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  • noahchonlee

Lessons Learned from Zuzalu Inspired Pop Up Villages

A recap of Zuzalu inspired pop up villages

The following are futurist oriented temporary coliving and coworking gatherings that experiment with new lifestyles and social structures ranging from 2-8 weeks and 100-200 residents and up to 800 short-term guests.

Notable mentions for older pop up cities include Burning Man and Ephemerisle though those are closer to a festival rather than a coliving and coworking environment with conferences mixed in.

Shared characteristic among all of these pop up cities: Residents populate the schedule with events they come up with (except for during conferences)

Certain times for certain themes related to tech or governance Disclaimer: Much of this is written from my memory and this has not been reviewed over yet by most of the groups (shoutout to Audrey helping with info about ShanHaiWoo and Ivy for answering questions about Wamotopia)

Note that it is INSANELY hard to put together this sort of gathering, and all these critiques/feedback are relatively miniscule things to improve compared to the immense success that each group has achieved that is worth a massive amount of respect and celebration.

Name: Zuzalu

Dates: Mar 25 - May 25 2023

Location: Lustica Bay, Montenegro, Europe

Theme(s): Longevity and DeSci, AI, Zero Knowledge Cryptography, Public Goods, Network States, Coordi-nations

Organizers (this is not an official list and does not mention many people who put in immense contributions): Janine Leger, Vitalik Buterin, Nicole Sun, Milos, Vjera, Laurence Ion, Marine (there were also track leads and I can't remember all of them)

Community partners: Gitcoin, VitaDAO, many others

Residents: 200 (about 150 max at any given time)

Visitors: 800 (about 150 max at any given time)

Organizer selection process: Referral system

Resident selection process: Organizers each invited around 15 people as residents. A small number of residents were selected from an application form.

Guest selection process: Each resident had two guest invites and guests could stay as long as they wanted but had to pay for each week. Each theme week conference organizer(s) also could select guests and speakers to join.

Cost and funding source: Some funding from Vitalik plus a few sponsors and residents paying for subsidized housing and guests paying for weekly access passes

Mission statement: To foster a global network of communities to advance humanity by creating playgrounds at the intersection of free and open technology, health, science and social innovation

Values: Authentic Kindness, Mutual Respect, Personal Growth, Freedom

Software used: 

- website for scheduling (Outdated: )- Zupass for DID (Ongoing: )- viaPrize for crowdfunding (Ongoing: & )

- Zupoll for voting (Outdated: )

- Zucast for anonymous messaging (Outdated: )

- Rubber Ducky for AI telegram bot with summarization and ability to answer common visitor questions (Outdated: )

Projects created:

- AI video about Montenegro folklore

- This video about the rafting trip on the Moraca River 


- Geodesic dome (built for Zuzalu) - Lustica Bay hotel and resort village with many apartments. There were a few boats people decided to live on as well in the dock.


- Gym (built ourselves though there’s actual gym)

- Cold plunge area (built ourselves though there’s actual spa)- Sauna (built ourselves though there’s actual spa)

- Coworking space

Cultural Characteristics:

- Free healthy breakfast every morning that brought everyone together to socialize

- Each theme week conference had its own organizers separate from the core team

- Daily cold plunges in the ocean

- Crowdfunded prizes were used to inspire an impromptu hackathon - Retroactive funding. Residents could mint a hypercert showing ways they had contributed to the Zuzalu community and people could upvote those hypercerts and funds were sent to the upvoted contributions - Gitcoin quadratic funding grants were also used in the future to fund more Zuzalu events and projects

- There was a silent party where no one could talk. I ended up doing yoga and boxing and playing a card game where no one knew what game we were playing but we played adamantly. - Grimes the msuician did some sorta brain scanner thing that made visuals based on her neural patterns on a screen during a concert


- There was a visit to a local university and an opportunity for students to meet entrepreneurs for mentorship and inspiration - First AI voice for a nature entity in history created

- Inspiration for a wave of pop up villages across the world


- Pacing

With a conference every weekend but one and residents permissionlessly adding social events and presentations/workshops to the shared schedule it felt like there was very little time to get focused work done. It was exhilarating and the events were great but it could also feel like too much FOMO and burnout at times.

