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= concept and initiative

See also: Neo-Tribalism?





"“Neo­Tribes” is a broad term we use to describe groups of citizens who are self-­organising around common concerns and interests in order to proactively disrupt, hack or innovate. The focus of a Neo­Tribe can be many things, but the commonality between them is a proactive spirit of altruism, benevolence, and social and environmental consciousness. Neo­Tribes can also be defined by their use of technology, particularly digital information and production technologies, as a tool to share knowledge, improve their surroundings, grow their memberships and often question the system at large. Many of the most impactful Neo­Tribes use and feed the global commons of open knowledge and / or tools available online.

Neo­Tribes are not initiated by old­style institutions (but may sometimes be supported by them), and take pains to challenge or even invert the “conventional wisdom” associated with them.

They often strive to create inclusive, hyper democratic and dynamic organisational structures that defy, in particular, entrenched hierarchy and inequality. A Neo­Tribe may have a commercial element to it, but it is not primarily focussed on generating revenue.

In short, Neo­Tribes are experimental human communities searching for viable alternative forms of governance. They are normally small, and often co­exist in the physical world and cyberspace.

Neo­Tribes are interest based, whereas “traditional” tribes are survival based. Neo­tribes and traditional tribes share certain qualities, such as size, community elements and shared interests, but there are significant differences which must be clarified.

Neo­Tribes are (often without knowing it) developing alternative structures for human governance and community that might become applicable if States and Governments are threatened and / or break down in the future (climate change, mass migration, conflict etc.).

What makes a tribe “new” or “neo”?

It’s not another step in the evolution of humanity­­it’s a ping pong of energy between the structure and the chaos. It’s not a decision between one or the other ­­ the goal is the ideal combination of both." (google doc of


Ben Andrea:

"Neotribes: ­

  • Emerged in the wake of the challenges of globalization
  • ­ Positioned as a cure for urban separation through life in community
  • ­ Oriented towards ecosystems and ecologies
  • ­ Desire a connection with the land, other species and the biosphere
  • ­ Inclination towards small and local, open and connected (See work on the SLOC
  • Marked by open and fluid boundaries that are selectively permeable

­* Connected globally through digital networks and infrastructure ­

  • Share information across boundaries / between communities

­ Neotribes are marked by : ­

  • Shared rituals and practices

­* Symbols and signs that communicate identity

  • ­ Manifestations in digital and physical space (socially, economically, politically)

­ When these three elements function together in a community, a sense of “collective effervescence” emerges, creating feelings of belonging and bonds of trust that nurture the creation of a commons, which enables collective risk taking and creative action. (See Urban Flow by Jeffrey Kidder, works on collective behavior by E. Durkheim) ­

Access to the commons (infrastructure, capital, membership) is a cornerstone of the community. ­ Ownership and influence work hand in hand in the community; as a citizen of the community takes ownership they gain influence through their actions ­ The community works towards the betterment of both its members and others in its extended ecosystem / network; in this sense it is oriented towards the pursuit of goals / outcomes in an ecological context. ­ The community must manifest in physical space to take on a true sense of identity, develop culture, identify values, discern objectives, etc. ­ Digital infrastructure and social networks serve foster the emergence of neotribes and facilitate their gathering in physical space; they serve as an abeyance structure for the community once the physical manifestation ends. (See literature on the space of place / space of flows by Manuel Castells)" (google doc shared folder, June 2016)


Tentative list of neo-tribal organizations:

  1. OuiShare
  2., New Zealand Enspiral
  3., Brazil Perestroika
  4. Berlin Agora
  5., Berlin Purpose
  6. Embassy Network
  7., Terifa, Spain ECOLIS, Art of Co

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