FuturesLab will be running a design/connect session with the Livelyhood community, to test their Livelyhood System with friends, colleagues and the interested public.

The event will be held at Ross House off of Lt. Flinders Lane on October 11th at 6PM. RSVP here.


Livelyhood is a utopian community economy project. The aim is to build an alternative economy that meets the needs of participants in a way that is as joyful, fair and sustainable as possible, whilst still being pragmatic. We want to demonstrate what’s possible in terms of joyful work, self-organisation, sustainable low-tech lifestyles, egalitarian economics, community building and conflict resolution. The current consumer capitalist system is actively damaging for people and the planet, we need alternatives that can really show what’s possible, especially in terms of economics. There is a huge number of people who would happily opt out of the current system if there was a viable option available to them.

We’re talking about bringing intentional communities to the suburbs, without us all having to live together. A ‘from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs’ economic model that actually works, that is easy for people to get involved with at different levels of engagement.

Some of the sorts of things a community might share include regular home-cooked meals. home-grown/made food (including vegies, fruit, poultry, fish, honey, bread, eggs, cheeses, preserves and more), housing/bike/car/appliance/furniture/computer repairs, child-care, massage, mending, books, dvds, tools, toys, workshops, and recreational community events.

Connecting the design / designing a connection

We’re gearing up for a trial in Preston starting in the next few months. The intention is to advertise through face to face engagement, letter-boxing and through various community groups, with the intention to hopefully get a good mix of people from inside the left progressive bubble, and a more diverse mix of people from outside of it.

The system for how to actually make all of this work model has been constantly changing over the last two years of research into other communities, and our own development and experimentation. Whilst we are interested only in ways of doing this which synchronise with our vision and values, we are still open to modifications and other systems which would make the concept more functional and appealing to a majority of people.

What we will do

Livelyhood would like to test the idea with interested friends, colleagues and members of the public. We plan to run a process that allows participants to experience themselves using the system. We want the process to engage the imagination, so that people can experience a personal connection. Ultimately we want to find out about the fit between people and the Livelyhood System, practically / technically, emotionally, and intellectually.

The process we may run could look like this:

  • The key ideas and Livelyhood System are introduced,
  • Participants will be read a number of narrative scripts based on the design. Participants will imagine themselves as the narrative is being read, and will be given a chance to write reflection notes about how they imagined themselves in the system, what they felt, what they likes or didn’t and what questions they have.
  • Participants will discuss this in a large group format, providing feedback to the facilitators and Livelyhood group.
  • Participants may go back into groups or may stay in large group format to discuss what changes to the design they might recommend.

The process will likely evolve as we get closer to the date.

RSVP is essential. To register to attend, visit the FuturesLab meetup.com page.


Published by jramos

José Ramos is a researcher, writer and advocate for commons-based social change. He focuses on such areas as future political economy, planetary stewardship, innovations in democracy and governance, the conjunction of foresight and action research, and transformative social innovation.

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