Panel — Wisdom from our Elders: Starting & Sustaining Intentional Community – On-line panel Tue 2/16/2021 from 1 to 3pm PST

Considering starting an intentional community? You’ll want to hear from these folks first.

Join us as key founders and longterm members of well-established communities share their decades of experience about starting and sustaining intentional community. You’ll discover the wisdom these elder communities in our network have to offer during presentations and panel discussion followed by Q&A.

Presenting Communities

LA Ecovillage

The Los Angeles Eco-Village

Presented by Lois Arkin, co-founder

Founded in 1993, the Los Angeles Eco-Village (LAEV) is a 40-50 member intentional community that lives within three multi-family buildings in a two block area in the East Hollywood and Koreatown neighborhoods. The LAEV IC demonstrates higher quality urban living at lower environmental impacts. They strive to inspire others to make more rapid and deeper changes in their living patterns.

Heathcote Community

Heathcote Community

Presented by Karen Stupski, longterm member

Founded in 1965, the Heathcote Community is an eight member intentional community located about 30 miles north of Baltimore, Maryland. Heathcote is a school, intentional community, and permaculture farm. Their mission is to learn, practice, and share tools and skills to create loving, just, and sustainable communities.

Ganas Community

Ganas Community

Presented by Michael Jonhson, longterm member

A small group who came to call themselves the “core group” founded Ganas on Staten Island, NY. They came together in 1980 with the shared intention to set up a living situation in which they were both the “mice” and the “lab coats” for 20 years. The core group explored why they and others have so much difficulty talking honestly with each other. It was not their purpose to become an intentional community. That evolved around them. They, along with some others, have managed and sustained it until now.

Liberty Village

Liberty Village

Presented by Martie Weatherly, founder

Founded in 1998, Liberty Village is a 20 (and growing) member intentional community located just outside of Frederick, Maryland. Liberty Village is committed to the creation and maintenance of a supportive, enriching, and purposeful community that fosters connection amongst themselves, others, and the Earth through simplicity, cooperation, and community service.

Event Registration

Get your ticket above to join this live workshop on Zoom and/or to receive the recording in case you can’t make it. Tuesday, February 16th from 1–3pm Eastern. See your local time.

Donation levels

Event Registration

Get your ticket above to join this live workshop on Zoom and/or to receive the recording in case you can’t make it. Tuesday, February 16th from 4–6pm Eastern. See your local time.

Donation levels

Starting & Sustaining Intentional CommunityLow-Income donation$ 10.00

CommunityStandard donation$ 20.00

Community Generous donation$ 45.00

Community+Register at

Co-op Conflict Support Webinar Wed., Feb. 17, 2021 at 2:30pm PST


 Join NASCO on Wednesday, February 17 at 2:30 pm PST, 3:30 MST, 4:30 CST, 5:30 EST for tools, lessons, and discussion prompts to address conflict within your co-op. In this webinar, we will discuss the limits of conflict resolution, review proactive processes and tools for navigating conflict, and provide additional resources.

Whether your co-op is just starting to develop guidelines for approaching conflict or has already established protocol, this workshop will support your members to unlearn harmful approaches and build an adaptable and transparent conflict support toolbox.
This webinar is free for NASCO members and pay-what-you-can for non-members. 

We will record the webinar. If you’re unable to attend live, please fill out a registration form to receive a link to the recording. 
Register Here

Starting an Intentional Community – 5 week course starts Feb 4, 2021

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

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. You’ll 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. With the guidance of Yana Ludwig, you can avoid the common pitfalls of community building and set your group on a path towards success!

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

Sponsored by the Foundation for Intentional Communities:

Complete Schedule for Course Starting on Feb 4, 2021


Collective Impact on-line Wed., Feb 17, 2021 from 5 to 7pm PST

Now, more than ever
Stand up and be a champion
Share your impact

Join us for a special Collective Impact, part of our 2021 series.

We’re tackling the subject of racial equity, with a focus on social injustices and the urgent need to become actively anti-racist.

We’ve assembled forward-thinking thought leaders for a discussion on racial equity in the Los Angeles area and beyond. Join us, offer your insights, and be part of the conversation to move us forward collectively.

