Tech Farm : Planting the seeds of change

Anton Chernikov
Sep 8, 2016 · 12 min read

Join the co-creation movement and help us build a global community of over 100 coliving properties in startup cities across the globe.

“Co-creating the feeling of home and family, anywhere you go.” — Tech Farm

As our world becomes increasingly mobile and interconnected a new nation is being born. This nation transcends traditional geographical borders and is made up of global citizens. The influence and significance of this super-connected multi-generational and multi-cultural tribe is growing every day.

Global citizens are purpose-driven, entrepreneurial and collaborative by nature. They are conscious of how our current institutions, urban environments and economic systems are struggling to meet the challenges of the 21st century and are already taking small steps towards change.

It’s hard to imagine a positive future without global citizens leading the way. However, often these conscious entrepreneurs and digital nomads find themselves isolated, lacking the resources to make a real difference. What if we could change this? What if we could unleash the collective potential of global citizens across the world to co-create a more conscious society?

I recently partnered with a property startup called Tech Farm, who I believe can offer some practical answers to this question…

About Tech Farm

Tech Farm is a purpose-driven real estate venture that launches and manages coliving and coworking properties for global citizens. Imagine being in a community and an environment every single day that inspires you to live a more balanced and conscious life. Imagine having the feeling of home and family, anywhere you go.

Our aspiration is to combine the community belonging of the countryside (Farm) with the global connectivity of the urban lifestyle (Tech). We curate members and residents based on a shared set of values. We co-create rituals and experiences together that help us to be at our full potential in all aspects of life. We establish a coaching family culture and pay attention to the small details that makes a place feel like home.

We try to make life as simple as possible having cleaners and regular take-away dinners or an in-house chef. We also collectively pre-buy our groceries and cook together. We all take turns to host activities such as trips, yoga, startup events, cinema or whatever someone wants to initiate. On the professional side we also take an active interest in each other’s work. We share connections, ideas, skills and also initiate collaborations. Many common projects have been born on the sofa and in the sauna, one of them being Tech Farm.

We are also passionate about smart design and sustainability. We want our buildings to not only be zero waste, but also to be energy positive. We make sure every building has super-fast wifi connectivity and access to a private space to work. We try to bring light and nature into the architecture of our buildings and we are excited by the potential of using microbiology and mechanical engineering to recycle waste water.

In essence, Tech Farm is housing redesigned for global citizens. It’s a place where you go to co-create a conscious lifestyle with amazing people who also want to make positive difference in the communities and the environment in which they live.

Our vision is to launch 100 coliving properties in startup cities around the globe within the next 10 years.

This is where things get really exciting. When multiple properties are linked via a central network, the value of the Tech Farm experience grows exponentially. In the future, as a member of the Tech Farm community you will be able to live in London 2 months, Hong Kong 1 month and then Sao Paulo 6 months. We already have 3 properties in Stockholm and 1 in Berlin this year, with several more cities in the pipeline.

Hus24 has 12 rooms and we have had 43 residents since we opened in 2011. 50 people will move into K9 (our second house) in November. Our waiting list is over 250 and our wider community extends into the many thousands and we can see demand growing every week.

As we continue to scale out, each property will have it’s own unique character and personality that will be co-created with our founding residents and members. We will also adopt a distributed leadership strategy. We will not try to control and micro-manage, but rather to define a few clear values, rituals, standards and processes that will empower our ‘organisation of members’ to lead on their own terms.

We are learning and taking inspiration from great companies like Valve, Buffer, Enspiral, Automattic and Zappos. The first step in establishing a self-managing organisational culture is having a clear purpose. Second step is aligning incentives and ensuring transparency and fairness within the core team. Final step is designing organisational structures and rituals that balance autonomy and experimentation with accountability and effective communication. When building a networked organisation like Tech Farm having a great culture supported by clear communication processes and collaboration agreements between stakeholders is crucial.

Our Theory of Change

At Tech Farm, our mission is to provide a holistic lifestyle platform that empowers the world’s global citizens (conscious entrepreneurs & digital nomads) to be at their full potential. We believe that in creating physical spaces that reconnect us with ourselves, each other and nature, we will be able to inspire a lasting shift in behaviour within our society.

