Document from the FIC Regional Networking Committee
The RNC Packet is a collection of information intended to help anyone doing Intentional Community organizing and networking to more effectively access available resources. It consists of several different types of resources, including the FIC website, print publications available from FIC, and some of this Wiki’s contents.
FIC Vision & Mission Statement
FELLOWSHIP FOR INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY
May 15, 1998 (assembled by the Vision Committee)
We envision a world where community is available, understood, appreciated and supported for all people who desire it and where the skills, structures and wisdom of community are recognized as basic building blocks of a just and sustainable culture.
- Openly provide accurate and comprehensive information about living in intentional communities.
- Promote dialogue, understanding, and cooperation between existing communities and related organizations.
- Make the realities, options, and lessons of intentional communities readily accessible to the wider culture.
- Provide moral, financial, and technical support to forming and established communities in need.
Community is a group of people who have chosen to live, work, or worship together with a common purpose, working cooperatively toward a vision in a manner that reflects their shared core values.
- Freedom to disassociate
- Embrace the diversity that exists among communities and facilitate increased interaction between communitarians and the wider culture.
- Build cooperative spirit within and among communities, through shared celebrations, joint ventures, and activities that build awareness of our common humanity.
- Facilitate exchange of information, skills and economic support among individuals, existing intentional communities, cooperative groups, and newly forming communities.
- Support education, research common, archives, and publishing about contemporary and historical intentional communities.
- Demonstrate practical applications of communities, cooperatives and their products and services; through seminars, catalogues, pilot projects, gatherings and direct sales.
- Increase global awareness that intentional communities are pioneers in sustainable living, personal and community transformation, and peaceful social evolution.
(Source: FIC Purposes)
- TO EMBRACE THE DIVERSITY THAT EXISTS AMONG COMMUNITIES and to facilitate increased interaction between communitarians and the wider culture
- TO BUILD COOPERATIVE SPIRIT WITHIN AND AMONG COMMUNITIES through shared celebrations, joint ventures, and activities that build awareness of our common humanity;
- TO FACILITATE EXCHANGE of information, skills, and economic support among individuals, existing intentional communities, cooperative groups, and newly forming communities;
- TO SERVE AS A REFERENCE SOURCE for those seeking intentional communities, conferences, and other community building experiences and practices appropriate to their needs;
- TO SUPPORT EDUCATION, RESEARCH, ARCHIVES, AND PUBLISHING about contemporary and historic intentional communities;
- TO DEMONSTRATE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS of communities, cooperatives, and their products and services — through seminars, catalogs, demonstration projects, gatherings, and direct sales;
- TO INCREASE GLOBAL AWARENESS that intentional communities are pioneers in sustainable living, personal and community transformation, and peaceful social evolution.
An important component of FIC outreach is the work of the Regional Networking Committee, described as follows:
Committee Purpose: To encourage and support community-building activities at the local and regional levels—by developing and maintaining a network of local and regional coordinators (LRCs) who create local publicity and initiatives that promote and make use of FIC resources, and who also gather local news and networking information for the FIC.
Committee Role: The role of the Regional Networking Committee (RNC) includes (1) recruitment, training, and ongoing support of LRCs; (2) dissemination of FIC promotions and publications via those coordinators; (3) creation of local and regional channels of communication and exchange among individuals, intentional communities and organizations (e.g. NICA); (4) creation of two-way conduits between those individuals/ groups and the FIC; and (5) sharing useful and relevant information with FIC staff and other FIC committees, as appropriate, related to items 1-4.
To facilitate the above, the RNC will review available FIC materials, develop additional materials as needed (subject to review by the Editorial Review Board and/or Oversight), and disseminate coordinator packets for use by LRCs. To increase accessibility, the committee will create and maintain a web page on ic.org that would archive these documents in downloadable formats, and additionally the RNC will compile lists of LRCs for publication in Cmag, ic.org, and FIC newsletters.
The committee will strategize and support efforts to create local movement structures (e.g. planning groups and autonomous organizations like NICA) that would be ongoing and autonomous, and will also investigate online networks such as meetup.org and tribe.net as possible places to conduct outreach, identify contacts, and disseminate information.
The RNC will work with other FIC committees (e.g. Events, Site, Membership) to identify: prospective participants for FIC meetings and events; local leaders/ coordinators to organize house parties, etc.; and roles for FIC presenters in local or regional events.
Local/Regional Coordinators: LRCs will (1) stay informed of FIC events and resources, and act as a conduit to local communities, interested persons, and allied organizations; (2) distribute/disseminate FIC materials locally, as appropriate; (3) instigate and coordinate gatherings either independently or in partnership with FIC, working with the appropriate FIC committee (e.g. ELC for FIC events); (4) report local events and stories for publication in the appropriate FIC media; and (5) develop a local community database, and provide periodic updates to appropriate FIC committees.
