For over 10 years I have researched, studied, written about, and made a living in the sustainable living market. It started with an idea to live off the grid. Then I launched a very successful off grid blog. I made a very good living writing about off grid living, renewable energy, sustainable building and modern sustainable agriculture. The idea for off grid living was simple independence and sustainability. This idea evolved into an idea for an off grid community and that in turn evolved into an idea for an off grid campground and RV park for sustainable minded folks who wanted to live a more fulfilling and healthy happier lifestyle. That idea then evolved into an idea for a network of sustainable properties across the USA and Canada for members (like minded individuals) who appreciate the benefits of sustainable living and who also love to travel. Why? Why was I on this path? What made me want to devote so much of my time to this idea when I would most probably never build anything like it? Because like millions of people all over the world I struggled to survive in a world where profit is put before people. Where people are exploited for their labor and then discarded like trash when they are too old and disabled to work for the system. I saw a need that wasn’t being fulfilled. I saw a problem that needed to be solved. People need a place to go to live and learn and be happy. Happiness comes from having the things you need to live, not just survive. Too many people are caught in a system that doesn’t value human life or happiness. There are too many hurdles, roadblocks and barriers to entry for the majority of people to live healthy, happy, fulfilling lives. This starts with the idea we have to have a JOB and work for the system or the system will cause us to lose everything. I’ve been down that road. I’ve lost everything multiple times in my pursuit of happiness. In my pursuit of wealth. I don’t care about status. I don’t care what people think of me. I h*** the system that exploits people for their labor while leaving people homeless on the street, hungry, and unhealthy. I h*** the system of greed and corruption that denies billions of people their human right to quality healthcare and a higher education. I believe all human beings deserve to have access to education and healthcare without being charged outrageous sums of money that bankrupt them and force them to work for 20, 30, even 40 years of their life just to survive. Meanwhile during their entire lives millions of good people are struggling every day just to provide the basic necessities for their families. If they stop working for the system they lose everything, including their families. They lose their homes, their food, their cars, their health and ultimately, millions end up dying or becoming disabled, homeless, living on the street, hungry, cold, tired, discarded like some unwanted thing. It’s morally wrong. It’s ethically wrong. We can do better. Poverty is not a problem that can’t be solved. Why profit without sharing the that profit with the workers who made that profit possible? Why not pay workers what their labor is worth? Why not provide everyone with everything they need to live a happy healthy life? What does that look like? How do we do that? To me the answer is simple. Give the people the 5 things they need to live a happy healthy life. Pay them what their labor is worth. What are those 5 things? Easy. Housing, food, utilities, education and healthcare. That’s it. That’s all people need. Provide housing, food, utilities, education and healthcare to a small group of people to start. A pilot program. An experiment. So…what does something like that look like? Physically, logistically, financially, how do you do that? First you need a place to stay. Then you need food. Then you need utilities (energy, water, communications) to do things and for sanitation/health. Education is key to a productive life. Healthcare is key to a healthy life. And all the above is key to a happy healthy fulfilling life. It all starts with a place to go. Land! A place where people can go to live and work and play. A place that’s peaceful and designed to provide all the necessities of a happy life. No…not a hippy commune. Though that is not a bad idea. What I’m talking about is a place where people can live, work and play and enrich their lives, provide for their families and do it for a fraction of the price that it costs to live in the system. The average cost of living is about $20k to $25k per year for rent, food and utilities. Add in quality education and healthcare and you’re looking at another $20 to $25k per year combined. All total that average cost for all the above is about $40k to $50k annually for most people living in developed countries. This excludes poor people. Which we should be ashamed for doing. We allow poverty to exist and that is morally wrong. We have the technology and the ability to make poverty go away but most people lack the will to change it. They believe poverty is an unsolvable problem. I believe it’s easily solvable IF people work together to make others’ lives easier. It’s an altruistic lifestyle, yes, but it’s also practical. In my decades plus long research and study of poverty and the science of humanity I’ve discovered that if you simply provide people all the things they need to live they’re happier and more productive. They’re more inclined to help one another because they already have what they need. Instead of struggling