going back to "school"
Campus 🏛️ at The SF Commons
Welcome to Wellness Wisdom - A newsletter for the thoughtful by Patricia Mou. A medley of thoughts on philosophy, meaning-making, & beauty.
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This is a crosspost from The Commons substack 🏛️
Hello lovely humans!
It’s been 6 months since we asked ourselves why there weren’t more “community living rooms” in SF. Especially ones founded upon values of open-ended curiosity, co-created play, & collective flourishing. A place to be “fully yourself” while exploring your intellectual, emotional, artistic, & spiritual curiosities, in an earnest, welcoming community.
Our answer to that was The Commons. Since opening our doors to the public in September, we’ve run over 90+ salons and events, built a budding 180+ member community, and have had thousands of neighbors come to the space to rest, reflect, & play.
Once things settled down a bit, we took a step back to reflect. Together with our member community, we imagined moonshots we could take to achieve our vision of being a second home for the earnest, curious, & agentic souls of SF.
Over and over again, the motif of a college commons room kept emerging as a north star. The site of 2am existential conversations, bouts of deep solo contemplation, and intimate encounters with familiar and new faces.
A place for intimate, reoccurring, and serendipitous connections built upon a foundation of default trust through shared curiosities, & values. That rare and magical combination of depth and serendipity, of liveliness and familiarity.
And this is what we believe will set The Commons apart from other third spaces, co-working spots, or cafes. The ability to build connection between people through shared curiosities and values - as opposed to their demographic, vocation, socio-economic position, or simple desire to work in a second space. For us, the thread that unites every single member at the Commons is their deep earnestness, playful curiosity, abundant kindness, authentic agency, and positive sum mindsets.
With this in mind, we’re excited to announce our next big offering:
Campus is at the core of what it means to be part of the Commons community.
A “school” for the soul, intellect, and inner-child.
Every quarter, the community creates the “curriculum” and participates in a rotating set of circles, salons, juntos and extracurriculars on dedicated nights at the space. Each “class” – or salon, junto, circle, or extracurricular – runs for multiple weeks and at the end of the quarter, we gather and celebrate our learnings at "nerd prom".
The special thing about Campus is in its design: by having multiple juntos, salons, circles, and playful extracurriculars at the space in a given evening - we create a nexus where continuity and intentionality simultaneously alchemize a high density of serendipitous interactions.
To help paint a clearer picture:
Imagine it’s Thursday and you just got off of work.
You head over to The Commons and are greeted with hot cocoa as you briefly chat with old and new friends on what’s been feeling the most alive in you.
Afterwards, you attend the 1st out of an 8-week salon on collective flourishing, followed by a mind-opening discussion on the latest abundance agenda in SF civics, journal for a bit with a writing circle, and finally end the night playing board games with new friends.
Meanwhile, another friend is around for a physics circle, founder circle, and open mic and you both peel off late into the night for an hour long conversation.
On Campus evenings, the whole space will be alive with activities and discussions you can go in-and-out of, akin to a bustling morning market, School of Athens, town square, or yes, college campus.
Our first Campus 🏛️ will be taking place starting mid-January 2023 and we are so pumped about the 50+ classes we have on the curriculum. Below is a small sampling of them:
As we bring this alive, we will be welcoming new members to the Commons family. If you want to join our first trimester of Campus, and haven’t filled out our application yet, we’re taking submissions for the next cohort of members up through Dec 21st!
Until our next dispatch, we just want to end with a thank you – to all our members, donors, and supporters for the energy, enthusiasm, and contributions to a new community living room in SF.