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James Ehrlich is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Stanford University and is the Founder of ReGen Villages, a spin-off company inspired in part by Stanford research during the Solar Decathlon, and a UN Sustainability Brief co-authored by James Ehrlich, Professor Larry Leifer, Chris Ford (AIA) from the Stanford Center for Design Research on the future of tech-integrated real estate development in the built environment that power and feed self-reliant families.

James Ehrlich is also a Senior Technologist at Stanford University, Faculty of Singularity University, Senior Fellow at Opus Novum consortium at NASA Ames, and Appointee to a White House / U.S. State Department Joint Task Force on the Nexus of Food, Water, Energy and Waste, and U.S. Department of Energy Appointee for the same nexus for Tribal lands.
A serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley for over 25-years, James successfully founded and managed technology and media companies with successful exits. For nearly a decade, Mr. Ehrlich executive produced an award-winning national public broadcasting series based on his case study research of organic and bio-dynamic family farms, that at its apex reached over 35-million homes each week, and is also the co-author of a best-selling companion book on Hachette, Organic Living THG (2007).
The first pilot community of ReGen Villages will break ground in Q4 2017 in Almere, Netherlands (25-minutes by train from Amsterdam), with a pipeline of ReGen Villages off-grid neighborhood developments planned across Northern Europe, before scaling globally backed by sovereign wealth funds. ReGen Villages has gone viral around the world since the press conference and announcement at the Venice Biennale for architecture at the end of May, 2016.

#newurbanism | smart streets, e-cars, vertical farming: could eco-friendly communes change the future of housing?

As the coliving trend gathers pace, it's clear that modern city-dwellers crave real-world community. At the same time, urban farming is becoming increasingly sophisticated and a reliable local food source. Smart streets and driverless cars cut down commuting times, will there be a need for everyone to cluster in the inner city? Might cities instead become decentralised? And will this fragmentation, ironically, bring us closer together? We are at once becoming more autonomous, able to live in hyperlocal communities that leverage the sharing economy, and yet more together, recognising the financial and lifestyle benefits of doing so.

Watch Laurence Kemball-Cook, CEO and founder of Pavegen, James Ehrlich, the founder of ReGen Villages, Ema Paulin, the founder and CEO of Good Bank, and Paul DeLong, President and CEO of car2go North America, on the question if and how eco-friendly communes might change the future of housing.

Disclaimer: The views of me Convention speakers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW and Mercedes-Benz.