top of page

NeighbourGood’s Regenerative Vision for a Flourishing Future

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

In a world where personal health and environmental sustainability have become an imperative, the NeighbourGood concept presents a regenerative vision for a flourishing future. Founded by Michael Mayell, the visionary behind New Zealand's beloved Cookie Time company, NeighbourGood aims to create a prosperous country where both people and the environment can thrive.

He firmly believes in the transformative power of human potential and acknowledges that unlocking this potential requires taking care of ourselves first. He prescribes healthy eating, exercise and time spent in nature as an important and critical first step to reclaiming personal sovereignty and being accountable for your part of the solution.

One of his superpowers is his inspiring “word code” skills and another is finding amazing people to build the first NG in Golden Bay, NZ. At the time of this writing we sit at a team of 10 members working and playing this creation game.

Michael is on a mission to ensure everyone has the same opportunities to enjoy good personal health and a great environment whilst building flourishing innovative companies. The NeighbourGood concept is the perfect seed supporting this goal. As more people become Neighbours and active participants in creating the world we want to see, our vision begins to blossom and one day, under a shady tree, our children will enjoy more fruit than cookies.

An Inspiring Vision For Intentional Community

We imagine a vertically integrated village-business model for regenerative living with the community feel of a Marae, the function of a Kibbutz and the abundance of a food forest. At its heart are high vibration food, ecstatic children, a gifting and sharing economy and a fun learning experimental village vibe.

In our village, we reclaim our sovereignty by meeting the majority of our needs within our current NeighbourGood and create mutually beneficial systems including businesses to interact with our greater community.

How To Create Abundance In An Eco Village

What is a vertically integrated village-business model? One key feature is the diversity of our interconnected businesses, We plan to utilise local resources and skills while promoting sustainability. We collaborate and cooperate as neighbours, pooling our resources, knowledge, and labor to establish and operate these businesses.

Our sociocratic governance system fosters a strong sense of shared ownership. To increase profitability, adding value is a significant focus at various production and processing stages. NG businesses will primarily serve local markets, reducing dependence on external revenues and encouraging us to tailor offerings to our neighbours needs. Revenues generated will circulate within our community, supporting local employment, investment, and development.

Beyond Sustainability: Join The Regenerative Revolution

In our NeighbourGood, we aspire to go beyond sustainability, embracing regenerative living. This will include ecological restoration through our environmental services, circular economy practices, renewable energy transition, sustainable consumption, social equity, regenerative design, conscious lifestyle choices and innovative education.

Our goal is to create a regenerative culture that restores and enhances Earth's ecosystems, acknowledging the interconnectedness of all life and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.

What is a Marae, and how does a building become the heart of a village?

We love the feel and idea of the Maori Marae. The Marae is a traditional Maori meeting place that holds great significance in their culture. It serves as a focal point for social, cultural, and spiritual activities within the community. In a Marae, people come together to connect, share experiences, and engage in various ceremonies, celebrations, and discussions. It is a space where cultural traditions, knowledge, and practices are passed down from one generation to another.

In our NeighbourGood village, we plan to integrate the qualities of a Marae to strengthen our community and promote a sense of identity, belonging, and continuity. We recognise the importance of cultural preservation and the role it plays in shaping our collective identity.

To honor this, we will establish a community center that serves as the heart of our village. It will be a place where all walks of life gather to share stories, build relationships, connect and co-create our culture. Through regular gatherings, events, and activities, we will foster social cohesion, friendship, and a strong sense of belonging within our NeighbourGood village.

The spiritual aspect of the Marae is also embraced in our community center that will serve as a sacred space where individuals can connect with their spiritual beliefs and practices. It will provide a serene environment for prayer, meditation, and reflection, promoting spiritual well-being and resilience among village members.

Education and learning are vital aspects of our community center. We aim to offer various educational programs and workshops, where individuals of all ages can acquire knowledge and skills with a focus on permaculture, communication, arts and crafts, mentoring, homesteading skills and anything our village and greater community has interest in learning.

Lastly, our Marae inspired community center will be a place for sociocratic governance and decision-making processes that reflect our shared values. Through open discussions and inclusive decision-making, we ensure that everyone has a voice in shaping the harmonious future of our NeighbourGood village.

By embracing the qualities of a Marae, our NeighbourGood village will create a space where culture, community gathering, spirituality, education, and inclusive governance thrive. These qualities foster a strong sense of community, belonging, and continuity, contributing to our village becoming a vibrant and cohesive place to live.

