Governance + Group Dynamics
A co-owner of Heart-Culture Farm Community explores ways to use her privilege to help create a society where people are truly equal.
Predominantly white communities are going to stay that way until they acknowledge and address racism. Here is some guidance for doing that.
A cohousing project’s budget can help address class and classism—but the community also needs to articulate and explore its culture’s underlying or hidden rules.
Members of Sunward Cohousing recognize and attempt to transform their community’s differential treatment of white-skinned and dark-skinned neighborhood children.
Moving Beyond Diversity Towards Collective Liberation: Weaving the Communities Movement into Intersectional Justice StrugglesPosted on March 8, 2018 by
The co-organizer of the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network shares strategies for deepening your community’s work on issues of race, class, and privilege.
In the second addition of The Community Builders Forum, the FIC’s new webinar series for members, Laird Schaub takes us through what makes consensus work. Members can participate in these webinars live. For more info on becoming an FIC member, click here. For most people consensus is an unnatural act. It calls for participants to… Read More
How does one share income and expenses among a hundred people? Twin Oaks discovers how to supplant apathy with widespread engagement.
A new novel by Susan Feathers, called Threshold, explores one community’s response to climate change. Inspired by her experiences with the Building Resilient Neighborhoods program in Tuscon, Arizona, Threshold combines interlocking plot-lines with the latest scientific research to bring the concept of community resiliency to life. You can purchase the book online or read an… Read More
This post is an excerpt from Together Resilient: Building Community in the Age of Climate Disruption by Ma’ikwe Ludwig, published by The Foundation for Intentional Community. Visit our fundraising campaign to learn how you can support the publication of the book and get yourself a copy! **** Climate change is deeply intertwined with race, class and gender. I’d like to focus… Read More
When we hear the words “intentional community,” we may think of residential communities like back-to-the-land communes and urban housing co-ops. But you don’t have to live in the same house to have a shared vision and make an impact. A non-profit called Cool Block brings entire neighborhoods together to support each other and build community over… Read More
One of the challenges of living in a community with lots of new residents or guests is getting everyone oriented to the tasks and projects at hand. When I lived at Foster Village, a 10-person community in Portland, Oregon, we had a membership committee in charge of welcoming new residents, and a liaison assigned to… Read More
A clearly articulated evolutionary purpose, a welcoming of the whole self, and governance through self-management are keys to collective success.
For some high-profile communities, visibility is a good thing. The Dancing Rabbit ecovillage in Rutledge, Missouri, depends on workshops and other business endeavors to support itself. Many communities maintain a social media presence as a way to attract new members and promote co-operative living on a global scale. But some communities have good reason for wanting to… Read More
Next month, I’ll be moving into a house owned by a “community landlord.” Rather than simply renting out rooms in the house, the homeowner (who no longer lives on the property), specifically sought out a group of people who wanted to build community there. Three of us will be the primary tenants who set the vision and… Read More
Talking about class can be difficult – especially in intentional communities that include people from a variety of backgrounds. It can be a challenge to balance the needs of members from different classes: residents with stable jobs and incomes; property owners; activists who choose to live frugally; those with families to support. Some concerns –… Read More
In the popular imagination, intentional communities have a reputation for being free-for-alls when it comes to love and relationships. But in reality, that’s rarely the case, and many communities have guiding principles around how members are expected to relate to each other romantically. Gender dynamics, power imbalances, and more, can all come into play when living… Read More
One of the biggest hurdles an intentional community can face is figuring out how to make decisions. There are dozens of decision-making strategies to choose from, from consensus to sociocracy. But in today’s busy world, simply gathering around the table together as a community can be a challenge. At my community, meeting attendance takes a dive during the… Read More
The Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA) is launching a Kickstarter for a new board game on September 27th. Called “Rise Up: The Game of People and Power,” the game is a great way to spend time with friends, while exploring social movements and learning to cooperate to achieve shared objectives. According to TESA, “The game weaves… Read More
For over 20 years, a small community in Kenya has been embarking on a rare experiment: a community without men, where women are the homeowners and breadwinners. Around 50 women and 200 children live in Umoja, a small village several hundred miles north of Nairobi, in the dry grasslands of the Samburu region. According to… Read More
The philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” It’s a quote often repeated by alternative healers and counter-cultural thinkers. In the 1980s, four families from Boston – who suffered from depression, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses – put that philosophy to the… Read More
A new movie called “The Commune” follows Erik and Anna, a Danish couple living in Copenhagen in the 1970s, as they invite an assortment of friends and acquaintances to move into a home they inherited: “We should live with fantastic people, shouldn’t we?” Anna asks her husband. He agrees to try it out, and they… Read More
Although not as famous as some of his contemporaries, the French thinker Charles Fourier was one of the early visionaries of the intentional community movement. A utopian socialist, he proposed that society should be organized into Phalansteres, or “grand hotels,” each housing several hundred to several thousand people. At the peak of his popularity, he… Read More
Here at Foster Village, my community in SE Portland, we share access to three houses on adjoining plots of land. Although we have plans for collective ownership, for now the houses are owned individually, but most of our expenses are shared. This means we have to think creatively about maintenance agreements. Each member contributes an… Read More
What is it that keeps a community’s identity consistent over time? Is it the people? The place? The culture? Here at Foster Village in Portland, OR, we’ve had around a 50% turnover rate over the past year. Some long-term residents have moved on to live in rural communities. Some recent arrivals decided that the level… Read More
The sometimes triumphant, sometimes traumatic experiences of the three Common Fire communities yield wisdom relevant to anyone working to create a community.
Even an anti-authoritarian household needs agreements—but who and how to enforce them is another question.
At La’akea, members’ various approaches to food reflect the quest for emotional as well as physical sustainability.