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Thinking Outside Four Walls

As awareness continues to grow around the sustainability of modern life in respect to the environment, global food and energy security, and the long-term longevity of individuals, communities and the human population at large, we are opening our minds more than ever to alternative modes of living.

Veda Collette Mead is an innovator and entrepreneur who may have come up with an elegant solution to many of the environmental and housing challenges facing us, particularly in the landscape of an ageing population.

While in its initial stage the project is focused on change at the individual and community level, it has the potential to serve as proof of concept for radical change on a much broader level.

Veda is the Founder of the Xanadu Homes project. We asked her about the project and life as an innovator.

What is the Xanadu Homes project?

The Xanadu Homes project is designed to give baby boomers beautiful self sustaining homes. As the homes ‘pods’ do not incur ongoing costs, assets and savings are able to last much longer.

Residents will buy into pods as they would a retirement home, and maintain ongoing independence. The communities are run by students that exchange their time for room and board.

How did you come to the idea?

I believe that humans actions are motivated by one of two motivations - survival or hedonism.

I came to this idea in speaking with a prominent expert who had undertaken many years of work in data collection and statistical analysis to unpack the drivers of success and failures of many projects.

This idea really resonated with me as I was at a stage of my life in which I was seriously considering how I (and others like me) were going to survive in the future when we outlive our saved resources and whatever level of resources afforded to us by the government, which is likely to decrease given the ageing population.

I took a hard look at my savings and investments, how long I could live and how long I could sustain myself.

I also recognised that many others live unaware that they do not have enough put away for their time after retirement and that existing systems will not continue to be unless something radically changes.

This is where the vision for Xanadu was born.

How do you get others to share your vision for the project?

I have only ever received positive feedback from those I share my vision with and it is amazing for others to come to share my excitement in this as a project and as a viable solution to so many complex problems.

In particular, I was able to turn around a sceptic who initially told me the idea would never work. His core business was in collecting data on the baby boomers for the government, insurance companies and banks and had seen a multitude of solutions explored, so it was a huge coup that he found my project to be viable in principle.

Was it difficult leaving your corporate career behind to step out on your own?

I am in the process of leaving behind my corporate career to pursue this dream project. Every day, I am designing my life and each day brings something new and exciting. I am enjoying every step on this journey.

What is it like being in the business of innovation?

Exhilarating, I find energy that I did not know I had, take pride in all wins - every little win is wonderful.

Do you have any advice for any Metro Resumes clients with a big idea of their own?

From my personal journey and experience in the Xanadu Homes project so far, the advice I can offer is to learn and do anything and everything that will get you where you want to be.

Take massive action, even if it is one step at a time.

Click here to read more about the Xanadu Homes Project.