What We Love About The Kibbutz Model

NeighbourGood draws inspiration from the kibbutz model, which emphasises communal living and shared resources. NeighbourGood aims to adopt a cooperative economic model where members pool resources and share income from community activities.

The concept of shared living and resources is also central, with members residing close to one another and utilising common facilities and spaces. NeighbourGood will promote collective childcare and education, organise social and cultural activities, and upholds social justice and equality.

What Makes A Food Forest so Abundant?

By embracing the qualities of an abundant food forest and growing our own food, we take responsibility for nurturing our community’s health and well-being. We believe this is a huge part of what it means to be sovereign.

In a food forest, we prioritise biodiversity and plan on incorporating a wide variety of plants in our gardens that will form a balanced ecosystem, attracting beneficial insects and reducing pests.

We will create our gardens to ensure continuous food production year after year. By encouraging ecological interactions and companion planting, we will create a harmonious environment that enhances productivity.

Inspired by biomimicry, we aim to mimic the patterns and processes of natural forests, harnessing their efficiency and resilience.

NeighbourGood will have a strong focus on building healthy soil and utilising organic matter to create nutrient rich compost inoculants. With reduced maintenance and sustainable resource cycling, we aim to create a self-sustaining system that maximises abundance and minimises waste.

NeighbourGood's adoption of food forest qualities fosters ecological balance, biodiversity, and the availability of a constant flow of nutritious food for our village and wider community.

So what is High Vibrational food?

Fresh and Organic: Whole foods that are minimally processed and free from synthetic chemicals and additives. Organic produce is often considered to have a higher vibration due to the natural and unaltered state.

Plant-Based: Many high vibration food proponents emphasise a plant-based diet. Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains are commonly associated with higher vibrational frequencies.

Raw and Living Foods: Such as sprouts, raw fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods, are believed to retain their natural energy and vitality, thereby having higher vibrations.

High-Quality Water: Clean, pure, and energised water is considered to have higher vibrations. Alkaline or structured water can provide higher energy levels then water that has chemical additives or has become dead from sitting inactive.

Intention and Mindful Eating: The intention and energy with which food is prepared and consumed can also play a role in vibrational qualities.

Mindful eating practices, gratitude, and positive thoughts associated with food enhance its energetic quality.

Empowering The Next Generation’s Unlimited Potential

Below are two pathways of childhood education that promote quality’s the NeighbourGood would love to see adopted within our own educational systems.

Unschooling is an educational philosophy and approach that emphasises self-directed learning and the belief that children are naturally curious and motivated to learn. Unlike traditional schooling, unschooling rejects formal curriculum, compulsory subjects, and traditional teaching methods.

Instead, it encourages children to explore their own interests, passions, and curiosities, allowing them to learn at their own pace and in their own ways. Unschooling often involves real-life experiences, hands-on activities, and exposure to diverse resources, both within and outside of a structured educational setting.

The focus is on supporting a child's natural love for learning, critical thinking skills, and personal growth through individualised, child-led education.

Forest education, also known as forest school, is an educational approach that takes place in natural outdoor settings.

It emphasises hands-on learning, exploration, and play in nature, fostering a deep connection with the environment and promoting holistic development.

Forest education encourages curiosity, self-directed learning, and environmental stewardship.

Leveraging Innovative Tools For A New Economy

In our NeighbourGood village, we are embracing a new era of conscious business where we balance the quadruple bottom line of People, Planet, Profit, and Purpose. Business is at the head and children are at the heart of the NG.

NeighbourGood believes in creating enough abundance so that after our current village's needs are taken care of, the excess can overflow into social and environmental initiatives such as Drinkable Rivers.

This investment not only benefits our immediate community but also has a positive impact on the broader community and the world around us.

In addition to our conscious business practices, we also embrace a gifting and sharing economy that goes beyond traditional market economics. We believe in freely exchanging goods, services, and skills without the need for money, focusing on building a strong sense of community, trust, and cooperation.

Whether it's donating to causes, offering services to those in need, or sharing our knowledge and skills, we believe generosity is at the core of our community.

Within our sharing economy, we will connect through informal networks and online platforms to exchange resources and services. We prioritise resource efficiency and waste reduction while fostering connections among our neighbors.

These gifting and sharing economies are built on trust, generosity, and community building. Through these practices, we cultivate meaningful relationships and support networks that benefit everyone. They align with our commitment to sustainability and our vision of a vibrant and interconnected NeighbourGood.

