing? You’ve been there for two years already. Did you really leave brokerage to try to ‘save the world’ and not make any money?”
As an intro, if you go to the Exosphere website, you will see, “DISTURB THE UNIVERSE” in 80 pixel glory sprawled across the most valuable piece of web real estate we own. If you’re like me and slept through most of high school english class, then you missed out on some fantastic poetry. One of those missed poems is T.S. Eliot’s, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. This is from where we gathered this lovely little idea.
At the core of everything Exosphere does, we encourage participants to ask themselves, “Do I dare disturb the universe?”
The word disturb usually has a negative connotation. But when you have a world full of lost people, trying to live lives that are unoriginal and untrue to their own talents and desires, it actually has a immensely positive meaning.
The first step in the process is asking, “Am I willing to disturb MY universe?”
If so, you first need the tools and frameworks to understand yourself. We are big fans of the Myers Briggs type indicator and other personality dichotomies. They are useful tools to understand each other. We even use one that is the brutally honest version of MBTI.
The first week of our programs are centralized on the individual. Only after you build a strong foundation in understanding yourself, do you start looking at those around you. Then the focus becomes how you can start to ask the right questions to understand them.
This is where everyone else gets it wrong, they don’t focus nearly enough on rebuilding the individual after years and years of being torn down.
Historically, this job was reserved for the institutions of the world. Universities, the Church, and even Government were created to lift up and serve individuals. But if you visit these places today, most of them are exclusive groups of judgmental people telling you how to live your life.
The Institutions of the world have failed you.
They failed you because they grew tired of the hard work involved in fostering personal and spiritual growth in individuals. They decided it would be easier, and more profitable, to give generic answers to everyone. No more do they help and support each person to come up with their own.
A Different Question Altogether
Exosphere is the first institution in the world built upon asking questions. We can not and do not provide answers to any of the big problems you face in your life. But rather, we can give you the space and encouragement to ask these questions, explore options, learn, and discuss with a global group of minds also asking themselves similar questions.
The answers to these questions will change based on the new information you collect. This is why it’s so important to get into a habit of continually asking questions.
For example, maybe today you want to solve problems in product design. However, in five years you might be interested in Artificial Intelligence and want to build software for the internet of things.
During this process of asking yourself questions, you also learn how to effectively found startups, use and build technology, and design things people want. Exosphere’s view of Entrepreneurship is not just about startups, it’s about value creation — something that can be applied to all areas of life.
John Fletcher wrote,
“Man is his own star; and the soul that can Render an honest and a perfect man, Commands all light, all influence, all fate; Nothing to him falls early or too late.”
To master this would be to embody a truly original life. No longer can or should you look out to the world to guide you. Your compass, or your star, is shining bright inside you. You must learn to find it and trust it once again. Yet this is perhaps the most difficult task of modern man.
As a core group of eleven startup-poor people from 7 different countries, we currently host 3 to 8-week immersive learning experiences. We usually call them boot camps, and they have all revolved around some mix of entrepreneurship, science, technology, and life philosophy. The themes range drastically from the ocean to Space Elevators.
So far, we have had participants from 43 different countries at our programs. The average program is about thirty people and we have hosted 6 in the last two years. We also host 1-day workshops called Exobase. Over 700 people have attended.
Right now we are in week four of Athena Empire, Exosphere’s all women entrepreneurship boot camp. It is going great, the participants are experimenting, building, asking questions, learning how to code, salsa dancing, and growing as people.
Why the World Needs Exosphere
We live in a society that is willing to pay to outsource their thinking. You’re being promised less work and more entertainment in exchange for others to control your mind and make choices on your behalf.
Young people are being brought up believing that thinking for yourself is uncool and unpopular. The commonly held belief is that you have to pick a side, stand with a crowd, and not ask questions. You are being forced into a binary world of black and white.
Thinking and constantly asking questions is an exercise of suffering. But it is legitimate suffering, the only kind that brings change and growth.
To Answer The Question
I’m going to admit that I can’t give a one sentence response to this main question. But if I had to come up with a one paragraph answer to the what is Exosphere question, I would say —
Exosphere is a group of people who raised their hands and said, “I want to build up and edify a new generation.” A group of people ready to meet you where you are in life and support you as you ask yourself difficult questions. The questions that most people in your life tell you to disregard or repress. Exosphere is not a group of geniuses who have it all figured out. We have found some things that work for us, but we are forever committed to learning and growing. It is not an exclusive club or social group, we open the door to anyone who knocks on the door. We celebrate each individual and the uniqueness of his or her talents and gifts, while everyday striving to follow our own internal stars.
We have a long way to go until we can rival 2,000 year old institutions, but we are excited with the challenge. We need more ambitious, slightly-crazy people, like you. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, we want to help people there. If it’s something that piques your interest, check out our website and see what we are up to.
If you see something you like, and want to talk more, send me an email — firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d be happy to share stories and together explore ways for you to paint yourself into the Exosphere picture.
Good things to come,