Building a more sustainable future – one community and one tribe-member at a time.

How it works

Crowd-funding a network of off-grid communities - Scroll over graphics to see

Our Challenge

UNSUSTAINABLE GROWTH

"In 2012 human beings used the equivalent of 1.5 planet's natural resources to support their existence.” WWF Living Planet Report

There is growing awareness of the challenges that we and our planet are facing and new solutions are emerging every day that address these problems.

Tech innovations alone, however, are not going to fix our widespread over-consumption. Significant design and behaviour change must take place to regain a balance with nature, our resources and each other.

This is our challenge.

Sand-ming in Sierra Leone: a challenge we're currently tackling. 



A Solution

CHANGE STARTS IN THE VILLAGE

We believe in the power of real-life community experiences to positively influence us al towards living a more open-minded and sustainable life.

By funding and creating off-grid communities and sharing meaningful, fun and inspiring cross-cultural experiences on the ground and online, we provide a positive footprint for others to follow. At Tribewanted we've been building an engaged, educated and passionate social network – a tribe – who make this happen.

Managing our Communities

We set up a company in each of our ommunity locations with local partners e.g. landowners.  Initially Tribewanted’s international team manages a lot of the local activity, and builds capacity in the community so that it can be managed locally as soon as possible. The location managers are supported by the local team, international volunteers and the Tribewanted management and board. We hold weekly team meetings which anyone on location can participate in.

Why a Tribe?

We are building a social network with shared values, spirit and leadership. We are building a Tribe!

Our Story

2006-2014: FIJI, SIERRA LEONE, ITALY & MOZAMBIQUE

For the last 8 years, on an island in Fiji, a beach in Sierra Leone, in the Umbrian hills of Italy, and now in Mozambique, we have been working in partnership with villages and, together with 2500+ visiting tribe-members, have developed two communities from scratch. We’ve generated $3m in revenues, re-invested into the local villages and created over 100 jobs.

Vorovoro Island, Fiji 2006-2011

In April 2006 Ben Keene (26 years, UK) put out a call for people to join a new online tribe, whose mission would be to build a sustainable tourism community on the Fijian island of Vorovoro in partnership with the local landowners and villagers.

The campaign caught fire and within a few weeks 1000 people from 21 countries had joined ‘the tribe’ and paid an average of $250 each for the privilege. The story was featured across the world and even before the project began on Vorovoro in September 2006, the BBC had commissioned a documentary and National Geographic was preparing a cover story.

For the next four years the landowners, 25 local employees and an average of 15 visiting tribe-members, built the cross-cultural island community. We faced major obstacles including a political coup, a large island fire and a cyclone that very nearly undid all of our work. We survived these challenges and in 2011 handed the community over to the landowners. The project is expected to re-open under local leadership and we will support it in whatever way we can.

Impact in Fiji

  • $1M FJD invested into local economy
  • 25 full-time local jobs
  • 1200 visiting for average of 2 weeks aged 2-75yrs
  • Best Social Network: Broadcast Awards (2008)
  • Highly Recommended Virgin Responsible Tourism awards for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage (2009)
  • After visiting Vorovoro 66% of tribe-members now buy more local, seasonal and organic produce. MSC study
  • After visiting Vorovoro 71% of tribe-members indicated they now have less waste and 76% do more recycling. MSC study
  • Several engagements and a bundle of 'island babies'

John Obey Beach, Sierra Leone 2010-present

In July 2010 we arrived on Sierra Leone’s John Obey Beach, 20 miles south of the capital, Freetown, and began to build a new community alongside the local fishing village. The first two seasons saw the building of superadobe earth-bag buildings, wood & bamboo bungalows, solar energy, water recycling, compost toilets, bucket shows, a beach kitchen and permaculture gardens.

Most importantly we started to build a partnership and friendship with the fishing community of John Obey. 25 full-time earth-builders, carpenters, cooks, farmers, gardeners, managers and guides lead the development and manage the project on the ground. Season 3 at John Obey begins October 2012.

For our visiting tribe-members it has already been a unique opportunity to experience a peaceful, beautiful and vibrant country that is building a new beginning a decade after the end of the civil war.

Impact in Sierra Leone:

In order to keep on improving our sustainable lifestyle, and to show that it is possible to live in harmony, we have developed 10 indexes that help us measure our impact at Tribewanted, John Obey beach, Sierra Leone, where we have been living for the past 18 months in the hope of developing a model sustainable community. 

We selected these 10 metrics because they provide a comprehensive outline of the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. We chose the factors we have direct control over. We believe that a balanced use of these metrics creates a prosperous, healthy and happy community and one that can be replicated.

For more information check out our first infographic of the metrics and our progress so far.