As we continue to explore innovative tools and ideas, we invite you to join us on this journey. Stay tuned for our upcoming blogs on alternative financial structures, SEEDS, and DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisations).

Where we distribute wealth and the tools we use, have a huge impact on the direction our world is going. Together, we can shape a brighter and more abundant future for generations to come.

Co-Creating A Green Print For Harmonious Living

Through lived experience that harbors a fun experimental village vibe, the NeighbourGood is creating a unique green print for a more enriching life. Our goal is to foster an environment that nurtures curiosity, creativity, and active engagement.

We believe modern collectives can learn valuable lessons from tribes and cultures that have withstood the test of time.

Tribal practices that strengthen modern community

Strong Social Bonds: Ancient tribes emphasised strong social connections and interdependence.

They recognised the importance of communal support and cooperation. Modern communities can learn to foster deeper relationships, promote empathy, and prioritise collective well-being.

Shared Responsibility: In ancient tribes, community members shared responsibilities and worked together for the common good. Each person had a role to play, and their contributions were valued.

Modern communities can encourage a sense of shared responsibility, where everyone actively participates and contributes towards community goals and challenges.

Respect for Nature: Ancient tribes had a deep connection with nature and recognised their dependence on it. They lived in harmony with the environment, practicing sustainable and respectful approaches to resource use.

Modern communities can learn to prioritise environmental stewardship, sustainable practices, and arespect for the natural world.

Celebration of Diversity: Ancient tribes celebrated their diversity and recognized the strengths and uniqueness of each individual.

They appreciated varied skills, perspectives, and contributions within their community.

Modern communities can learn to embrace diversity, promote inclusivity, and create spaces where everyone feels valued and respected.

Rituals and Ceremonies: Ancient tribes often had rituals and ceremonies that marked important milestones, events, and transitions.

These practices helped build a sense of belonging, reinforce cultural values, and foster community cohesion.

Modern communities can create their own rituals and ceremonies to strengthen community bonds, mark significant moments, and build a collective identity.

Intergenerational Connections: Ancient tribes valued intergenerational connections and recognised the wisdom and contributions of older members.

They had systems in place for passing down knowledge, traditions, and skills to younger generations.

Modern communities can foster intergenerational relationships, promote knowledge sharing, and provide opportunities for mentorship and learning across age groups.

Oral Tradition and Storytelling: Ancient tribes often passed down knowledge, history, and cultural values through oral tradition and storytelling.

These practices helped foster a sense of identity, shared values, and cultural continuity. Modern communities can revive the tradition of storytelling to strengthen their cultural fabric and transmit wisdom across generations.

Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building: Ancient tribes had well-established mechanisms for conflict resolution and decision-making.

They often relied on consensus-building and inclusive decision-making processes to maintain harmony and resolve disputes.

Modern communities can learn from these practices and strive for inclusive, participatory decision-making and effective conflict resolution methods such as NVC - (Non Violent Communication).

By embracing these attributes and practices, modern communities can cultivate stronger social connections, shared responsibility, respect for nature, inclusive decision-making, and a sense of cultural identity.

These lessons from ancient tribes can help create more resilient and harmonious communities in the modern world.

Steps To Reclaiming Your Sovereignty

Our NeighbourGood believes all beings are sovereign and strives to create an environment that supports individuals and collectives to take radical responsibility.

Reclaiming sovereignty by meeting the majority of our needs within our community involves reducing dependence on external systems and taking proactive steps towards self-reliance and community resilience. Here are some key considerations for achieving this.

Education and Skill Development: Invest in education and skill development programs within the community. Encourage lifelong learning and provide opportunities for individuals to gain practical skills in areas such as food production, renewable energy, natural building, and sustainable practices. This empowers community members to take an active role in meeting their own needs.

Collaborative Economy: Foster a sharing and collaborative economy within the community. Encourage the sharing of resources, tools, and skills among community members.

Establish platforms or networks for sharing and bartering goods and services, reducing the need for excessive consumption and reliance on external markets.

Cultural Preservation and Revitalisation: Celebrate and preserve local cultural heritage and traditions. Support local arts, crafts, and cultural events that strengthen community identity and connection. Foster intergenerational knowledge sharing to ensure cultural continuity.

Health and Well-being: Prioritise community health and well-being by developing local healthcare initiatives, including alternative and holistic approaches.

Promote physical and mental well-being through community activities, time in nature, hands in the soil, developing a direct connection with their food production along with wellness programs and support for mental health.