Regional Networking Committee:
Ma’ikwe Ludwig, Fred Lanphear (c), Vince Bates, Aron Heintz, Geoph Kozeny, Kip Gardner, Raines Cohen, Craig Ragland, Bill Zwovic
Community Dialog Packet
- How to run a community dialog
- RNC:Community dialog cover letter
- RNC:Promotional flyer
- RNC:Participant form
Related things we’d need to stock:
- FIC Brochures
- Directory/Communities Magazine Order Forms
- Conference Information, if we have upcoming events planned
Guidelines for Local Regional Coodinators
- Online Resources
- FIC Events
- Past FIC Events
The big event for the FIC was the 1993 Celebration of Community held at the Evergreen State University, Olympia, WA. It brought together over 800 participants from the US and abroad.
Since then, there have been numerous Art of Community events around the country. These are 2-3 day community-like events focusing on topics such as consensus/facilitation, permaculture, ecovillages, cohousing, biodiesel, forming communities, etc. They also include ritual and celebration.
Information on planning and logistics of these past meetings is available.The first version of the “Event in a Box” CD, an electronic compilation of basic information on how to put on a communities conference. Folders include:
auction, feedback, finances, org mtg, personnel, planning, program, publicity, registration, sample documents, and signs.
There is a lot of information that need not be reinvented. So I’ll put this info on a CD and mail it to anyone who thinks they might be able to use it to put on a communities conference (or something fairly similar.) These can be obtained from Harvey Baker ([email protected]) for the cost of postage and a blank CD. If you put on a conference, you are also agreeing to send him any electronic creations that you make beyond what is on the CD, so that we may create an improved version 2 for folks later.
- FIC Events Liaison Committee
Harvey Baker (c),
FIC Organization Meetings
The FIC gathers twice a year as an organization to evaluate and do ongoing planning of their operations, finances and program strategies. These are the formal meetings of the FIC board of directors but are generally open to others who are interested in the work of the organization. The meetings provide an opportunity to connect with communitarians from around the country who are seriously engaged in building the communities movement. It is also a time to give input into the future direction of the organization, either in the regular meetings or in the various committee meetings, such as the Regional Networking Committee.
The meetings are held each Spring and Fall at an intentional community in different regions around the nation on a rotating basis. Past meetings were held in the following locations:
• 2002 Nov – Goodenough Community, Washington State
• 2003 May – The Farm community, TN
• 2003 Oct – The Vale community, OH
• 2004 Apr – Highline Crossing cohousing, Littleton, CO
• 2004 Oct – Miccosukee Land Co-op, near Tallahassee, FL
• 2005 May – Ecovillage at Ithaca, Ithaca, NY
• 2005 Nov – LA Ecovillage, Los Angeles, CA
The Spring meeting in 2006 will be held at Madison Community Cooperative in Madison, WI,
April 7 to 9, 2006. The Fall meeting will be held in the Northwest.
FIC Organizational Structure
FIC Board and Staff
Note: “c” denotes committee convener; (year) denotes term on cmtee
It is suggested that a FIC Organizational Chart be included.
- Fred Lanphear (03-06)
- Harvey Baker (04-07)
- Jenny Upton (03-06)
- Marty Klaif (05-08)
- Peggy Loftfield (04-07)
- Tony Sirna (04-07)
- Caroline Estes (05-08)
- George Caneda (05-06)
- Raines Cohen (05-08)
- Missouri Office Manager—Tony Sirna standing in until this position is filled
- Missouri Office people—Susan Wright,Kathe Nicosia
- Virginia Office Manager,order fulfillment—McCune Renwick-Porter
- Executive Secretary—Laird Schaub
- CMag Editor—Diana Christian
- CMag layout—John Morris
- Bookshelf Manager—Kathe Nicosia
- Development Coordinator—Laird Schaub
- Development Assistant–Alyson Ewald
List of Current FIC Projects, upcoming Events
The FIC web site provides a current listing of upcoming events.
FIC brochures for products
– Communities Directory
In the 2005 edition of our popular reference guide, over 600 communities describe their structure, beliefs, missions, and visions. There are more than 250 alternative resources and services. 33 new articles provide information about a wide range of community topics and there is an annotated list of over 300 relevant books.
$34 postpaid in US; call for international prices.
– Communities, Journal of Cooperative Living
Chronicling the latest news about community living, each issue of this quarterly features articles on a particular theme, regular columns by community veterans and activists. “REACHbook” advertisements to help communities and seekers find each other. Subscriptions (20/year), back issues, and thematic reprint packets are available at: store.ic.org
– Community Bookshelf
A mail order bookstore, we carry books on: Intentional Community and Cooperative Living; Process and Leadership; For and About Children and Families; Ecology, Nature and Sustainable Living; Natural Food, Health, and Living; and Personal Growth and Healing. Visit store.ic.org .
– Audio Tapes
Our 1993 International Celebration of Community and our periodic Art of Community conferences have provided many popular recordings of workshops, panels, and keynote speeches. Topics include starting a community, consensus, bioregionalism, children, spirit, history, leadership, and much more.
– Visions of Utopia: Experiments in Sustainable Culture
Geoph Kozeny, a core staff member of the first two editions of the Communities Directory and a featured columnist in Communities magazine, spent 4 years creating this documentary about intentional communities. Now you can actually see how some communities look up close” while you listen to community members tell their stories in their own works. Featuring:
– A brief history of 2500 years of shared living
– Profiles of 7 very diverse communities — Camphill Special School (’61, PA), Twin Oaks (’67, VA), Ananda Village (’69, CA), Breitenbush Hot Springs (’77, OR), Purple Rose Collective (’78, CA), and Earthaven (’92, NC)
– Insights about what works and what doesn’t
– 90 minutes of information and inspiration!
