The Mookychicks have got wind of something special happening near Fiji…
Have you heard of Tribewanted.com? A team of experienced adventurers have a plan to get 5,000 people to join a virtual online tribe.
What makes this idea so spectacular is that, although you pay money to join the tribe (which then goes towards Fiji infrastructure and environmental concerns) you then have the right to stay on the tribe’s very own gorgeous island. In real life.
THE MAIN CORE OF THE TRIBEWANTED ADVENTURE ISLAND TEAM
Tribewanted: The Dream
We chatted more with Mark James (one of the founding chiefs along with Ben Keene of Tribewanted) about what will be involved and what people can expect if they don their greasepaint and sign up for the tribe…
How did you end up picking a Fiji island for this adventure? Is it as gorgeous in essence as the people who will be living there?
Mark James: We were originally looking at getting 5000 tribal members to sign up and then have them pick from the Islands available in the world – logistical nightmare! So, Fiji is a typical world backpacker’s route with beautiful sun, sea and fresh fish. The idea that Fiji is made up of real-life tribes attracted us too.
Why do you think people will join the tribe?
Because they would be mooky-nuts not to! There are a number of reasons to join the tribe, but to sum it up:
1) You’re interested in being involved in the creation of the first eco-island ever
2) You want to join together with 5000 people online in order to play a crucial role in developing something that has an offline reality
3) Adventure – scuba, surf, mountain climbing, jungle sports…
4) Fresh fish caught at night and eaten by day.
5) Fire on the beach as the sun goes down… shall I continue?
Would everyone in general be happier in a small community?
Interesting question. We all live within various communities – work, uni, mates we hang out with. A typical ‘Friends’ generation love being a part of the wider scene but knowing who they are connected to. So yeah, I reckon. I love the idea of 5000 people making decisions online and then meeting in groups of 100 on the Island, a small community. It quite literally rocks!
The Chief of the Yavusa tribe on the adjacent island, Tui Mali, has most excellently agreed to partnership in your plans. How will you work together?
The guy is a dude! Tui Mali (Chief of Mali) has given us space to use his 200+ acre island in exchange for us providing crucial manpower and finances in order to help the development of his tribespeople. We will be involved in building a school, building an infrastructure and hanging out with the local tribe children, which is hilarious. Totally bodacious partnership!
Are people really going to pay for other people to have a good time?
For a year’s membership it’s £120, which covers your accomodation and food plus knowing that some of your money will go towards developing the local tribespeople. What self-indulgent things do you spend £120 on? Beer? An i-Pod? Why not pay some money to join Adventure Island through Tribewanted, enjoy yourself and change the lives of a small community in Fiji?
How will tribe members not living on the island still feel like a community?
Because every decision will be made by the online community in which every individual will be an integral part of. This will range from making suggestions, voting and a monthly online tribal meeting. You will also be able to watch the actual goings on of the Island on the website via Tribal TV.
Are you just big hippies?
Not that I am aware of! To be honest I think that there is a growing interest from a generation to do something about their lives, the lives of those around them and to have a positive impact on the environment as they are aware of how generations before have messed up. Adventure Island represents all the passions and cravings of that generation. Actually as I re-read that answer, perhaps we are just big hippies!
Tribewanted: The Nitty-Gritty
What if people want to live on the island for at least a couple of months? Could they do that if they prove themselves in some way?
We are getting heaps of interest from people who want to spend time on the Island as part of their year out, a few months etc and basically it is up to the tribe to decide whether there will be ways and means of people getting involved at this level. I am sure it’s possible. But democracy says that it’s the tribe’s decision. If there is anyone reading who is in that situation, pay to become a Tribewanted member and take it from there.
Is there going to be some kind of constitution and adjudication, do you reckon, or is it every man for himself?
There are things that need doing – building accommodation, showers… there are also schools to build and children to teach at the local school. PLUS… scuba, surf, climbing, snorkelling, fires on the beach, beach bar and on and on. But it will hopefully be relaxed, and the tribe will make a decision to ensure that there is some form of constitution that looks after and cares for all.
Will you allow a McDonald’s on the island? What if they pay you a crapload of money?
Ohhhh… it’s just the money thing…… NO! Flippin’ No. Don’t do it. “Just say no!”
What about healthcare? Do people need to know how to swim / biff sharks on the nose before they’re allowed to turn up?
We don’t get eaten be sharks, we eat them! No, it’s cool. We will have access to an air ambulance, there will be a trained team on the Island and we will be in contact with the local hospital. All will be most mooksome – guaranteed.
What sort of questions about social structure could you see the future tribe members coming up with?
I think the questions will be twofold: Firstly, island infra-structure – what do we have, what do we use, how will it affect the environment. And then the social infrastructure – based on what sort of characters are on the island, how people interact etc. I think ‘issues’ will arise but I love the fact that the heartbeat is to work it out. It would be cool to come up with some motto that we chant whilst walking on fire to prove our loyalty to the tribe – perhaps! 😉
Tribewanted: The Beach (No, it’s not really going to be like Alex Garland’s backpacker horror novel!)
If a neighbouring Fijan island sets up a similar community would you go to war with them?
Nah. We would have an island olympics and may the best island win!
How will you ensure this island dream benefits the island rather than having a negative effect on it?
To be honest that’s the easy bit – because Fiji is full of islands and they are very much interested in the preservation of their islands, we have easy access to equipment like solar power, wind power etc. The difficulty is that we want the whole experience to be eco-friendly, even the flights – and therefore we have teamed up with climate care in order to ensure as much as possible that all carbon emmissions from the plane trips to Fiji are offset financially with that money being reinvested back into the benefit of the environment.
We are working on it!
Could human ugliness like paranoia, vendettas and power-tripping gain the upper hand?
‘Could’? I am afraid anything ‘could’ be. Let’s accept the reality that we are all humans and we all get stuff wrong; try hanging out with me last thing at night when I am wrecked and sunburned with mossies chomping on my foot. But I hope that we accept that and work around it.
Tribewanted: The Future
Would you consider setting up a similar community in space/on the moon?
No, not on the moon but possibly ‘somewhere over the rainbow’…
The island’s lease is for 99 years. Can you imagine the tribe lasting that long? And babies being born on the island?
The island is being leased for three years – but let’s hope for an Island wedding!
(OMG we got our research wrong. Shame on us for being so slack! And we were looking forward to being honorary island godmothers, too – Mooky Eds )
What will you do next?
We have plans to develop the Tribewanted brand, with some really exciting ideas. Sign your email up to the tribewanted newsletter on www.tribewanted.com to be the first to hear, but here’s an idea – like food, music, arts? Then sign up to Tribewanted!
Paradise or bust…
Ben Keane, the blue-saronged boy…
The crowd goes wild…