- Venue

The venue at an isolated oceanside resort was chosen with short notice and made the event possible, but it felt quite ritzy with expensive restaurants and yachts nearby and the WEF hosting a conference in the same place immediately after us and it just felt kinda artificial. It was a beautiful location for nature and the density of housing in a small village made it easy to see friends for house dinners and parties and the housing was quite nice. However, public spaces didn’t feel like “our” space to be in a playground of experimentation because if we even did something like sit cross legged in the lobby when chairs were full then staff would reprimand us. When the venue housing filled up some people stayed in apartments outside the Lustica Bay resort gates and used a shuttle to reach the venue. The suggestion is to find a cheaper location and work with a venue where the owners and team understand the concept and are excited for collaboration with your community. 

- Housing

Organizers communicated that coordinating housing was one of the most demanding challenges and wished for better software for this

- Clarity on roles

There were not clear roles or wages for organizers though there was a small experimental retroactive funding round where people could add their contribution for the previous week and people could upvote it to allocate a funding award

- Financial sustainability

The model was not financially sustainable and was heavily subsidized. Ideas were considered of more sponsors, creating an incubator/accelerator, and real estate investment.

- Legal entity switch over I would recommend to future pop up villages to not close down a legal entity without checking that everything is settled with that. One sponsorship never ended up happening because there was a switch over to a different entity and the old one was closed, so one of the hackathon teams I was in that won never got paid because the funds weren't there for that.

- Local connection

The prime minister and president stopped by for a Montenegro Day and there was a visit to a local university, but nothing remained long term in Montenegro that continued and few Montenegrans participated as residents. 

- Life changing

Overall, the feedback generally was that the event was life-changing and exhilarating and everyone was grateful for the organizers who jumped in often without knowing if they would be paid and with very little time to pull together an incredible event. Animal mascot: Zuzu, a puppy who some residents saw get hit by a car which broke all four of his legs. He was nursed back to health in Zuzalu and found a home in California Random Zuzalu Photos and Vids

This is Zuzu, and I miss his fuzzy face. Including this video because it makes me happy.

Name: ShanHaiWoo

Dates: Aug 5 - Aug 31 2023 Location: Jilin, China Presentation: 

Media:  Theme(s): Web3, AI, Creator Economy, Coding Camp Organizers: Audrey Tang of DRK Lab (lead organizer), MXX (core organizer - community & media), Yu Du (core organizer - local coodinator), Jiang and Eggy of Social Layer (tech & UI), Xiyu (event), Qiu Qiu (writing), Wenqian from 706 and SeeDAO (community manager), Adria (event & ticket), Frank of BuidlerDAO (hackathon) Residents: 121 Organizer selection process: invited and referral

Resident selection process: 

- Each co-organizer had the right to invite a certain number of residents. 

- Most of the residents were selected from public applications. Guest selection process: 

- Invited by the residents. Each resident could invite two guests, and guests could decide how long they would stay at their own cost(pay by per week).

- Public applications, where most of the guests come from.

Cost and funding source: $21,953. 64% to volunteer expenses, 23% to travel expenses, 13% to material expenses. The costs do not include the venue rental fee which was sponsored by Beidahu Ski Resort. Both residents and guests paid for their own accommodation with a special discount.


  • Resident: RMB 500 ($70 USD) for the whole month. 

  • Guest: RMB 200 ($28 USD) per week.

  • Tickets Income: RMB 13,908 ($1,932 USD)

Venue Sponsor: Beidahu Ski Resort


Tim Yang

Founder of .bit


Dr. XIAO Feng

Founder of Wanxiang Blockchain Labs & HashKey Group


Audrey Tang

Founder of DRK Lab


Yisi Liu

Co-founder of Mask Network

Projector ($250)



Origin: A Wechat channel discussion in June of 2023 led to an initial team forming on July 5

Mission statement: 

By creating a surreal setting of ShanhaiWoo (originated from Chinese Mythology) in a remote summertime ski center, we brought people from diverse backgrounds to live and create together for one month.

