The education model at all levels changed with the pandemic, especially when many people shifted to working at home while children attended virtual schools. A client of Arrowhead Center’s Studio G in Santa Fe is looking at how changing education and community could become a sustainable business model.
Studio G is Arrowhead Center’s world-ranked student business accelerator. Originally housed at New Mexico State University, Studio G recently expanded its services to sites around New Mexico and at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Liam Phillips, a student at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, is the founder of Outopos Project, a research facility and a lifestyle community examining a change in what education and community could look like in the future. He grew up in rural Australia and started early with a drive for entrepreneurship and ownership of his own time.
“My father never believed in an allowance, so that instilled the value of making my own money from a young age,” Phillips said. “When I was 12, I vowed never to accept a check from anyone else, to be my own boss. That same year, I started my first actual business, an auto detailing company, and tried to save up for my first car.”
Phillips sold that first car to start an online e-commerce website.
“I’ve been able to, fortunately, keep that promise and from them decided that I’d be giving everything to a lifetime of service,” Phillips said.
Phillips’s next entrepreneurial endeavor, Outopos Project, focuses on helping others think outside the box.
“We strive to attract a college-age audience of students who would perhaps want to look at alternative ways that their educational experience could be fulfilled,” Phillips said. “Education is a lifelong pursuit, and there’s a lot to be learned from others.”
Phillips envisions acres of land to build and construct self-sufficient housing – from electricity and water collection to food production and sewage treatment – and creating zero-waste systems.
“Our initiative is to develop open-source systems of living, like do-it-yourself agriculture so that people can become more self-sufficient with their own food, as well as just to have access to clean and organic food at a much lower cost,” Phillips said.
Philips works with Studio G’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Victor Hughes, to take his concepts and make them a reality.
“I realized working with Studio G and Victor how big my idea was, but that we could still start applying for grants,” Phillips said. “We can start talking to people in certain positions for funding and start looking for other revenue streams to make this a reality.”
Studio G in Santa Fe is located at 501 Franklin Ave., and is open by appointment only. It includes an outdoor patio where entrepreneurs and Hughes can socially distance but still brainstorm their business ventures.
“I really appreciate Studio G being a backboard, someone to talk to about the ideas that you have,” Phillips said. “I’m self-sufficient at getting something done, but I’m often full of a lot of really different ideas. And while I’m more interested in the humanitarian effort, Victor has been helpful in terms of grounding me to find ways to set it in motion.”
Studio G is currently open to students and recent alumni at 18 colleges and universities in New Mexico and Texas. If you or someone you know is interested in collaborating with Studio G in Santa Fe, contact Hughes at email@example.com to chat more about what opportunities are available. To learn more about Studio G, visit https://www.sfcc.edu/studiog/.