Exosphere? It’s not a political movement. It’s not really an economic movement, though it certainly can have an economic impact. It’s certainly not a religious effort. So what is it? Largely, it’s a philosophical effort. But it’s so much more than that. Consider where you are in life. Perhaps you’re punching the clock everyday, stepping into your office, cubicle or other working space, and wondering if there’s something more. Maybe you have ideas, but no clue how to really make them work. Perhaps you feel the constant tug of dreams pulling you from your repetitious life, urging you toward something new, but can’t even imagine taking the first step. Or you could be like me, ready to take the leap and always wanting to find out what’s next, but struggling with being held back by cultural influences and preconceptions that tend to arbitrarily bind us to our current comfort zone. As I walked up the stairs to the new offices of Exosphere, I was greeted by Luke Blackburn and Carlos Miceli. Carlos is one of the originators of Exosphere, though Luke came on staff shortly afterward. Both greeted me warmly, then invited me to join the boot-camp discussion on Emerson’s book, Self Reliance, that Skinner Layne was leading. It’s hard to describe what I felt as I listened. I tend to be sort of an odd bird, embracing libertarian ideals along with Austrian economic theory fully. And this philosophical outlook reflects clearly in my life, though it’s tempered by a Christian worldview. As I listened to Skinner challenge the students with the ideas presented in the book, I found myself reflecting on the verity of what he had to say, even while some of it threatened my comfort zone. The result of this challenge was to force me to reassess not just what I think, but why I think it. I won’t go into Emerson’s book here, but these reflections seem to provide a great indication of what the boot-camp is striving to accomplish. The group is quite eclectic, coming from around the world and from various backgrounds. There are no restraints on age, religion, political perspective, history or any other criteria. However, in an effort to maintain diversity, they are limiting the number of attendees from any given country. Exosphere is an entrepreneurial boot-camp. While you may have entrepreneurial blood flowing through your veins, the focus here may in some ways be more appropriately placed on “boot-camp.” Attendees are not just challenged in the realm of being an entrepreneur – they’re challenged to break down their preconceptions and programming in order to begin thinking outside the box. In fact, they’re encouraged not to emulate the success stories of others, but rather to simply glean from them, developing their own philosophy and ideas on how they should go about pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. What does this mean for you? If you fit any of the conditions laid forth in the introduction above, Exosphere can help you get over the initial shackles that bind you to your current circumstances. This doesn’t mean that your circumstances are necessarily bad. Perhaps you love the life you live and wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Exosphere could help you excel in your circumstances as well, though perhaps it’s more geared toward those who want something new, but really don’t know how to pursue it. A large aspect of your reset is to realize that working with friends is not necessarily conducive to success. In fact, it can be just the opposite. What is needed for success is to be surrounded by others who are not only like-minded, but complement your skills and weaknesses. Such people can help us to overcome what we lack while providing us the opportunity to produce more effectively as each fills a role that others can’t fill as neatly. Exosphere seems to have struck on an amazing mix of vision and talent in this regard, which promises to provide many years of success as a company, but perhaps more importantly as an instrument to help equip others to realize their dreams. In attending Exosphere, you’ll find that your preconceptions are challenged, your perception of the world will be altered and many of the paradigms that you take for granted may be shattered. You’ll be challenged to embrace new skills that you may fear, and be given tools to overcome the mediocrity that most societies strive to confine us to. The view’s not bad either. Set in Reñaca, a suburb of Viña del Mar de Chile, the location is wonderful, with ocean views, a nice beach, clean air and ideal weather. A word of caution: If you’re not ready to reset your life, have misguided preconceptions shattered, be challenged to think outside the box your culture has constructed for you and pursue your dreams on your terms, Exosphere probably isn’t for you. I got all this from one day with this crew. What would happen if I spent the full two months here? I can only imagine. Hopefully someday I can find out. For now, I get to rub elbows with them a bit over the next month or so. Regardless of what the future holds, I have found new friends and kindred spirits among the leaders of this much needed project. Rocío Hedman was kind enough to take this picture of me with some of the Exosphere crew. Left to right, Antonio Manno (founder), Niccolò Viviani, yours truly, Luke Blackburn, Skinner Layne (founder) and Carlos Miceli (founder).
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A new edition of the international entrepreneurship boot camp is launched by Exosphere. It will take place in Santiago, Chile, from March 24 until June 13 of 2014. The Exosphere Boot Camp The boot camp is a 12-week program, which aims to get participants into entrepreneurial shape, in other words prepare people to create their own startup or join one. This means focusing on developing the right entrepreneurial mind, rapid team building, understanding the context of high-impact technology, and improving their technical skills through training in field such as: Business development Design thinking Programming Web development Copywriting etc. So far, they already have applicants from many countries, including Germany, Argentina, Brazil and the United States, so this promises to be another truly multicultural and exciting group! What about the more »
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