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Author: Chris Roth


Chris Roth edited Talking Leaves: A Journal of Our Evolving Ecological Culture for eight years, and has edited Communities since 2008. A resident member of Lost Valley Educational Center/Meadowsong Ecovillage in Dexter, Oregon, he has lived in intentional community and on organic or permaculture farms most of his adult life. Among other activities, he currently leads nature walks at Mount Pisgah Arboretum and assists at Solsara workshops. Contact him at editor [AT] ic.org. Articles by Chris Roth include: Festivals and Gatherings (Issue # 142) Community in Hard Times (Issue # 144) Ecology and Community (Issue # 143) Searching for Republicans...and Other Elephants in the Community Living Room (Issue # 140) How Ecology Led Me to Community (Issue # 143) Health and Well-Being (Issue # 145) Family (Issue # 146) The Butterfly Effect and the Art (Direction) of Circumstance (Issue # 140) Exploring Family (Issue # 146) Together and Apart; Eden Within Eden (Issue # 146) Thoughts on Power (Issue # 148) Education for Sustainability (Issue # 147) Power and Disempowerment on the Ecobus (Issue # 148) Getting Elder All the Time (Issue # 149) Crazy About Community (Issue # 150) Hopeful New Stories from the Old World (Issue # 150) Intimacy: Past , Present, Future (Issue # 151) On the Road with Communities (Issue # 151) Right Lively 'Hood (Issue # 152) The Growing Edge, Additional Permaculture Resources, and Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth (Issue # 153) Permaculture 101 and Attending to Zone Zero (Issue # 153) The Economics of Happiness (Issue # 154) Common Ground in an Uncertain World (Issue # 154) The Lighter Side of Community (Issue # 155) Group Works (Issue # 156) An Ecovillage Future (Issue # 156) Endings and Beginnings (Issue # 157) Gratitude, Loss, Rebirth, and Community (Issue # 157) Cycling toward Sustainable Community (Issue # 157) Conmunity Wisdom for Everyday Life (Issue # 159) The Encyclopedic Guide to American Intentional Communities (Issue # 159) The Rhythm of Rutledge (Issue # 159) Affording Communities (Issue # 158) Youth in Community (Issue # 160) Health and Quiet (Issue # 145) Confessions of a Fallen Eco-Warrior (Issue # 161) Gender: Is There a “There” There? (Issue #162)

Notes from the Editor: Exploring the Shadow Side

Posted on September 10, 2019 by

A higher standard for interpersonal accountability and care makes the effect even more devastating when feelings of safety, security, and affection in community turn out to be based on illusion.


The Shadow Side of Cooperation – get your free download!

Posted on August 27, 2019 by

A natural follow-up to our Summer 2019 Sexual Politics issue, Communities #184 (Fall 2019) focuses on The Shadow Side of Cooperation. We explore problems and pitfalls, disappointments and betrayals, unintended outcomes of cooperative attempts ranging in impact from trivial to tragic. Authors’ stories describe the clash of idealism with reality, communication breakdowns, cultural patterning, internalized oppression, rights and boundary violations, founder’s syndrome, business and organizational struggles, power, ego, disempowerment, dysfunction, trauma, and strategies to address these and other challenges. Please join us!


Notes from the Editor: Introducing the Sexual Politics Issue

Posted on May 24, 2019 by

Sharing the truth is not always easy, but as #MeToo has shown, breaking the silence is the first step toward healing and toward the evolution of healthier sexual politics.


Sexual Politics, #183 Contents and Free/By Donation Digital Download

Posted on May 22, 2019 by

Directly inspired by the #MeToo movement, Communities #183 (Summer 2019) focuses on Sexual Politics. Intentional communities are not immune to any of the challenges or problems that afflict the wider culture. How can communities respond when confronting the sometimes harsh realities of human behavior and relationships, especially in the realms of power, sexuality, and gender? Authors share their stories about sexual assault and harassment; power dynamics related to gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual expression; attitudes toward polyamory; understanding of consent culture; creating fulfilling relationships by combating climate change; getting pronouns right; and a host of other topics. Please join us!


Community, Land, Self: We’re Part of the Same Elephant

Posted on April 16, 2019 by

Escaping to an ecotopian or intact natural world proves neither possible nor effective as a way to avoid the realities of human and planetary suffering. Instead, a communitarian receives lessons in interconnectedness that he will never forget.


Connecting Land and Community

Posted on February 21, 2019 by

Through collective, organized efforts, groups that have lost access to land can regain it, while building community as well.


Community Land, #182 Contents and Free/By Donation Digital Download

Posted on February 14, 2019 by

Communities issue #182, Spring 2019, Community Land, shares stories about how intentional community projects can gain access to land. It asks provocative questions about land, people, privilege, and the obstacles that prevent communities (particularly disadvantaged communities) from reconnecting to land―and offers inspiring stories of overcoming those barriers to achieve more equity and sustainability. Just as access to land depends on community in some form, community often depends on and derives its vitality from a group’s relationship to land. The issue highlights the interdependence of our selves, our human communities, and the lands which steward (and are stewarded by) our presence.


