"You found this weird article in "Manager Tomorrow" today, in your company's lobby: about an exhibition from the future, calling itself the Eco-Restorative Perma-Cultural Creativity Festival. You look it up on the web, and there it is: 250 EUR/day for a single room, pay with money or without ("no money needed, use your pay coupons"). You're at the brink of a burnout, feel drained and uncreative since about 7 years (could be more, you forgot), and you're pulling your hair out in search of a strategy for the long-term survival of your extractive, doomed business, which is crude oil. So you register. You don't know exactly why, but you liked the beach pictures, the pictures of these crazy creatives and their home-grown fun, and the excuse to call it a business trips with your two manager friends. Probably you remembered the hippie trail days in your 20s, the last time you felt creative and energized, something you could really need now. Also, you saw in their social booking calendar site that a solar farm investor from India and a co-founder of an algae-to-oil company are there in December. Which seems as relevant as it can be. So you book for a week, add the option to extend anytime by another two weeks if you want (350 EUR extra). You pay with money, because that's what you got and you have no idea what are "pay coupons" (you've only ever heard of "bit coins", but never had one in your hand either).
"The little airport is only 10 kilometers from the house (called Reef), and they sent somebody to pick you up. She introduces herself as Rashida, and the car as a four-wheeled electric cargo cycle. You get to steer it, and it's fun riding this thing in the cool evening breeze. After two kilometers, the steering is already over though, as the vehicle found a retroflective line on the ground and started following it by itself after displaying a message to you. You ask what they need this for, and Rashida tells how she built it two years ago and that it normally works as an autonomous solar-powered farm tractor over the day, eliminating weeds with scissors and AI software. It also provides cost-free, autonomous transport for their goods to and from the local market, and around the farm. Rashida does not seem interested if this thing is actually street-legal ("I think it's important that it works.").
"It's late already, and you go to see your room, one of only five traditional "hotel style" rooms in the whole compound. Why again did you not dare to book yourself into the more communal sleeping quarters? You wonder, while walking past the treehouse village dorm and an outdoor area full of rock climbing towers and little tents suspended from their overhangs. (Supposedly, there's also a supersized trampoline array somewhere that sleeps 20.) Anyway, you can change how and where you stay anytime in the Reef App, and you make a decision to try the suspended tents the next day.
Your own room turns out to be simple but comfortable, and somehow peculiar as well. You wonder why all the walls are covered in black pyramids, until you discover its secondary use from a hidden shelf with audio recording equipment. It's super quiet in your room, and you start to like the weird walls for that very reason, as you slowly fade into sleep."
(… to be continued)
Hope you enjoyed it Dunno why, but I felt like writing some atmospheric near-future fiction that could inspire our discussions about the business model for OpenVillage houses / Reef.
I feel this text should be even more extreme though … for visitors, everything they know about living and working, esp. living and working together, must be challenged by just staying there. It must be inspiring and challenging at the same time, a refreshment of the mind through a visit to the future.