Intentional Communities

Groups of people who choose to live together in close proximity--often on the same property--with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects shared core values.

I became an international networker last week. I didn’t mean to. But apparently unexpected things happen at Findhorn Community, in Scotland.

Community is an important buzzword these days. People recognize that social structures are deteriorating and that people want more of a sense of connection with others. Suburbia is almost perfectly designed to keep interaction to a minimum. Consumerism and capitalism are other important factors. We’re bombarded by messages promoting individual ownership, which is supported by laws and financial institutions.

Matthew Slater sums up his experiences visiting European ecovillages. He considers their strengths and presents questions aimed at addressing the lack of financing and true economic alternatives within the ecovillage movement.
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Damanhur Ecovillage in northern Italy provides a model of a new civilization and society based around cooperation and solidarity.
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In 2013 Acorn Community suffered fires to two of their buildings. The first was an accident in their steel building, home to their auto shop and clothing storage, among other things.

[Editor's note: this is the third entry in a series of articles on European ecovillages by Matthew Slater.  Parts one and two looked at Spain's Lakabe and Amalurra communities.  Watch for more stories in this series as Matthew continues his tour.]

Sieben Linden (Seven Linden trees) sits amongst forests, fields and sparsley populated villages in the plains of Northern Germany.

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No Bosses Here! a manual on working collectively and cooperatively (1981) by Vocations for Social Change Staff, Karen Brandow and Jim McDonnell

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[Editor's Note: These guidelines were originally written in 2010, and were updated in April, 2014.]

The principal conditions are: a group or community who have come together to do something together, either through working together or living together, or sharing some experience together.

Common basis of unity

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[Editor's Note: More than a few groups in the US use the ZEGG Forum. In January one practitioner of the process from the West coast, Teryani, reflected on how this is unfolding in her blog. Another on the East coast, Sarah Taub, responded in a long piece originally sent to a ZEGG Forum list. She revised it for inclusion here in GEO’s Intentional Community/Solidarity Economics theme.

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Re-imagining ‘church’

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