Learn the basics about intentional communities and communal living.

Intentional Community Basics

On-Demand Course | Rolling Admission Now Open

Are you new to the world of intentional communities and want a comprehensive overview? This is the Communities 101 course for you! Meet Cynthia and Yana, the experienced communitarians who will guide you through the history, culture, and landmarks of a global movement. Leave with advice for how you too can start or join a community.

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Intentional communities are places where people live together and share resources on the basis of explicit common values. They are some of the most desirable places to live, in a world awash with loneliness and division. You too can step out of the madness and start or join a community that better meets your needs for connection, belonging, and purpose. By doing so, you’ll step into a movement that stretches back centuries, if not millennia.

Cynthia and Yana will guide you through the landscape of intentional communities, so you can gain inspiration and practical steps for how to get involved.

You will leave this course with…

  • A clear understanding of what intentional communities are and why they matter
  • Answers about if you are cut out for living in community
  • A sense for whether you are meant to start or join a community
  • Knowing the pros and cons of living communally
  • Any myths you’ve been harboring about communities busted
  • Examples of well-known and lesser-know communities from around the world
  • Knowledge about the different types of communities
  • Advice on your first steps towards either joining or starting a community
  • Guidance on how to best visit communities
  • Additional resources and online tools to support your community research

Say Hello to Your Instructors

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Yana Ludwig

Yana Ludwig has 25 years of cooperative living experience, including four community start-ups. She serves on the Board of the Foundation for Intentional Community, and as a trainer and consultant for progressive projects. Yana is co-author of The Cooperative Culture Handbook: A Social Change Manual to Dismantle Toxic Culture and Build Connection and author of Together Resilient: Building Community in the Age of Climate Disruption. She is the former Executive Director of both the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, and Commonomics USA. Her 2013 TEDx talk, Sustainable is Possible! kicked off an era for her as a public speaker and advocate for communities. She is a founding member of the Solidarity Collective, an income sharing community in Laramie, WY. Yana currently lives in Bellevue, WA where she is the Executive Director at Leadership Eastside.

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Cynthia Tina

Cynthia is the “community matchmaker” helping people join the hundreds of intentional communities she has visited and worked with around the globe. She is a speaker, educator, and co-director of the Foundation for Intentional Community (ic.org). Her mission is to strengthen the bridge between sustainable communities and mainstream society. After a decade of travel, Cynthia now lives at an ecovillage in Vermont where she’s building a passive solar home, tending a garden, and guiding yoga classes. She has a B.A. in Sustainability from Goddard College, as well as certifications in Ecovillage and Permaculture design. Learn more and book a community matchmaking session with Cynthia at www.cynthiatina.com.

The On-Demand Course Experience

Go at Your Own Pace

Learn at your own pace with a course that fits your schedule. You’ll have a full 90 days to move through the learning material. One section at a time, when and where it works for you.

Build Your Network

Each month there’ll be a live session with your instructor and fellow students to get your questions answered. You’ll be able to converse and build shared knowledge through a dedicated discussion portal.

Deepen Your Learning

Each module includes an instructional video, learning materials, exercises, and assignments designed to support your comprehension in the ways we all learn differently.

Course Outline

  • Module 1: Welcome and Overview
  • Module 2: Intro to Intentional Communities and FIC Resources
  • Module 3: Why Communities Matter and Myth Busting
  • Module 4: A Global Tour of Communities
  • Module 5: Types of Communities
  • Module 6: A Chat About Communities
  • Module 7: Who is a Good Fit for Community and How to Join One
  • Module 8: Why and How to Start a Community
  • Module 9: How to Visit and Learn from Communities
  • Module 10: Your Next Steps


Words cannot express how happy I am to have discovered and participated in FIC’s trainings. The instructors are experts in their fields and really care about your community’s success. I’m looking forward to signing up for many more sessions to come.

Max Thompson

I am constantly impressed by the down-to-earth practicality of the FIC sessions combined with the philosophical questions that are so vital for us to explore. I’m grateful for the excellent planning and delivery of the sessions by skilled and inclusive presenters, who create a space that is both welcoming and invites participants to challenge existing ideas and world views. Well done and thank you FIC.

Claire Ogden

Finding the FIC’s platform is comparable to finding a long lost treasure. Not only is it easy to navigate the resources on their website, the leadership of this initiative is well experienced and very attentive to members and potential future ones. Do not underestimate the extent and quality of the information you’ll acquire from one of the many workshops and resources offered.

— Mary S.

What a beautiful gift to our intentional community builders and leaders! FIC’s programs provide a way for thinking and concerned people to collaborate for solutions to our multitude of global crises. Thank you FIC!

Terri Garcia


Intentional Community Basics Course


Learn the history, culture, and landmarks of a global movement and get advice for how you too can start or join a community.

Register now to get access to this course for a total of 90 days, including a private discussion forum and monthly office hours with the instructor. Check your email once completing registration for an email from [email protected]

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Need financial support to attend a course?

Apply for a scholarship. Those with low-income and from marginalized groups are encouraged to apply. FIC is committed to ensuring everyone has access to intentional community learning opportunities.