Fostering an environment of caring, support and professionalism, we encourage everyone to express themselves and contribute to the event. Allow otherwise introverted individuals to shine and become vital members to the community.

In the end, ShanhaiWoo became an ideal place constructed by each member with their most romantic desire for the community ought-to-be.

(We didn’t have a big mission initially, simply wanted to bring the community spirit we encountered in Zuzalu to the Chinese-speaking community. The impact and its meaning grows by itself.)


Embrace new technology and ancient wisdom, 

Dedicate towards work, Pioneer in thoughts,

A love of decentralization and respect of individual,

Mutual support and lots and lots and lots of love.

The more indie we become, the more community we need. 

Software used:

- Social Layer for scheduling (Outdated: )

- Safe for multi-sign (Address: eth:0x2aec2FDdde7be7ea59e403B36f8c7B892feC368b)

- .bit for DID (eg: xxx.shanhaiwoo, )

Cultural Characteristics:

- Organized with one month of prep

- Using Social Layer, residents received an NFT for hosting an event and could combine that with two NFTs for attending an event to evolve them into a mythical Chinese creature NFT.

- After ShanhaiWoo, many local community members expanded their reach to connect with the global community. Over 10 residents joined subsequent events like MuChiangMai, while more than 30 attended DevConnect and ZuConnect events in Istanbul, alongside various other activities. Many also participated in and contributed to organizing Wamotopia.


- Development of Social Layer which was later passed through MuChiangMai and Vitalia and Mubuenos and kept improving through these various pop up villages


- ShanhaiWoo Recap from residents

- Clarity on expectations

Some residents expected more of a vacation retreat and did not have a frame of reference to understand this style of pop up city

Name: MuChiangMai

Dates: Sep 15 - Oct 31 2023

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Theme(s): web3, ZK

Organizers: Sun, Vee, Manon Furst, Pati, Danilo Kim, Leo Lara, JD of ContributionDAO

Residents: Around 150

Organizer selection process: Idk

Resident selection process: Application form reviewed by the Mu team in order to decide who to offer free housing to.

Cost and funding source: I saw the budget at some point which they are open about and I think I remember it being around $100,000

Community partners:

Origin: Sun was already considering doing a web3 hackerhouse but after Danilo told him about his experiences in Zuzalu, he decided to gather a team to build a more ambitious pop up village.

Mission statement: My best understanding is - Education and impact. Help web3 developers upskill and build socially impactful projects particularly that are needed by locals where the Mu happens to be.

Software used: Social Layer for scheduling


- Developers hostel - Mentors hotel

- Coworking space which was open to anyone

All venues were within a 20 minute walk of one another around or within the square mile of the old town of Chiang Mai I found the old town which is easily walkable and has no tall buildings a great mix between having the facilities and activity of a city while still feeling like a small town because you could randomly run into friends walking down the street or in cafes.


- People found gyms and spas and massages at the various places in the city

Cultural Characteristics:

- Divided residents into developers and mentors

- Offered free dorm style housing in a hostel for developers. Many developers or "muvers" ended up moving out into their own airbnbs (some as newly formed couples)

- Offered hotel rooms for mentors

- The third venue was the coworking space in a remodeled warehouse that was open to anyone

- It felt somewhat like a ZK bootcamp with Starknet and Starkware sponsor representatives helping mentor developers to learn Cairo ZK programming language and a mentor from the Ethereum Foundation teaching the Chiquito ZK programming language in a series of workshops

- The “muvathon” was an ongoing hackathon throughout MuChiangMai with builder updates weekly on Thursdays where people shared/demod what they were working on, ideas for projects and asks for collaborators, and asking for advice for things they are stuck on.

