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Decentralized Cities and the Future of Collaboration

August 14, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm CDT

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Join hosts Jonathan Hillis and Alaka Halder for a special hybrid (IRL and online) salon on how to create cities that foster innovation, collaboration, and community. We will gather at Creator Cabins, an experiment in decentralized cities near Austin, TX.

“Great cities attract ambitious people. You can sense it when you walk around one. In a hundred subtle ways, the city sends you a message… Most people who did great things were clumped together in a few places where that sort of thing was done at the time.”
Paul Graham

What is the future of cities in a world where distributed teams are on the rise and we increasingly find our friends, partners, and communities online? Yet the COVID pandemic has also helped us appreciate the importance of physical spaces and coming together in person to think, laugh, hug, and create. Cities are far from obsolete. From Renaissance Florence to 20th century San Francisco, history has proven that great cities can provide the infrastructure, interactions, and activation energy to fuel humanity’s greatest accomplishments in art, medicine, service, industry, and more.

How can we combine the best of the internet and our physical world to create the cities of tomorrow? Jonathan Hillis and the team at Creator Cabins are tackling this ambitious challenge by providing creators access to residencies, fellowships, and places to collaborate in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Their vision is to grow from a cluster of cabins, to towns, and finally arrive at a thriving decentralized city!

Join us to tour Creator Cabins and explore questions such as: 

  1. What is a city? Does it have to occupy a distinct physical space?
  2. What do you think when you hear “decentralized cities”? What do you think they can and cannot accomplish?
  3. Where and how could we build decentralized cities?
  4. How can we design spaces (physical, cultural, technological, etc.) for creation and collaboration?
  5. What are some exciting initiatives towards shaping future cities, decentralized or otherwise?

As this is the Interintellect’s first hybrid salon, we are experimenting to perfect the audience experience! To help us do this, we are capping the number of in-person attendees at five, with a maximum of 40 attendees.

Keeping with local COVID best practices, we are only offering IRL attendance to the fully vaccinated. Everyone is welcome to join remotely! We will communicate updates through email and the #texas Discord channel. Message Jonathan Hillis and Alaka Halder on Twitter or Discord with questions.


Food for Thought:

  1. Decentralized cities by Jonathan Hillis
  2. balajis.com on Twitter: How to start a new city
  3. Cities and Ambition by Paul Graham
  4. How to build a small town in Texas by WrathOfGnon
  5. BONUS: Jonathan Hillis’s decentralized cities starter pack

Image from
NASA Ames Research Centre. Artist: Rick Guidice



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August 14, 2021
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm CDT
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Creator Cabins
438 Creekview Dr, Johnson City
Texas, 78636
+ Google Map
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Alaka Halder
Jonathan Hillis