New York, USA, 2016. New England Ecostery Network; Stage One.

This is a test! It's only a test. You're invited to join, to play, to learn, to give, and to grow in new directions. Please read on, and know that your attention and support are greatly valued.

The Mount Lebanon Testlab project will leverage the core of the unMonastery model to work towards the launch of a full featured collaborative live-work-learn environment at this unique and promising location. A “test lab” in unMonastery speak is a temporary hatching zone with essential ingredients to support small teams fulfilling primary goals at “proof-of-concept” stage, in specific focus areas.

If successful, and the momentum carries forward, a more elaborate and enduring unMonastery-Ecostery residential program may take root.

Why here, why now? At the center of our neighborhood, The Abode of the Message is a spiritually oriented intentional community and retreat center established in 1975 by the Sufi Order International as a place of study, growth, communion, and devoted practice for people of many backgrounds and beliefs. Previously, during the 19th century, this same location was the epicenter of the Shaker religious movement in America, one of the largest and most successful utopian societies in history.

The Abode community is presently growing and transitioning to incorporate a larger and more diverse set of residents, guests, programs, and activities on site. Of particular interest is the expansion of land-based projects and learning, given the property’s extraordinary 400 acre campus which includes an active organic farm, mountain summer camp, and wilderness school. Adjacent properties and potential project sites present several related and complementary opportunities nearby.

Right now is a great time to invite a fresh, conscientious, enthusiastic, creative crew to engage with this community landscape, cultivating a slew of new possibilities for the center, the surrounding region, and our wider networks. It’s a vigorous, fresh phase, in a very special place. There's so much within reach! The adjacent Berkshire region of Massachusetts, Hudson Valley of New York, and large population centers just beyond (2.5 hours to Boston or NYC) make this an extraordinary setting that feels secluded and pristine while at the same time both connected and consequential.

The metamap below gives a sense of an emerging big picture here, double click on 'topic' nodes to expand and find additional info or links.

So, what's the story, and who's running this show anyways? It’s still early. The right answers will emerge, with your help. The invitation is open, here and now, to those adventurous souls wanting a hand in the start of something new, fresh, exciting, and very open to innovative means. Could that be you?

Please share your interest, status, and aims via the embedded form below and join this creative process. Next, we'll arrange a generative interview to sense alignment, before diving into co-design for the project and pre-launch.

Finally, you can always help by spreading the word, sending feedback, or in the spirit of open source taking any of these ideas and running with it in a new direction!

For the latest updates and to add your voice or questions, please keep in touch on our Discourse thread.