– FIC Organizational Meetings & Regional Gatherings
Our semi-annual board meetings, remarkable for their friendly atmosphere, operate by consensus and encourage active participation from all who attend. These open meetings are held twice each year at locations across the continent, usually at intentional communities. Many of out meetings include a regional gathering where participants have the opportunity to network with others in their area. Please contact us if you’re interested in attending or hosting one of these events.
– Art of Community Conferences
These conferences, held periodically, are designed to address the nuts and bolts of community. Workshops are offered by experienced communitarians on topics such as group process, legal structures, finding a community, forming a community, the visioning process, and much more. It’s an opportunity for newcomers and community veterans to network, learn, and share experiences.
– Loan Fund
The fund offers small, short-term loans to community businesses and associated enterprises. We’re laying the groundwork to serve as a depository for community assets devoted to socially responsible investment. Loan applications and deposit information are available through our administrative office.
– Referral Services
We provide information about community to thousands of seekers, communitarians, scholars, journalists, and others who write, fax, or call. We maintain a list of speakers on a wide range of community topics, provide referrals for meeting design and facilitation and offer helpful information for creating and strengthening community.
Supporting the FIC
Support for The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC).
The FIC depends on membership fees and fund raising along with its fees for services and products to thrive as an organization. FIC has 501 (c) (3) status so that contributions are tax deductible. Donations can either be allocated for general support of the programs and services or for designated purposes. There is a Community Directory Endowment Fund and a Web Site Fund  The most effective strategies for a RLC to support the FIC are to 1) promote FIC membership, and 2) to host a FIC House Party in which Laird Schaub, Exec. Sec. describes the activities of the FIC and identifies financial needs.
The FIC nurtures connections and cooperation among communitarians and their friends. We provide publications, referrals, support services, and sharing opportunities for a wide range of intentional communities, cohousing groups, ecovillages, community networks, support organizations, and people seeking a home in community. Encourage individuals to become a member of the nonprofit FIC.
History of the FIC and Communities Movement
An excellent overview of the communities movement is available on the FIC website. It is by Geoph Kozeny and is entitled “Intentional Communities:Lifestyles Based on Ideals” 
Another helpful overview is provided by perusing the 25th Anniversary Issue of Communities magazine published in the Winter of 1997. This issue presents a description of the journey of the magazine, but also includes a Fellowhip News feature that documents the establishment and journey of the original FIC in 1940, which was the Fellowship of Intentional Communities, and the re-incorporation of FIC in 1987 as the Fellowship for Intentional Communities. The original FIC was organized and managed by representatives of member communities. The current FIC is organized and managed by individuals who are committed to providing support for the intentional communities movement collectively.
Communities Directory —
A Guide to Intentional Communities and Cooperative Living
In the 2005 edition of our popular reference guide, over 600 communities describe their structure, beliefs, missions, and visions. There are more than 250 alternative resources and services.
Over 600 North American and 100 intentional communities describe themselves–their structure, beliefs, mission, and visions of the future. From cohousing groups to ecovillages, rural land trusts to spiritual communities, student co-ops to intentional neighborhoods, organic farms to monasteries, urban artist collectives to rural communes, permacultural demonstration sites to Catholic Worker Houses, it’s all here!
11 articles on compelling community issues (over 30 in the 1995 edition still available), by a wide variety of authors. Topics include: how to visit communities; why live in community; financing communities and setting up their legal structures; opportunities for older people in community; communities and the “cult” issue; raising children in community; consensus process; dealing with conflict; an overview of Christian communities; an introduction to permaculture; and much more.
Complete maps of North American communities–see at a glance what’s in your area.
Essential for an in-depth search of community characteristics, these charts allow you to quickly scan for groups that fulfill your criteria. Looking for a vegetarian spiritual community? A rural income-sharing ecovillage? A small urban community focused on political activism? The charts will show you in a flash which communities match your desires.
Descriptions and contact information for major resource organizations within specific interest areas–organizations who make it their business to compile information about their niche and will know the best, most up-to-date resources to point people toward. Categories include: community networking, agriculture, ecology, energy, economics, technology, spirituality, education, sexuality, personal growth, and more.
Recommended Reading List:
An extensive, annotated collection of over 300 texts of interest to community-minded people. From books on sustainability and organic gardening to utopian fiction, from manuals on facilitation techniques to books on community history and philosophy, from essay collections abut living in community to books on parenting, you’ll find them here.
There are various ways in which we can track intentional communities networking with maps. It could be based on regions using state lines as boundaries or it could be based on more natural boundaries, such as bioregions or watersheds. For now, it is suggested that we use the maps in the current Directory, pp. 39 – 48 for identifying regional networking. Currently, there is active networking taking place in the Mid Atlantic Region, the Northwest, in British Columbia, and in Southern Wisconsin.