to survive they become more open and thoughtful, more compassionate and empathetic to others. They become more altruistic. It’s simple behavioral science. It’s human psychology 101. Happy healthy people tend toward a more altruistic lifestyle because they have everything they need to live happy lives. It’s because they have a safe place to live and their families are provided for. They have housing, food, utilities, education and healthcare. So instead of building a commune, or a campground, or even an off grid community, I realized there’s another platform, another model that works well. It’s a proven model. It’s a model that has been around for thousands of years. It’s a model that provides everything everyone needs. It’s not new. It’s not some crazy idea. It’s not a complex thing. It’s a university. A co-living, co-working, community of students and staff who all work together to provide an education and a place to live. There is housing, food, utilities, and basic healthcare in the form of a nurses office. (which at my university would be staffed by volunteer doctors, nurses and medical assistants). A university has all the things. It has the infrastructure already built-in. Housing is provided in the form of dorms (apartments) and individual homes (cabins). Food is provided through the sustainable agricultural program whereby students would learn how to grow healthy food sustainably and the large commercial kitchen and cafeteria on-campus provides food for all. Each student would also have their own little garden in the community garden/farm if they choose. If not, they can have all the food they want for free (as long as they help out on campus). Volunteerism is not a new idea. It’s proven to work in many systems and models across the world and time. Utilities are provided through an educational technology/trade program with the main areas of study. Electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and other construction trades as well as data technology and IT programs. Housing is built by the students and taught by professionals in their fields of study. Everyone received all 5 of the basic necessities of life in a coliving, coworking, colearning environment. It’s a new kind of university. A university is a kind of small city. A city with all kinds of people all working together to build it. And I’ve figured out a way to build it. I know how to build a university that will change the world and people’s lives for the better while lifting people out of poverty by providing all the things they need to do it. And I’ve figured out how to do it for a fraction of the price of the cost of living today. The average cost of living is about $40k to $50k per year including all 5 basic necessities. But I know how to do it for less than 50% of that cost, while also providing passive incomes for those students and staff living on-campus. Think about it. A full college level higher education. Trade school. Sustainable living. Housing. Food. Utilities. Education and Healthcare. All provided for $1000/month. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It’s already being done all over the world…but separately. It’s not all combined into one model. There’s not a single place where you can go (yet) that has all the things in one place. All these things work separately throughout the world now. And they will work combined onto on large piece of land. There’s low cost housing. There’s food banks and kitchens/cafeterias. There are volunteer health clinics. There are community colleges. There are sustainable developments that run on renewable energy and utilities. So why not combine all these things into one large campus? A university makes sense. But how do you keep it going? How do you grow it? How do you provide this for everyone? It takes money and labor to start and it takes money and labor to run. Right? Yes and no. In a monetary society, yes you need money to start. Much like a water pump you have to prime the pump to make it go. But once you hook up a solar panel to that pump it’ll run forever as long as it’s maintained…with people’s skill and labor. Pretty simple concept. So why not simply build a university, provide housing on-campus apartments and cabins, food from the on-campus community gardens and farm, utilities through the renewable sustainable tech and trade programs, education and healthcare on-campus. All paid for through the on-campus revenue generating income producing programs. The sustainable building programs provides housing for all students and sells portable cabins and tiny homes to the general public (manufacturing, profits from sales are then redistributed to the on-campus students members) The agricultural program will power the community gardens and farm which in turn supplies local healthy organically grown food to all students as well as the surrounding community. Sales from locally grown produce to the local community provides profits for growth and profit sharing for students/members. Utilities. Start with a solar/wind farm. Parcel out a section of the land for a large solar/wind farm to provide energy. Sell it back to the county for credit later. Water will come from onsite well systems complete with purification and environmentally septic systems. Online education. Software engineering. Game development. Cloud computing and storage. All very highly profitable when combined with renewable energy systems. Students would not only learn about sustainable energy, but would also