Palo Alto, California, United States

  • Last updated: October 15, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: January 16, 2005

Mission Statement

Valuescience for common good

Community Description

Magic is a residential service-learning community. Some residents operate an educational, charitable organization by the same name.

We establish the Magic community and the service organization upon a yet-to-be widely recognized connection between science and value: Ideas about value entail prediction; science is the sole demonstrated means for making predictions better than can be made by chance.

We perceive that valuescience is key to accurately discerning and realizing value. Magic residents and friends who sustain the service organization are aiming to improve our own and others’ lives by honing valuescience practice and contributing to others’ doing so.

Readers wary of “science” may be reassured to learn that we are also deeply “religious” in a literal sense (re- = again and lig- = connect). We see ecological science as the basis for unifying religion, with which people from diverse backgrounds can reconnect to other humans, other life, Earth, and cosmos.

Core themes in Magic community life and public services are: (1) valuescience; (2) health/awareness; (3) cooperation; and (4) stewardship. We view the Magic community as both laboratory and demonstration. We’re aiming to ever more fully “walk our talk.”

Magic services to the general public include lectures and seminars about valuescience; life-planning workshops; swimming, running, bicycling, and hatha yoga instruction; youth mentoring; mediation; community organizing; planting and caring for trees and other vegetation; water- and land-management planning and advocacy; neighborhood design; and publishing.

Though few in numbers, we address diverse issues at many levels and in an integrated way. We do groundbreaking research, results of which we’ve published in top-tier scientific journals. We also perform hands-on demonstration projects. For example, we’ve established thousands of native oaks and tens of thousands of perennial understory plants on public-access open space nearby, and we’ve reconfigured streets in several neighborhoods to reduce short-cutting and vehicle speeds. Our research and demonstration projects have received national and international recognition for excellence in fields ranging from environmental law to dispute resolution.

We aim to strike a balance between utilizing the extraordinary resources of our Stanford University/Silicon Valley surroundings and maintaining contemplative, modest lives. We welcome opportunities to meet new people and to explore how we may interact to mutual benefit.


  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything), Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association, Organization, Resource, or Network, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming
  • Location: Suburban


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 0.5 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 3
  • Housing Provided: Rental, Work-exchange
  • Land owned by: Another form of Non-profit


  • Adult Members: 19
  • Child Members: 1
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes


  • Decision Making: By a board, council, group of elders, or leadership group
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments:


    labor, $, or mix

    $, labor, or mix

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Food produced locally: From 50-75%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Large Scale Kitchen, Gym or sports area, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, exceptionally.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Not a particularly spiritual or religious community
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments


Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)