Starting an Intentional Community

5-Week Online Course | Starts June 3

Get ready for the experience of a lifetime as you learn with participants from around the world who are endeavoring to create ecovillage, cohousing, coliving and permaculture communities. With the guidance of Yana Ludwig, you can avoid the common pitfalls of community building and set your group on a path towards success! (Please note: This course is recommended as the beginning course for students wanting to start an intentional community.)

This is the foundational online course for anyone endeavoring to start an intentional community.

Receive dedicated support and expert advice to guide you through the steps necessary to create the community of your dreams. Whether you are just getting a group together or already have a piece of property to develop, starting a community has never been more compelling for than it is right now, in a time of crisis. Don’t waste time reinventing the wheel or stumbling in the dark. Yana Ludwig will guide you through the steps you’ll need to take and the practical aspects you need to consider to make your community project thrive.

Key Course Outcomes

  • Clarity on the reasons to start a community… and not to
  • Understand the breadth of work involved with a start-up
  • Craft a good vision statement
  • Key traits of successful community founders
  • Decision-making, conflict resolution, and membership process design considerations
  • 15 spectrums that help define what kind of a community you are creating
  • Social dynamics and skill development for healthy culture
  • Economic choices for sustainability and group cohesion
  • Key questions for creating a lasting community
  • Learning how to attract new members
  • Developing property search criteria
  • Legal considerations and business planning basics

Meet Your Instructor

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, and a host on the community’s podcast, Solidarity House.

The Online Course Experience

Live Interactive Sessions

Each week will feature a 2-hour live class with the course instructor so you can learn in a dynamic setting and get your questions answered directly. Get ready for interactive presentations, group discussion, small cohort activities and personalized support. Plus, each week there will be bonus sessions with guest speakers and panelists.

Journey with a Cohort

Join participants from around the world who are embarking on creating community for better living and more connection. You’ll have opportunities to network with like-minds and develop a network of support to carry your community project forward. Welcome to your global community of communities.

Deep Learning

Participants will have access to a private online space to connect with the instructor and other students through a discussion forum. Each week new learning materials will be uploaded to the space, including videos, worksheets and articles. You’ll be able to watch previously recorded sessions and stay on track with your weekly assignments.

Loved by Community Builders

Very well organized and extremely informative! I wish I would have taken this before starting our journey in creating a community. It might have saved us some time fumbling around in the dark.

– Tianna Frank

I found Yana’s presentation super valuable for community starters and people planning to get more familiar with the topic. I really liked the inspiring positive attitude from Yana regarding living in community, very motivating! Thank you so much!

– Mark Patterson

Yana is knowledgeable and well qualified to introduce people to a comprehensive overview of the adventures, potentials and challenges of joining and/or starting an intentional community. Being a part of the sessions was a true experience of being part of an international learning cohort. 

– S. Tomson

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

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

Course Registration

Starting an Intentional Community


Learn the fundamentals of starting and growing an intentional community, such as an ecovillage, cohousing, coliving or permaculture community.

Duration: 5 Weeks (3+ hours/week)


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.