gain valuable programming and technological skills. Profit sharing for all systems is distributed to the students/members. Online education is a multibillion dollar industry by itself. As is the sustainable building and agricultural and renewable energy sectors. The university also provides basic healthcare through their on-site healthcare clinic which is free for all students living on campus. To build something like this is possible for a fraction of the cost of building it in the real-world because students are learning through on-the-job-training. Everyone helps build the university and everyone enjoys the benefits of housing, food, utilities, education and healthcare, while also sharing in the profits from all the revenue streams produced on campus. To start this will take millions of dollars. That is also EASY! With just 1000 on campus students/members at $1000/month ($12k annual tuition per student/member) we can provide all the above. That’s a $12 million annual revenue BEFORE any of the other income streams are built. The farm will take a year to build and will provide some revenue as well (to be determined). The online software engineering and game development program will be very cost effective and provide a low barrier to entry income stream very quickly. 100,000 online/remote students at $10/month for certificate programs, and $100/month for degree level programs. The online software engineering/coding/programming program levels will generate $1M/month and $10M/month respectively once we reach membership goals. Cloud computing and cloud storage (all powered by renewable energy; which is built/installed and maintained by students and staff) will generate another initial $10M/month within 1-2 years time with 10,000 business and individual customers. Advertising and marketing would also be done by students and staff through advertising and marketing programs. Sustainable building manufacturing in the form of mobile tiny houses and portable cabins, flat pack housing for emergency relief orgs and sales to the public and NGOs will bring in an estimated $1-10 million annually. Margins are higher because the labor force is provided by students and staff in exchange for housing, food, utilities, education and healthcare. The whole system works like a small city. A small city where the profits from these products and services are shared with those building and living on campus. It really is a simple idea. So to really envision this in your minds eye, picture this. Picture Harvard and MIT. A strong focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering art and math) and trade school programs that teach basic sustainable building and construction, civil and industrial engineering, software engineering, sustainable agriculture and biotech. Oh…and since we’re a science and tech university with a very strong emphasis on software engineering, we might as well create our own cryptocurrency while we’re at it. Throw in AAA game and application development and you have the potential for BILLIONS of dollars in revenue within a few short years. BILLIONS that are then shared with oncampus students and staff. Yeah, this is my multi-billion dollar idea. YES! It will work. No it’s not as complex as it sounds. I’m simply combining systems that already work now separately all over the world into a single highly optimized and technologically advanced sustainable learning/living environment. All starting with just 1000 people. Best of all it’s scalable. Meaning these university campuses can be built anywhere in the world all over the world. Each one would contribute to the betterment of surrounding communities as well as the people and world at large. It’s a grand idea. It’s an absolutely insane idea, right? Not really. It’s being done elsewhere…all I’m doing is combining proven models into one large model for living. It’s something that I wholeheartedly believe is not only possible, but also much needed in today’s world. We need this. Humanity needs this. We need to build this. Humanity is about helping one another. If life, if humanity has a purpose, then it’s to help other human beings live better and that in turn makes the world a better place. Profit sharing…whoulda-thunk it could actually make sense to make people’s lives better. Imagine having everything you need to live and be able to study anything you want to learn about while also living life to its fullest. Living happy healthy lives is possible and we do that by providing the basic necessities of life and sharing the benefits of the labor and skill and knowledge from all with all. In time this will end poverty globally. It will take a generation. Imagine a world without poverty. Imagine a world where you can get an education for free, live free, and be happy and healthy. No…it’s not a utopia. A perfect utopia is not possible. Physics and human imperfection prevents us from building a perfect utopia. The good thing is we don’t have to try to build a utopia. We simply build a bunch of universities all over the world and share the knowledge and wealth with one another. Help one another. That’s purpose of life stuff. That is what will end poverty. That’s what will make the world a better place. That’s my master plan. My plan for a university. A university that will not only provide everything you need to live, but also to help you thrive and grow. Happiness. Health. That is true wealth. That is humanity. That’s altruism. That’s how we make the world a better place.