Skinner Layne

Founder & Chairman of Exosphere

US → Chile → Spain

What do you do today?

Today I'm in a transitional period. I founded an organization called “Exosphere” 7 years ago. We have been operating during that period. We are in a transitional period where we stopped our active operations, and we focused exclusively on building out some permanent infrastructure ina form of physical campus because it is an educational institution. We are in this long process now in Spain. I was living in South-America for 11 years, and I just moved to Spain a few months ago. So I am in fundraising and infrastructure building mode.

The other side of my daily life is writing a book. It’s research I've been working on for the last 7 years. It’s a psychological model that I’ve been developing and doing research about. I am writing a sort of the first book that will precede a series of studies that we plan to conduct. These are the main two things that I do today.

How did you get there?

From childhood through the end of university, I have wanted to go into politics. That was my goal. I was going to go to law school and then to politics. I was very active in politics. And then, at the end of the university, I decided that this is not what I was going to do for a variety of reasons. So I went to software startups instead. Then I decided that this was also not as advertised. In 2007 when the yult curving converted to the US bond market, I studied economics, and I said: “OK, then things are about to go very badly, so I sold my stock back to my partners in my first startup and left the country. It was in 2008, so I left before the crisis. Then I went to South-America. There was no startup ecosystem at that time. It sort of started to grow after I was there. So I didn’t go back to startups, and because of my economics background, I mostly did most of the financial part in my startups parted equity work in renewable energy and agriculture projects in South-America. I did that for a few years, and then I decided that was also not what I wanted to keep doing. Then I spend a couple of years in sort of hermitage, living in the mountains more or less in complete isolation. That is what sort of unlocked conclusions that led me to find excess here and go into the path of psychological research and practice. It has been a very long interesting winding journey.


.Cocoon is a part of

Tartu, Estonia 2020

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