John Stadler

John Stadler

Multi-generational, Rural
36 Sea Kiss Point
West Bath, 04530
  • Move in year :
  • 2024
  • Number of units :
  • 21-40
  • Land size:
  • 21+ acres
  • Developed acreage :
  • Not yet known

Description:

Reinventing the Ties that Bind:
Creating an Inter-generational Community for a Better Future

Many Americans are searching for communities that will make their lives easier and more fulfilling at all stages of adult life. We know that we’re missing something: the richness that comes from a community of neighbors helping neighbors, the young and old helping each other, and the opportunity for shared experiences and celebrations.

In the old days – at least as we imagine them – young families could count on grandparents to help them with their kids; old people could be secure in the knowledge that they would be well taken care of at home; and those in midlife could draw inspiration and guidance from the energy of the young and the wisdom of the old. Many Americans are still lucky enough to be in extended families that support each other in these ways across the years. But most, unfortunately, are not.

For many of us, our families are dispersed, our communities are fractured, and we are left to navigate the challenges of each life stage with little help. Young couples with children live hundreds or thousands of miles away from their parents, and have to pay exorbitant fees for day care while missing both the emotional and practical benefits of local, available grandparenting. Older people don’t have the support they need to age in place, and may face a grim march through a progression of institutions from independent living to assisted living to nursing home care. And those in midlife can find it hard to gain the perspective from other generations that would help them assess their lives and careers, consider a change of course, or recommit to the life path ahead.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can create intentional, inter-generational communities that meet both practical and emotional needs. We can live the way human beings evolved to do: mutually supportive, and mutually interdependent, through a robust community for adults and kids at every stage of life.

AMICable: A Maine Intentional Community (that can!)

The AMICable project will innovate in many dimensions of social engagement, from governance to economics to shared purposes and projects. The first prototype community will begin with a group of people committed to sharing approximately 10-20 dwelling units in co-op ownership. The community will start with a combination of families with children, Boomers in the early stages of retirement, and various ages in between. Ideally, the community will evolve to become an incubator for revenue-generating businesses, such as constructing affordable housing, elderly care, or software development of apps used by such communities. The details of the first community and its membership will be determined over the first few months, after financing is secured.

Of course, the idea of an intentional, inter-generational community is not new. The Intentional Communities association counts hundreds of organizations that have tried to do what we envision. While some have been durable, many have failed. We believe that these communities often fail due to flaws in their design:

First, they may be organized around particular interests – a set of political beliefs, say, or an interest in yoga – that are not strong enough to sustain a community over time.
Second, they lack an accounting mechanism to track the exchange of value – whether providing child care for young families or giving older residents a ride – in ways that ensure fair compensation all around.

And third, they have an overly burdensome approach to decision-making, relying on excessive, endless meetings that are time-sinks, contentious, and unpleasant for their participants.

To solve these problems, AMICable will be structured as a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, or DAO. A DAO is a novel way of implementing social and economic agreements using a blockchain and smart contracts [brief introduction can be found here: Beginner’s Guide to Social DAOs and How To Join Them | Alexandria ]. Some of the ideas under consideration are:

+Shared enterprises — such as a grandparent-grandkid camp, an affiliated Assisted Living Facility, a non-profit incubator, or a company that develops affordable housing — using sweat equity and grants for start-up capital.
+a local currency or token for transactions between members, automated as much as possible in a phone-app.
+A way for construction contractors and service employees to earn credits — using the token — to purchase lower-cost dwelling units.

Structuring it as a DAO will enable AMICable to prioritize meeting practical needs with minimal overhead, as well as a way to monetize the excess capacity of contributors at various stages of life. While some intentional communities have succeeded in recruiting people who share this “pay it forward” culture without a DAO, the upside of a DAO is that it can accommodate all variety of personal motivations, from profit to altruism. We are confident that integrating a DAO into the plan will create much stronger social glue for the community than simple shared interests can.

From Here to There

While many of these ideas might be good, many might turn out to be over-ambitious or a waste of effort. What is clear from successful intentional communities is that it takes a core group of Founders who are committed to working together for the long term to figure it out. This is an invitation to explore this possibility for yourself, while we collectively figure out a shared vision that is both innovative and achievable.

Brainstorming and team building: We will start by meeting together remotely, to begin the process of research, collaboration and planning. There are some givens — including the plan to locate in Maine — but the rest of the vision is up for discussion.

Critical mass: When we have a core group of 5-10 families or individuals willing to commit to a plan, we will draft the documents (including an LLC and DAO bylaws) to form an organization. At this point, there will be an opportunity for buy-in from individuals willing to buy a dwelling unit in a shared property, with a realistic expectation for design, cost, location, and community commitments. I would hope we can get to this stage in a matter of months, but it could take longer.

Funding: the start-up of any venture of this scale takes money. I will invest $100,000 at the “critical mass” stage, once it is clear that there is a committed group of founders and a well-defined plan. This should be sufficient to pay lawyers, some staff, and expenses for enough time to line up the funding necessary to build 20-30 homes ($10-15M in loans and equity).

If you are interested, write me an email: jas314159@gmail.com .

Shared Property
  • Common House
  • Farm
  • Community Garden
  • Playground
  • Laundry
Accessibility
  • Some units accessible
Welcomes Visitors (fee may apply)
  • N/A
Decision Making
  • N/A
Meals
  • 1-2 meals per week
Meal Participation
  • Everyone participates
Vision
  • EcoVillage
Contact Information

Ratings

There are no reviews yet.

Please login to leave a review.