In fact conscious coliving can have a significant and immediate impact on the regeneration of our urban neighbourhoods into happier, healthier, smarter and more sustainable places to live, work and play. Ultimately, co-working and co-living, when done right, is a scalable and viable solution to many problems, including social isolation, loss of community and the extended family, gentrification, inflated housing, and the rise in cost of living seen in major cities.

The culture of co-creation and conscious living that is nurtured and incubated in every Tech Farm property will naturally spread out into our neighbourhoods and across our cities, inspiring a transition towards a more conscious global society.

Value for Residents

From our experience one of the biggest challenges in living a nomadic and entrepreneurial life comes down to lifestyle. It’s so easy to fall into bad habits. As the pressure grows and the stakes get higher you are faced with huge amounts of stress and uncertainty. You begin to overwork and neglect your health, your friends and your relationships. You take short vacations to detox and recharge and then you go straight back into the chaos. You are always chasing after the next deal or investment. There is always another mountain to climb or fire to extinguish.

The funny thing is that we know when we are out of balance. We all know that we should get more sleep, drink less coffee, eat healthier, spend more time in nature and meditate in the mornings. We can sense when we are lacking structure, losing focus and burning out. We can see ourselves making poor decisions and wasting time. However, we don’t change. We keep going back to the same bad habits, and repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Sounds crazy, but it’s true.

“A sense of loneliness and anonymity is the downside of modern city life where people live alone and separated — each in her own apartment. By developing a new form of housing solution we aim to make people feel at home once again.”​
- Fredrik Forss, Co-founder at Tech Farm

There are so many elements in our lives that are either unnecessary or disruptive. How can we live more consciously? How can we prioritise the things that really matter? How can we design a lifestyle we don’t need a vacation from? Whether we like it or not, we all need some semblance of structure and stability in our lives. We can handle uncertainty and change in some parts of life, but if everything is flexible and in transition, we will slowly begin to lose our minds. So what’s the solution?

The simple truth is that if we want to build our lives and our businesses in a more conscious way, then we need think carefully about how we design the environment we step into every day. There is nothing more motivating and effective than having a tribe of housemates to keep you on track…

“When you are in an environment where you get accepted for who you are and you feel safe to express your inner self, then you drop your mask and start focusing on your true purpose. Thats empowerment.”
— Lisa Renander, Founder at Tech Farm

Stepping into a culture of personal growth & co-creation

It’s easy to talk about community and purpose. It’s hard to make it a reality. Genuine community requires patience, attention to detail and a genuine commitment towards co-creation. At the heart of every great community are shared values, a unifying vision and the willingness of all members to fully participate and engage in the co-creation process. Tech Farm is more than just a zero-hassle ‘millennial hotel’ in the centre of town, where you can access a variety of social perks and communal spaces in return for paying more rent per square meter of private space. Tech Farm is a home that you co-create, with a little bit of guidance from expert facilitators and community builders.

At Tech Farm, we aspire to co-create an environment, culture and community that empowers all our residents and guests to push themselves further than ever before, not just in their businesses but in their lives. We are looking for residents who are passionate about personal growth not just on a professional level, but on a holistic level which includes physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing.

Our role is simply to act as facilitators and catalysts by designing rituals, frameworks and tools for lifestyle design,wellbeing, skill-sharing, peer coaching and sustainability initiatives. Our intention is to dissolve the traditional landlord vs tenant or host vs guest separation and make our members feel like genuine co-creators.

It continues to amaze us how transformational and fun being around highly driven, entrepreneurial and conscious friends can be. At the heart of Tech Farm is a culture of personal development and peer coaching. We are one team. We are one family. Think of Tech Farm as an urban garden designed to grow the conscious leaders and entrepreneurs who will transform the world around us for the better.​

The simple truth is when you surround yourself with conscious and ambitious entrepreneurs who will hold you accountable to your goals and give you the feedback, inspiration and support that you need, then great things will happen. This is what makes a space feel like home and builds the foundation for a genuine sharing economy.

