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The Creators' Campus Inside The Lighthouse's Vision For The Booming Creator Economy


The Creators’ Campus: Inside The Lighthouse’s Vision For The Booming Creator Economy

In the original 1937 Venice post office, a new kind of campus is taking shape. The Lighthouse, founded by Whalar’s Co-Founders, Neil Waller and James Street, and developed and led by Lighthouse President, Jon Goss, aims to provide a physical home and educational hub for content creators navigating the rapidly expanding Creator Economy.

The Creators' Campus: Inside The Lighthouse's Vision For The Booming Creator Economy

“When I first met Neil early on in the pandemic, it was clear to him, as the co-visionary behind Whalar, that the Creator Economy was growing at a rapid pace but that the tools and resources, in particular, were lacking,” says Goss, President of The Lighthouse. “During this time, creators were trapped in their homes or had to pay for expensive commercial production spaces.”

The Creators' Campus: Inside The Lighthouse's Vision For The Booming Creator Economy

The Lighthouse leadership team: Lucy Tate – Vice President of Brand and Community, Jon Goss – President and Steve Nolte – Vice President of Hospitality and Operations.

A Bespoke Campus for Creators

As the idea crystallized, Goss and Waller envisioned not just a production facility, but a comprehensive ecosystem tailored to the multifaceted needs of modern content entrepreneurs. “Inspired by the best art and grad schools, we started to think about a Ted Talk-meets-Masterclass-meets-MBA for the Creator community,” Goss explains. “And then decided to build that within the physicality of a design-driven studio [and] community workspace.”

The Creators' Campus: Inside The Lighthouse's Vision For The Booming Creator Economy

The resulting blueprint is an 80,000 square foot campus featuring state-of-the-art amenities purpose-built for creators: video-enabled podcast studios, photography studios, editing bays, a test kitchen, glam rooms, music studios, gaming lounges, makerspaces, screening rooms, private offices, and shared areas.

“These will all be accessible through an application-based membership program,” says Goss. “We are going to be developing a digital product to strategically accompany the physical campuses in order to serve the wider global creator community.”

The Creators' Campus: Inside The Lighthouse's Vision For The Booming Creator Economy

The Lighthouse Venice – Historic Photo

A Curriculum Tailored to the Creator Lifestyle

Beyond the facilities, The Lighthouse will offer a dual-track educational program aimed at arming creators with both philosophical guidance and practical skills. “Our programming will be structured into two main tracks tailored for creators and their teams,” Goss notes.

The first is a speaker series featuring industry luminaries discussing “forward-thinking topics like navigating ‘hard choices’ in content evolution, predicting platform and technology trends, and addressing wellness and mental health through our ‘not quite therapy’ sessions.”

The second is a workshop track focused on hands-on training. “This includes everything from content production to business acceleration to providing tangible, impactful learning opportunities,” says Goss.

Nurturing the Creator Ecosystem

In curating its membership, The Lighthouse will prioritize creators and their teams behind the camera who “consider their profession as a long-term creative and sustainable career,” according to Goss. “In tandem, we’ll partner with kind, curious, innovative, creative souls, who want to learn, grow, collaborate, and feed off of and give back to the creator ecosystem.”

A key part of fostering that collaborative spirit is The Lighthouse’s Creator Council, chaired by prominent creators Colin and Samir. “They will be the student body – the voice, the feedback loop, the conduit and gatekeeper of the community we cultivate,” Goss explains. “Ultimately, this group will focus on serving creators and their needs.”

The Creators' Campus: Inside The Lighthouse's Vision For The Booming Creator Economy

The council will not only shape programming, but also mentor the next wave of creators. “While our educational programs will be built on the limited time constraints and contemporary needs of the creator, the ethos of a university will be reflected in the way we think about learning from and alongside your peers, developing a community and network, and delivering resources and mentorship in the short term but with legacy in mind. Our mission is for Creators to look back 10 years on and talk about how the Lighthouse accelerated their career, collaborative projects and grew their professional and social network,” says Goss 

Catalyzing Creative Collisions

For Goss, enabling cross-pollination between creators is central to The Lighthouse’s mission. “Creativity very rarely thrives in solitude,” he argues. “The best creative work of our time has been defined by the collision of divergent creative minds, ideas and different ways of thinking.”

By providing an “always-on physical space,” Goss believes The Lighthouse can be a catalyst for such “creative collisions.” He adds: “That’s when truly inspiring creative collaborations can be sparked.”

The Lighthouse is an outgrowth of Whalar, the global independent creator economy company.” Goss sees synergy between the two entities, with The Lighthouse representing the fullest expression of Whalar’s mission to “Liberate the Creative Voice.”

“The Lighthouse is defined by that mission and really is the ultimate manifestation of it,” Goss states. “By concepting and opening these collaborative creative spaces, we are speaking, accelerating and empowering creators and their teams to be truly and fully liberated through learning, through making and feeling part of something.”

Shaping the Creator Economy’s Future

Looking ahead, Goss has grand ambitions for how The Lighthouse could shape the trajectory of the Creator Economy as a whole.

“If you look at the worlds of art, design, film, music and beyond, it has usually been the connection with others that has accelerated Creativity,”   it has usually been the connection with other creative minds and learning from others that has accelerated Creativity,” he observes. “What’s clear is that the Creator economy lacks a permanent gathering space for the community to come together and learn from each other, and work under one agnostic roof.”

By filling that void, Goss believes The Lighthouse can be “the only space to truly push the boundaries” of content creation. “Our educational program will be constantly evolving in response to creators and the wider creative landscape – as a non-traditional academic company, that constantly shifts and evolves to be ahead of the zeitgeist.”

More than just a coworking space or studio, The Lighthouse represents a concerted effort to elevate and professionalize the role of creators. “In bringing this to life, we’ll have a positive impact on the way creators are served, and how they are perceived beyond their social channels – ultimately accelerating their learning, career growth and professional development,” Goss says. “All while building a ‘community’ in the truest sense given what has really become an overused marketing term. This is a tribe and they deserve a bespoke space to congregate in and feel seen and supported.”

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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