Monestevole, Italia 2013

We are launching Tribewanted Monestevole, in the Umbrian hills, in a 50-50 partnership with the local community of Monestevole, a 15th century 'Borgo'. Tribewanted is investing in the infrastructure work needed to turn Monestevole into a sustainable community (green energy, water harvesting and recycling, biomass heating, waste management, permaculture, organic agriculture, etc.) We are employing up to 15 local workers (full and part-time).

Monestevole will focus on promoting the local culture, making wine and olive oil, meats, bread and pasta. The goal is to be a model sustainable community in the 'developed' world, offering our tribe-members a good alternative to learn about sustainable living not just in 'remote' locations such as Fiji & Sierra Leone but in our own backyard too.

What have we learnt so far‌

  1. The more we can empower our members and local teams, the better the experience and impact at every level.
  2. Depending simply on eco-tourism as a model is not always financially sustainable. By launching the Community Interest Company we hope to stabilize our revenues and grow the business with our members organically.
  3. Interest in a more sustainable way of living is increasing fast and has huge potential to change our lifestyles in a positive way in the years to come. With a stronger model, platform and community we hope to ride this wave all the way to the beach!

Tribewanted Mission

COMMUNITY INTEREST COMPANY



Our priority now is to build an initial network of 10 model communities that demonstrate, educate and inspire sustainability. To achieve this, we plan to recruit 10,000 ‘tribe-members’ through a crowd-funding co-operative known as a Community Interest Company.

How?

1. Fund: We will tribe-fund our communities, starting at £10 per tribe member per month. With every 1,000 members who join we have seed funding to launch a new community chosen by our members.

2. Create: We partner with local stakeholders to build, retrofit or renovate a community where up to 50 people can live sustainably.

3. Experience: With our local partners we provide stays at our communities from a few nights to several months. We share life on the ground with our members online, sparking meaningful actions.

Tribe members receive 5 core benefits for their support:

  • OWNERSHIP – become a member of Tribewanted CIC.
  • BUILD CREDIT – use membership fees as credit towards your next visit + funding tangible projects on the ground.
  • VOTE on new locations and how CIC surpluses are distributed
  • VISIT – top up your tribe credit and stay at any Tribewanted location for less.
  • ACCESS to Tribewanted.com sustainability experts and content

Our Launch: We have built a toolkit for this beta launch including a new platform, videos, graphics and 100 tribe ambassadors to create momentum to reach our 10,000 target. Help us reach our goal and be a part of this incredible journey - join today!

Tribewanted Sustainable Communities (Community Interest Company since 2012)

  • Co-owned by tribe-members, board and each location's employees.
  • CIC limited by guarantee, not shares, which means we are all equal members within it.
  • Receives revenue from membership fees and tourism top-ups
  • Distributes 70% of its income to locations and 30% to manage overheads from UK: website, PR, marketing, accounts and  lega,l until financial break-even.
  • Surpluses/profits are re-invested into the CIC and decided upon by members.
As members:
  • We do have a vote (leadership stake in the company).
  • We don't have shares (company is limited by guarentee).
  • We don't claim 'assets' (physical communities are not ours).
  • We do claim 'credit' (we can use membership fees towards trips)

Tribewanted Limited (private company since 2006)

  • Owns intellectual property (brand, website) which it licenses to Tribewanted Community Interest Company
  • Opportunity to build non-location based businesses

Current Team

  • 2 full-time directors: Filippo Bozotti & Ben Keene
  • 6 Board Members
  • 25 Tribewanted Sierra Leone full-time employees (managing the location)
  • 14 full time employees in Monestevole, Umbria started June 2012
  • A growing tribe of volunteers, ambassadors and new members

Board members of Tribewanted

  • Ben Keene & Filippo Bozotti - Founders
  • Amy & Neal Carter-James – Sustainable Tourism
  • Andy Barr - PR
  • James Croyston- Legal
  • Tiffany Persons – Shine on Sierra Leone & US rep

Joining the Tribe

IT HARDENS THE FEET BUT SOFTENS THE HEART.

The journey of a tribe-member:

  1. Join the tribe, become a member of our Community Interest Company, start accumulating 'tribe-credit'
  2. Top-up and visit a Tribewanted location
  3. Get more involved with the wider community depending on your area of interest



"Tribewanted could revolutionize tourism."
The Sunday Times

"The only place I've been on holiday that I felt homesick when I left" Justine, Tribe-member

"Thankfully someone has taken the online social network and added back the important part—the real world." Microsoft.

"If you do one thing in your life, make sure it's Tribewanted." Lisa Niari, Tribe-member

"Tribewanted is an absolutely incredible experience." Laura, Tribe-member Sierra Leone

"A fantastic initiative! Having been in Monestevole 3 times I can say: the place is amazing!Jan Bijker Tribe-member
 

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