Affordability through Sharing Economies

As property prices in major cities continue to grow it is becoming harder and harder to find an affordable, centrally located apartment or rental house share. Property search is stressful, unpredictable and time consuming. The best properties are also managed by agents who require proof of income from an employer. If you are self-employed you need to either pay 6 months upfront or get a guarantor to share their earnings with the agent. It’s a painful process.

There is also the issue of renting your room or flat out when you travel. Paying expensive rents is bad enough. Paying expensive rents when you are not even using the space is even worse. There is always the option of using Airbnb. However, not all flatmates are comfortable with having unknown guests coming and going, and some landlords threaten eviction if they catch you subletting. Even if you can use Airbnb, there is still the extra hassle of regularly cleaning the flat to prepare for the next guest.

‘Economies of scale’ is also an issue. Most apartments in cities are ‘family-sized’ which means 2–3 bedrooms max, a kitchen and a small living room. Finding and securing larger properties with more unconventional spaces is also not an easy task. Most of these properties are bought up and converted into smaller apartments that can be resold individually. Even if you can overcome these logistical issues and secure a master lease for a larger property, there is the challenge of finding the right people and establishing the right co-creation culture. This is both an art and a science in itself. Often it is the small things, the little gestures and human touches that can make all the difference.

When you add everything up, joining a coliving network is so much more convenient and affordable than trying to do everything by yourself.

Each property can operate as a micro sharing economy, where residents and members use their collective stills and resources to find new creative ways of getting ‘more for less’. From skill-sharing and bulk-purchasing to communal dinners and collaborative enterprises residents can save on bills, they can save on food and they can save on pretty much anything they can think of. In fact, one of the experiments we will be running at K9 will be a collective budget or fund that can be invested into resident-led events and projects.

Currently, the concept of ‘global coliving’ is very much an exclusive ‘boutique hotel’ experience with a price point to match. We believe that through sharing economies, co-creation cultures and innovative ‘network based’ organisational practices we can offer much more affordability without compromising on quality.

In conclusion

Ideas about collective living are far from new and have been tried in many different contexts. However, in an increasingly mobile and digital world, never before has there been a greater need for authentic human connection. Most apartments in the city make us feel increasingly isolated and alone. It’s time for a new real estate paradigm. It’s time for conscious coliving.

At Tech Farm, our mission is to provide a holistic lifestyle platform that empowers the world’s global citizens (conscious entrepreneurs & digital nomads) to be at their full potential. We believe that in creating physical spaces that reconnect us with ourselves, each other and nature, we will be able to inspire a lasting shift in behaviour within our society. In fact conscious coliving can have a significant and immediate impact on the regeneration of our urban neighbourhoods into happier, healthier, smarter and more sustainable places to live, work and play. Ultimately, co-working and co-living, when done right, is a scalable and viable solution to many problems, including social isolation, loss of community and the extended family, gentrification, inflated housing, and the rise in cost of living seen in major cities. The culture of co-creation and conscious living that is nurtured and incubated in every Tech Farm property will naturally spread out into our neighbourhoods and across our cities, inspiring a transition towards a more conscious global society.

Our goal is to launch over 100 Tech Farm properties in startup cities across the globe within the next 10 years. ​

We are looking to connect with…

  1. Global citizens who want to move into our new K9 building in Stockholm.
  2. Global citizens who want to attend our first ever one month Tech Farm co-creation residency between 15 Nov-15 Dec 2016 at our new K9 building.
  3. Global citizens who want to become members of the Tech Farm network.
  4. Asset owners and local governments who have access to land or properties that we can transform into coliving or coworking hubs.
  5. Influencers & ambassadors to help us initiate co-creation dinners, talks, workshops, retreats and festivals.

Please email me anton@exponentials.co.uk if you want to know more.

And spread the word… www.techfarm.life

The Harvest

Thoughts, trends and guides to living, working and lifestyle from the Tech Farm community.

Anton Chernikov

Written by

Changing the world one small adventure at a time. Founder @TheExponentials www.exponentials.co.uk

The Harvest

Thoughts, trends and guides to living, working and lifestyle from the Tech Farm community.

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