- I think they found a great synergy with sponsors by really pulling them in to teach and offer mentorship and grants and opportunities for fellowships/hackerhouses in a way that really enhanced the efforts of the sponsor and added benefit to the residents

- Voting on hackathon prizes. In preparation for the viaPrize hackathon side event we hosted a workshop identifying problem statements in pop up villages and also in Ava's House Kids Shelter. Next, we brainstormed potential solutions and crowdsourced people to write those up as project proposals. A few Muvers developed a ZK voting platform and every Muver was allocated I think $50 worth of voting power to allocate to decide how big a prize pool there would be to build each particular solution. More on this here - I'm not sure how often the core team met during MuChiangMai, but I'm aware that a month before MuBuenos the team would call for multiple hours almost every single day to organize the event.


- At Ava's House Kids Shelter the Mu community gathered for a pizza party that Shina Foo organized where we played volleyball and I taught juggling and Juliana taught DJing for the kids. This led to Richie meeting the kids and helping find English tutors and funds to pay for a repair of the water tanks so they could have running water which some winners of the viaPrize hackathon donated their winnings to. The Mu supporting Ava's House Kids' Shelter is the moment I felt most optimistic about pop up villages knowing the kids there have better access to running water thanks to the community efforts.


- Despite the strong intention for local inclusion, it was hard to convince locals to show up to understand what the event was about and show up in the coworking space. Some things that might have helped would be more commonly used local platforms such as marketing on Facebook in Thai instead of on Twitter in English and to have the groupchat on Line instead of on Telegram. Perhaps also heading to where the CS students were at Chiang Mai University would have been better instead of trying to get them first to show up where the Mu was. So the lesson is: use local language and platforms, if you want local engagement then go where they are instead of inviting them to where you are - The presentation space being in the same big warehouse room as coworking could be seen as distracting, but maybe some people appreciated being able to look over and see what was happening and decide whether to join or to put in earbuds and keep working. I liked it. - It would have been nice if there was more lounge/hangout area as there was only a couch and a bean bag chair downstairs which would oftentimes have someone taking a mid workday nap on it. - I also think there could be more clarity in the vision. During the event it seemed to me like a ZK bootcamp, but afterwards I found out more about the plan of the Mu to become a nonprofit venture that incubates social impact projects and also grow permanent hubs such as the web3 developers hotel in Chiang Mai they are setting up.

Animal mascot: I found this stray kitten which I REALLY wanted to keep and then we could have called him "Mr. Mew." We ended up just letting it wander way hoping it would find its family.

Random MuChiangMai Photos and Vids

In my first hour of landing before putting my bags down I was whisked into a fun dancing class that some of the Muvers were joining.

I taught some juggling at Avas House and Juliana taught DJing

Name: Zuconnect

Dates: Oct 29 - Nov 11 2023

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Theme(s): ZK, Public goods, Network States, Longevity, Scouting/Zuzalu Future, Desoc

Organizers: Janine Leger, Gary Sheng, Timour Kosters, Vjera Participants: 300

Resident selection process: Application form and a preferable favoring for Zuzalu Montenegro residents

Cost and funding source: Funding from ticket sales and donations. About 360,000 euros. Full breakdown:

Venues: A bookshop/cafe for coworking. There was a movie theatre in the bookshop for presentations which sometimes overfilled and people would sit on cushions or stand on the sides. Housing was self-arranged.

Origin: Janine thought there ought to be a gathering of Zuzaluans to continue the momentum

Software used: and Zupass and Zupoll for voting/polling and Daimo for payments Projects created:

Zuzagora, the Zupass gated forum This template for choosing a location for a pop up village: Cultural Characteristics: - People would use the rooftop for workouts and cold plunges with ice filled inflatable pools

- For Halloween there was a scavenger hunt would find individuals dressed up as characters and hear the riddles explaining how to find the next character. Various teams competed with each other and would shout their sounds such as the "Werewolves" team howling together.

- The opening for the bookshop venue was Zuconnect. The way they reshaped the space such as realizing it could be great for coworking was used as a way to launch this new venue with lots of energy.