Encourage local healthcare providers and wellness practitioners to serve the community.

Local Food Production: Develop local food systems by promoting urban farming, community gardens, and small-scale agriculture.

Encourage sustainable farming practices, support local farmers, and prioritise organic and regenerative farming methods.

This reduces reliance on global food chains and fosters food security within the community.

Renewable Energy and Resource Management: Transition to renewable energy sources, hydropower could be a viable option for our first Neighbourgood as Golden Bay is surrounded by mountains and already has a lot of hydro infulstructure.

Explore collective ownership or cooperative models for energy generation and distribution. Embrace sustainable resource management practices, including recycling, composting, and water conservation.

Local Economic Development: Promote local entrepreneurship and support the growth of small businesses within the community.

Encourage the production and consumption of locally made products and services.

Foster cooperative models of ownership and production, which prioritise local wealth circulation and job creation.

Community Governance and Decision-Making: Foster participatory decision-making processes within the community.

Establish mechanisms for community members to have a say in local policies, resource allocation, and the direction of community initiatives.

Emphasise inclusivity, transparency, and equity in governance structures.

Reclaiming sovereignty is an ongoing process that requires collaboration, dedication, and resilience within the community.

It involves building strong social ties, fostering a sense of collective responsibility, and embracing sustainable and regenerative practices.

By meeting the majority of our needs within the community, we can create a more resilient, self-reliant, and empowered society.

Tips On Balancing The Quadruple Bottom Line

Quadruple bottom line refers to adopting mutually beneficial systems that balance people, planet, profit, and purpose.

Creating such systems that allow businesses to interact with the greater community involves fostering collaboration, social responsibility, and a focus on shared value.

Here are some approaches to consider.

Engage in Community Partnerships: Forge partnerships and collaborations with local community organisations, nonprofits, schools, and government entities.

Identify shared goals and work together to address community needs through joint projects, events, or initiatives.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Embrace CSR principles by integrating social and environmental considerations into business practices.

Develop initiatives that benefit the community, such as volunteering programs, donation drives, or pro bono services.

Local Sourcing and Collaboration: Whenever possible, NeighbourGood will source goods and services from local suppliers and businesses.

We welcome collaboration with local businesses on joint marketing campaigns, events, or product/service offerings to support the local economy.

NeighbourGood hosts the annual Hemp Hui, an educational gathering for experts and enthusiasts sharing the latest innovations of the regenerative super hero that is Hemp.

We had the privilege to combine forces with the Sustainable Living Hui held at our local community gardens the SLC.

Skill and Knowledge Sharing: Share your business expertise and knowledge with the community through workshops, training sessions, or mentoring programs.

Empower others and contribute to the overall growth and success of the community.

Support Community Development Initiatives: Contribute to community development by supporting initiatives that enhance the well-being and quality of life for community members. This could involve sponsoring events, investing in infrastructure improvements, or participating in community-driven projects.

Kiss The Ground is a fantastic must watch movie for nature lovers. NeighbourGood sponsored a screening to inspire the wider community of Golden Bay to dig in and get their hands dirty and plans to offer a regular educational movie screening in the future.

Transparent and Ethical Business Practices: Operate with transparency, integrity, and ethical business practices. Communicate openly with participants and the community about your business operations, environmental impact, and social responsibility efforts.

Listen and Respond to Community Feedback: Actively listen to community feedback and involve the community in decision-making processes.

Value community input and adapt business practices to better serve their needs.

Employee Engagement and Volunteerism: Encourage employees to actively participate in community engagement activities and volunteer programs.

Provide opportunities for staff to contribute their time and skills to local community initiatives.

Creating mutually beneficial systems: between businesses and the greater community requires a genuine commitment to collaboration, social responsibility, and shared value creation.

By engaging with the community, aligning business practices with community needs, and fostering meaningful partnerships, businesses can contribute to the well-being and development of the communities they operate in while also gaining long-term benefits in terms of reputation, customer loyalty, and sustainability.

Our NeighbourGood vision is always evolving and we are committed to stepping forward in unity to meet the challenges of our times.

We are firmly grounded in our solidarity and unwavering belief in the ingenuity, courage, and determination we can collectively harness.

Join us in creating a world we are proud to welcome the next seven generations into.

Join our mailing list to stay updated on NeighbourNews and if you feel called to be at the forefront of the Regenerative Revolution get on our list and be first to know when applications open.

77 views0 comments



bottom of page