An Evolution in Community

Posted on November 30, 2018 by

Full immersion in a residential intentional community transforms over the course of a decade and a half into a much wider experience of community.


The Culture of Intentional Community, #181 Contents and Free/By Donation Digital Download

Posted on November 23, 2018 by

How does living in intentional community shape our daily experience? What distinguishes a culture which emphasizes “community” from one that does not? What skills and awareness do we need to co-create a resilient collaborative culture? How can lessons and wisdom from intentional communities benefit the world at large? What can we learn from organically-emerging “unintentional” communities? In Communities’ Winter 2018 issue, “The Culture of Intentional Community,” authors explore all these questions and more, sharing insights they’ve gained from their own wide-ranging experiences.


Notes from the Editor: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Posted on August 24, 2018 by

It’s still possible to make it a beautiful day in the neighborhood.


Networking Communities, #180 Contents and Free/By Donation Digital Download

Posted on August 23, 2018 by

Just as no person is an island, no intentional community is an island. ICs are connected to other communities and cooperative groups locally, regionally, nationally, internationally—whether those connections are actively cultivated or simply present in shared participation in a cooperative experience. Intentional cultivation of those ties—the fostering of networks—can make each participant group stronger and more resilient. In Communities’ “Networking Communities” issue (Fall 2018, #180), authors share their journeys in exploring and creating networks—among communitarians, among communities, even among networks of communities and among communities researchers. They discuss the joys and benefits as well as trials and tribulations of organizing networking gatherings, of attempting to address social justice, ecological, and related challenges through collective visioning and action, of working toward an equitable and regenerative future in concert with others, of exploring the edges of cultural evolution, of learning from others’ experiences as well as their own. They talk about the potential of further networking to help us create the future we want to see. We hope you’ll draw helpful information, inspiration, and insight from their stories. Once again, the issue is available via free/by donation digital download at ic.org/communities.


Remembering Zendik: Mating in Captivity

Posted on August 2, 2018 by

Helen Zuman’s debut book describes in detail her six-year-long involvement with a radical intentional community that also fits many people’s definition of “cult.”


Eco-Building, #179 Contents and Free/By Donation Digital Download

Posted on May 24, 2018 by

For reasons both practical and ideological, intentional community has long been a hotbed of eco-building activity. In Communities’ “Eco-Building” issue (Summer 2018, #179), authors share their eco-building journeys, ranging from nearly-free stick-framed shelters to high-end green developments. They examine how to assess whether a building is actually “eco,” hard choices they’ve needed to make, the benefits and challenges of taking on eco-building projects in community, or of retrofitting vs. building new, and much more. Once again, the issue is available via free/by donation digital download at ic.org/communities.


Race, Privilege and Our New Gift Economy Model

Posted on March 28, 2018 by

      Race, Class, and Our New Gift Economy Model March Blog Round-Up by Thomas Vecchio, Social Media Manager March has seen several of our most recent initiatives bear fruit―evidence of the new direction the FIC has been steering toward the last few years. While we envision community as a successful end in itself… Read More

Filed Under: All Blog Posts, Newsletter

Class, Race, and Privilege, #178: Free Issue Download and Contents

Posted on March 6, 2018 by

The Spring 2018 edition of Communities, focused on “Class, Race, and Privilege,” is now available for free download from ic.org/communities. The issue looks unflinchingly at a major “elephant in the room”—the relative lack of racial and class diversity in most ICs, at least in North America—while suggesting ways of recognizing, understanding, and addressing it. Authors share stories of obstacles they’ve encountered (from both sides of the privilege equation) and positive steps they and their groups have taken to move toward greater inclusivity and equity. They also reflect honestly on the deep-rootedness of unconscious racism, of social and cultural barriers, of problems of power, privilege, classism, “white fragility,” and more.


Urban Communities – Communities magazine Winter #177

Posted on February 3, 2018 by

      Communities Magazine — Winter 2017 Urban Communities Latest Issue in Print (and Digital) Free Articles Published Online Our latest Communities issue on Urban Communities is still available for shipping. If you haven’t seen it yet, get a copy by subscribing or ordering a sample now! Communities magazine winter #177 Our Winter 2017 issue, Urban Communities,… Read More

Filed Under: All Blog Posts, Newsletter

3 Ways to Experience Communities Magazine

Posted on January 16, 2018 by

      3 Ways to Experience Communities Magazine by Kim Kanney, Community Bookstore Manager Best Source for Info on Intentional Community Communities is your leading magazine for information about intentional communities—including urban co-ops, cohousing groups, ecovillages, and rural communes. From economics to intimacy; finding community to growing old, Communities magazine touches on the heart and… Read More

Filed Under: All Blog Posts, Newsletter

Winter issue #177 – Urban Communities – Communities magazine

Posted on January 6, 2018 by

      Communities Magazine — Winter 2017 Urban Communities Latest Issue in Print (and Digital) Free Articles Published Online Our latest Communities issue on Urban Communities reached subscribers last month. If you haven’t seen it yet, get a copy by subscribing or ordering a sample now! Communities magazine winter #177 Our Winter 2017 issue, Urban Communities, takes… Read More