- Conference vs pop up village I think in part due to the event being only two weeks long there wasn't much opportunity to have space in the schedule for various residents to populate with events. Thus, it wasn't a pop up village with a co-created schedule that any resident could add to and felt more like an experience that you would consume instead of co-create.

- This was in a densely populated urban center where it was prioritized to have everyone be within a short walking distance. - Organizers found it to be a similar amount of work to do "self-organized" housing instead of planning it out centrally, perhaps in part due to the immense effort made to ensure everyone was within a close walking distance

- Organizers noted wasn't much easier to do 2 week vs 2 month event, similar amount of work.

- There were debates about the future of Zuzalu and it seemed that people waiting on Vitalik's approval became a bottleneck because rather than asserting an agenda he tried to let the community crowdsource our future plans and governance. Eventually, Zuzalu decentralized so that there are many Zuzalu inspired groups but no single Zuzalu core team nor a clearly defined boundary to the community.

Random Zuconnect Photos and Vids

Name: Wamotopia

Wamotopia may have occurred regardless of Zuzalu and the first Wamo pop up city occurred before Zuzalu existed, but the second iteration with Wamotopia certainly received inspiration from Zuzalu. 

Dates: Dec 10 2023 - Jan 7 2024 (The start and end were not entirely defined)

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Theme(s): web3, DAOs/governance, futurism

Organizers: No clear core team, but some people involved include Ren, Ivy, Jiang, Min Kun

Residents: I'm not sure but at the opening ceremony I saw around 80 people present.

Cost and funding source: Almost none. Initially some groups booked some venues but ended up not keeping it for the whole time.

Origin: Some of the groups have fled from China because of their interest in coliving, futurism, network states, and other ideas like this. One friend who helped transform Dali from a sleepy little mountain town into a thriving hub for futurists that came together during the first Wamo festival/unconference. Then when he saw police at his front door, he slipped out the back and moved to places such as Chiang Mai where he feels more free. 

Software used: Social Layer for scheduling

Cultural Characteristics:

- The network society Chinese diaspora Wamotopia helped gather representatives from many different groups that compose an entire parallel society. I have had some people tell me that I am one of the first Westerners to connect with this ecosystem which is MASSIVE. It’s like there’s an entire mirror civilization of Chinese diaspora organizations that reflect the ecosystem of other groups that I know. There is a network of coliving apartments with hubs in major cities all across the world called 706, g0v and da0 organized civil resistance hackathons and eventually brought Audrey Tang into a leading political position in Taiwan, 4seas is creating physical spaces for crypto villages, Uncommons is a research organization that reminds me of what seems to me to be the western counterpart Metagov, Plancker DAO is like the developer hub and Greenpill node for the Chinese diaspora as well as focusing on web3 education, Antalpha runs hacker houses, and LxDAO has a network of developers, SeeDAO which tbh is a big community idk what they do. Everyone I’ve spent time with in this ecosystem has been incredibly friendly, eager to find ways to communicate, and bubbling with laughter as we enjoy a beer together. 4seas has translated the Network State book to Chinese and the whole ecosystem receives and learns from what is happening in the rest of the world, but from what I can see it is mostly unidirectional at the moment where the other organizations in the West have no idea and no connection learning from this Chinese diaspora ecosystem. 

- They hosted a rave with a laser show projected onto a Buddhist temple

- In part building on the connections during MuChiangMai, there was involvement of some local Thai students


- Over-decentralization?

Housing was self-organized, there were not many clear roles or distinction of who is a resident or guest or organizer. There was a lot of communication but sometimes without clearly defining which individuals have a certain role and project and area of responsibility which sometimes resulted in a lack of execution. There weren't really project managers or an entity with funding to pay people. One group I know ended up finding their own venue and organizing their own schedule of events and then met the other groups during shared events such as the opening ceremony and party, but mostly did their own thing. I think this could be a successful model for the Archipelago pop up city where it's not a flood of many individuals gathering in a certain area at a certain time, but instead every individual applies and joins a particularly small group that has its own leadership and funding and processes and venue and schedule and then there are many small groups who are neighbors.

