Meredith Medland of Living Green interviews Diana Leafe Christian on the subject of Ecovillages and Intentional Communities in this 24-minute podcast.
Diana was the editor of Communities Magazine for 14 years and is now the editor of the Ecovillages online newsletter. She is the author of two books Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community and Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities.
Diana shares her immense experience of community living and the communities movement in this interview. Here’s some highlights:
I feel like I’m in a network of a lot of brothers and sisters and cousins. I feel like I’m living inside of a family of likeminded people going towards the goals of learning how to live more ecologically and economically and socially sustainably, and also we’re learning, we’re teaching what we learn to others through classes and workshops.
I got interested in intentional communities because I, like thousands and thousands of people across the country, this is in the early 90’s, I began to feel like something was missing and I finally could feel my way to identify that what it was, was community.
Diana goes on to describe “13 kinds of Intentional Communities” including ecovillages, cohousing, communes, christian communities, other spiritual communities, retreat centers, student co-ops, and more.
She even explains how to find the community oyu are looking for:
Well, when you’re checking communities out on the internet, and the website you need to know about is directory.ic.org, where you can look up any community by its name alphabetically or you can go to any state or province or country and look up the community. It’s North America based, so you’ll find most communities in the US and Canada, and then you can read the listing about the community and you can read their website if they’ve got one. Here’s some things to look for: does the community have a lot of people? Do they have land and have they been there for a number of years? That tells me that they actually exist as a community. Read their mission and purpose. Is it in alignment with yours? Could you make a living there? Is it in the part of the country that you’re interested in? Is there internal community finances, one that you like, income sharing, independent income? How would you make a living? What are the annuals dues and fees? What’s the joining fee? How can you, can you afford it?
Diana gives a vision of the future where community is much more common:
Meredith asks: If you look ahead thirty years from today, what kind of transition and awakenings and new emergings do you think are going to be happening in the co-housing and intentional communities based?
Diana Leafe Christian: Well I think that many, many more people will be living in various kinds of intentional communities, including ecologically oriented ones like Eco Villages in cities and towns out in the country, I think that income sharing communities and independent income communities will be everywhere, and food co-ops and worker owned co-ops will be everywhere. People will be getting around I would say by bicycle and donkey cart and not using petroleum and using all kinds of transportation methods from olden times, people will be growing their own foods in urban areas, on their rooftops, on their balconies and in public parks in the median strips just like in Havana today, and people will be growing most of their food in towns and in rural areas because of the industrial shifts without petroleum.
This podcast is a great overview of intentional communities and a great listen. There are also a ton of community resources in Diana’s bio on the site.
Listen to the Ecovillage interview with Diana Leafe Christian (also includes a full transcript).