Filed Under: All Blog Posts, Newsletter

Urban Communities, #177 Contents

Posted on November 22, 2017 by
1 Comment

Our Winter 2017 issue, Urban Communities, takes readers on a journey from the US East Coast through middle America to the West Coast, then to Canada and overseas. The communities featured span an equally broad range—from communes to cohousing, from outward-focused to more inward-focused, from retrofit to custom-built, from ecovillages, intentional neighborhood projects, and service-oriented groups to broader efforts to expand and strengthen the urban commons. As our stories make clear, and despite popular preconceptions, in many ways no setting is better suited to intentional community than an urban one—and, even short of full intentional community, city-dwellers have many, ever-evolving options for creating more connection, mutual support, and sharing in their lives.


Learning from the Past, #176 Contents

Posted on August 28, 2017 by

Our Fall issue, sponsored in part by the Communal Studies Association, focuses on Learning from the Past. Current communitarians reflect on lessons from their own and their communities’ histories, and on inspiration from historical communities that inform their own efforts. Students of communalism share the outcomes of their research, including recipes for success and failure and other insights from past and present communities. Community seekers and founders describe what they’ve learned so far. Throughout, we explore how learning from the past can help us navigate the present and move toward a more vibrant, functional, cooperative future.


Economics in Cooperative Culture, #175 Contents

Posted on May 26, 2017 by

Economics in cooperative culture—the focus of our Summer issue—is expressed in myriad forms
From cohousing developments to gift-economy activist camps, from spiritual communities to mobile home parks, from income-sharing communities to intentional neighborhoods, people across a wide range of economic circumstances and approaches are discovering the benefits of cooperative economics. Their stories suggest new ways of “stewarding our home” and transitioning into a more inclusive and sustainable future.


Soil, Communities, and Climate Change: An Interview with Nikki Silvestri

Posted on April 11, 2017 by

As a climate solutions advocate explains, carbon is not a bad thing; it’s often just in the wrong places right now.


Climate Crisis, Dystopia, and Community

Posted on February 25, 2017 by

From the personal to the global, with hard times undeniable, community may be our life-support.


Communities and Climate Change, #174 Contents

Posted on February 20, 2017 by

Our Spring issue examines how intentional communities and other groups are responding to the challenges presented by climate change. Through stories from more than a dozen diverse communities, we learn about steps being taken both to mitigate the intensity of climate disruption and to adapt to its effects. Innovative approaches include carbon onsetting, biochar production and use, personal/spiritual work, strategies for fossil-fuel-freedom, and more.


Not Rocket Science, but Just as Important

Posted on November 25, 2016 by

The arts of cooperative living—supported tirelessly by the cash-strapped FIC, and worthy now more than ever of financial support—will be as essential as technical skills if our species is to survive on this planet or any other.


Social Permaculture, and Public vs. Private, #173 Contents

Posted on November 21, 2016 by

Our Winter issue explores both Social Permaculture and the interface of Public and Private in intentional community. Starhawk and her colleagues share wisdom from the cutting edge of social permaculture practice, while diverse communitarians discuss how they find balance between the collective and the individual, openness and self-protection, outer-world activism and internal focus. We also learn about Sociocracy missteps, legal structures that help groups put their best feet forward (or not), and more.


Service and Activism, #172 Contents

Posted on August 18, 2016 by

Our Fall issue explores Service and Activism in intentional communities. Authors share their stories of living and working in both service- and activist-oriented groups, including Camphill communities, Innisfree Village, Gesundheit!, Konohana Family, Magic, Black Bulga, and more. How do service and activism build community, both within a group and in the larger world? How can communitarians contribute to the well-being of the planet and its people? We also explore how long-standing, mission-focused communities—including Harbin Hot Springs, ZEGG, and EcoVillage at Ithaca—have evolved over time, and the latest research about happiness in community.


Ecovillages around the World, #171 Contents

Posted on May 18, 2016 by

In our Summer issue, the Global Ecovillage Network, Gaia Trust, and the FIC partner to offer stories of pioneering efforts worldwide by communities working to incorporate the four dimensions of sustainability: social, ecological, economic, and worldview. We explore local solutions to global problems, creating carbon-negative communities, restoring our relationships to one another and the land, learning from indigenous groups, ecovillage strategies in areas of crisis, and more.


Finding or Starting a Community, #170 Contents

Posted on February 22, 2016 by

Those seeking an intentional community are often faced with a choice: find it, or found it? Whether looking to join an existing community or working to start a new one, aspiring communitarians can glean invaluable lessons from the experiences of other seekers and pioneers. Our Spring issue is full of success stories, cautionary tales, adventures, reflections, advice, and resources for anyone interested in Finding or Starting a Community.


Many Faces

Posted on November 26, 2015 by

Our new issue, supported by High Wind Association, explores the many forms community can take.


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