Name: Vitalia

Dates: Jan 6 - Feb 29, 2024

Location: Prospera, Roatan Island, Honduras, Central America


Theme(s): Two conferences on longevity (including topics like biotech and biohacking), one on startup societies (related to network states) and crypto cities, and one on AI.

Organizers: Niklas Anzinger, Laurence Ion, Zoe Isabel (Builder experience and scheduling), Kevin Pineda (housing), Kara Isabella (logistics, beach club, and branding), Nelson Milla (transportation), Oscar (community connection), Sonia Wendorff (Accommodation cleanliness and community), Tails (communication and announcements), Colby Whitted (the dome and volunteer coordination), Kiba Gateaux (software), Christian Betancourt (legal counsel), Tim Dort-Golts (volunteer coordination)

Conference leads: Sebastian Brunemeier (Longevity), Joseph McKinney and Nathalie Mezza-Garcia and Noah Chon Lee (Startup Societies and Crypto Cities), Veronica (AI), Max Unfried (Pathways to Life Extension)

Other programs: Shina Foo (art residency), Shaka Lei Kaumaka (music and the dome), Midabi (installation art), Luis Vaskez (painting), Victoria Forest (fitness), Cristabel (families), Cassox and Francesca (the lab), Kyle (makerspace and legal counsel)

Residents: 200 (about 150 max at any given time)

Demographics: In the opening ceremony with 80 people, everyone stood in a circle and someone asked a question and those who identified with a yes took a step in. About 5 were developers. About 80% were single. Almost everyone had used crypto. In a session mid January with Tyler Cowen with about 60 people in the audience: Maybe three were below 25

Maybe fifty were 25 to 55 age

Around ten were above 55

About half were start up founders

There were maybe five families with kids ranging from a baby to about 13 years old and some attended the Montessori School in Prospera.

Organizer selection process: The co-founders hired team members. They started by making an application for “curators” who were to invite 3-5 people to apply as residents. During weekly curator calls, they also noted areas/programs they wanted people to champion and certain curators jumped in to start forming those programs and some were hired. 

Resident selection process: A application form with applicants mentioning if a curator referred them

Guest selection process: The conference leads accepted conference attendees who needed to buy the same Vitalia access pass as the residents. Housing for conference attendees was generally self-arranged.

Cost and funding source: Cost unknown, it is a startup with 1.5M in funding raised in one week from VCs with Laurence Ion and Niklas Anzinger as co-founders

Mission statement: To make death optional. 

Longer version: To seed a permanent city fostering drug development at warp speed - 4 months to get to market instead of 10+ years.

We will start with a permanent district on Roatán, then explore new locations where we can build self-governing cities. 

To extend healthy lifespan for all - by the people, for the people.

Software used: Social Layer for scheduling (website:

viaPrize for crowdfunding (website: github:

Housing Venue(s):

- Villas around Pristine Bay which is a resort town owned by Prospera

- Villas and apartments a 7 minute drive and 50 minute walk outside of the hills and gate of Pristine Bay

Event Venue(s):

- The Beach Club with a restaurant for free breakfast

- The geodesic dome


- Gym

- Cold plunge

- Sauna Impact: Vitalia community also literally saved a life. A local in a motorcycle accident needed blood donations that he would potentially have died without and Vitalians pulled together to find people to donate.

Cultural Characteristics:

- Free breakfast 8am-11am

- Daily 30 minute sunrise meditations on the docks at 6:15am

- Mats that were used for aerial silks that Veronica taught and also I and friends would do jiu jitsu and boxing sometimes using that

- No scheduling other than daily wellness events on Monday and Tuesday, with the town hall on Tuesday late afternoon as the one exception. This was resoundingly popular so that people could have time for focused work during those days. They also decided to do 4 conferences instead of 7 like at Zuzalu because many people were too burnt out from that pace during Zuzalu. - Gathering people closer at start for density, then venues booked by others so shift people farther out on Jan 22. - Decentralizing the program management where seed it with funding but don’t manage it, trying to create entrepreneurial incentive of splitting revenue with program leads

- Put out areas/programs they wanted people to champion as volunteers, though potentially offered compensation for volunteers, expectations not set and roles not clearly definedSome programs didn’t have a lead and so just didn’t happen, such as Blueprint breakfastStrong connection with the host and jurisdiction government- Generally people had an attitude of making the best of it such as when the beach club main space was flooded and the roof started falling down in the downstairs room, everyone had a good attitude and joked around and even had fun pushing out the water together in creative ways.

- The Vitalia ops team met around 2x per week during Vitalia

- Offered an extension of Vitalia with around 40 people deciding to stay one month longer and shifting into more of a VC oriented accelerator/incubator of longevity projects. With this, they suggested there be people to volunteer as “camp leads” who manage a particular area where people are living. Some may stay permanently as residents of Prospera by buying up the apartments that are just finishing being built. I think this may be fascinating that pop up villages can seed a permanent city community. Balaji called Prospera an L1 and Vitalia the L2. Vitalia was also the first pop up village to partner with a special economic zone.

- Sometimes when issues were brought up, the founders would say “who wants to volunteer to help with this?” and oftentimes someone would raise their hand. - I also find it fascinating how the various one week tracks within Zuzalu such as longevity have spun off into becoming their own entire pop up village

Feedback: - If you want something, make it happen While not being as hands off/decentralized as Wamotopia, Vitalia did hold the value of "don't argue, build" and encouraged residents known as "builders" to co-create the experience into something they want it to be. Sometimes this meant things fell through the cracks. For example, while the Bryan Johnson Blueprint breakfast was promised on the website it never ended up happening. In general, people in Vitalia had a great attitude when things went wrong such as dinner for the opening ceremony not having enough food and then ordering last minute fried chicken to have food for a longevity event or when the entire main venue flooded (freak accident with a pipe bursting) and many people pitching in volunteering to help clean up.

- "Decentralization" or "disorganization"? There was an emphasis on each program lead having autonomy which sometimes felt like fake decentralization because in reality the co-founders could enact their will when they wanted. A lot of this could have been helped by clarifying roles and responsibilities, clarity on compensation and level of support, and distinguishing which programs are Vitalia programs and which ones are self-run by a resident. The recommendation from a resident that I think made sense is to make it clear that people do not call something a Vitalia program and it is made clear they will receive no support by default, but if there is a clear conversation where a role is written up then there can be an expectation of support. - Clarifying roles For conference leads, I also wonder if the first conference lead should receive more funding/incentive/support than the other conference leads because the "pioneer" conference lead is a difficult role and helps pave the way for future leads. For core organizers before working with a track lead I also recommend defining compensation/revenue splits clearly and in writing and who has final authority over the attendees and speakers and agenda. I'm wondering if in the long-term, many things needing to be set up by the residents perhaps made this into a more co-created experience that will lead to a stronger community. Who knows? I'm glad a variety exists.

Animal mascot: There was a stray kitten we named Vitty the Vitalian kitty that would hang out with us a lot


- The Startup Society documentary that Jean of IpeCity and Yash are creating - Ixian legal consulting group with Kyle and Christian and Ramona

Random Vitalia Photos and Vids

I should also point out HackZuzalu in Singapore that Nicole organized with Suede Kam and I as supporting organizers and Amber and others volunteering. See here: And there have been a variety of Zuzalu meetups around the world Conclusion I am nervous to post this overview, but I really think there should be more people creating material documenting this movement. There is so much more to dive into in detail for each of these and their different strengths and weaknesses, but it's a start and I hope we have a community that encourages more sharing and open source documentation. Please comment with a link to other writing about any of these gatherings (I know there's more I just haven't tracked it down) All of these teams have been encouraging and supportive to me as I try to find my place in this space and I am grateful for all of them. They serve very different purposes and I am glad there is immense variety. I think there is a "d/acc" (decentralization/democracy accelerated) philosophy amongst all of them where we celebrate pluralism, participation, and diversity. For what a Zuzalu style event is see: For upcoming Zuzalu style pop up villages see:



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