Join us for the Collective Impact event View this email in your browser

WEDNESDAY, February 17, 5:00-7:00PM (PST)

Register in advance for this meeting:


In collaboration with:

California Air Resources Board

Designing in Color & Egan Simon Architecture

Buro Happold

Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge

Los Angeles City Planning Department (retired)

City of West Hollywood
Breaking the Silence of Design

LA Commons

Pueblo Planning

Healthy Building Network

City of West Hollywood

Schumetta Inc.

Angel City Urban Farms

Buro Happold is an international, integrated engineering consultancy operating in 24 locations worldwide, with 60 partners and over 1,900 employees including some of the world’s leading consultants and engineers. For over 40 years we’ve been building our reputation for delivering creative, value led building and city solutions for an ever changing world.

LinkedIn Twitter Instagram YouTube Website

BuroHappold’s quarterly public forum with a dozen experts in various fields with a passion for sustainability.   LA Eco-Village, with many other organizations, is a collaborator. Breakout group discussions. FREE   

The format of Collective Impact is Speed Talks with the goal of sharing thoughts and ideas from our forward-thinking community. Each speaker presents a 3 minute presentation (including a powerpoint), focused on their passions around sustainability (e.g. equity, economy, environment, resilience, carbon, the unhoused, etc.). You can see past Collective Impact presentations here. We are coining this event as a ‘Racial Equity Takeover’ in honor of Black History Month.

Free Rain Barrel Webinars plus other water consciousness workshops, recommended by the City of Los Angeles Watershed Protection Program: 5/13, 5/15/2021

Free Rain Barrel Webinars plus other water consciousness workshops, recommended by the City of Los Angeles Watershed Protection Program: 5/13, 5/15/2021

Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment’s Watershed Protection Program hosts free workshops from time to time.  Aside from learning rain barrel installation tips, participants will also learn about rebates for the purchase of a rain barrel. While the webinar is free to anyone to attend, City of L.A. residents who participate may have the opportunity to win a $25 gift card from a recognized home improvement store.       

  With many community members staying safe at home as a result of the       Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an increase among residents in DIY      projects that foster green practices. Installing rain barrels is a simple      way to conserve water, protect the environment and reduce water bills.

Sustainable gardening and landscaping expert, Mike Garcia, founder of     EnviroScape <, will host the FREE webinar. He will provide step-by-step instructions on how to install rain barrels  at your home, and also highlight how the collected rainwater can be used to irrigate gardens and minimize the amount of water flowing into storm drains and local waterways.

  Did you know?
            * Every day, more than 100 million gallons of urban runoff flows               through L.A.’s storm drain system and out to the ocean.

            * During storms, that figure can increase to tens of billions of               gallons of rainwater flowing through L.A.’s waterways and out to the              ocean.

           * During an average wet season when Los Angeles receives 15 inches of rainfall, a 1,000 square foot home has the potential to capture 9,600 gallons of rainwater that flows off the home’s roof. This rainwater can be used for irrigation purposes.

          L.A. Sanitation and Environment’s Watershed Protection Program encourages Angelenos to help reduce the amount of pollution flowing through local rivers and creeks to local beaches.

To learn more about the L.A. Watershed Protection Program, other programs of the L.A. Sanitation Dept., and future free rainbarrel workshops, go here:


NEW COHORT STARTS APR. 8, 2021: Courses,Upcoming Radio Calls and News from Gaia University

A new vision of higher education: Gaia U is an on-line university training leadership for ecosocial regeneration
As we celebrate the turn of the new year, it has also become apparent that the challenges highlighted by 2020 are not over yet. At Gaia U we have weathered the storms, and been able to provide guidance, inspiration and mentorship to our communities; in large part due to the designed-in resiliencies that have made us more adaptable to the pandemic and economic crisis. The design tools that we teach have served us well, but each day brings new challenges as we are reminded that we need to remain mindful, open and flexible if we are to remain helpful to this Great Turning.    More than ever, the past year has made me believe in the power of Gaia U and organizations like it to help communities transition by design. With this vision of uncertainty ahead and the tools of Gaia U in hand; I invite you, our community once more to this years February Cohort. I hope that many more of you will join us and pass it on to those who need it. I invite you to a journey we will co-design in reclaiming our power as citizens and custodians of our planet and communities; through getting in touch with our head, heart and hands capacities. 

I look forward to seeing and meeting many of you at our Gaia Radio Calls, our Open Houses and our courses. We have some exciting news to share in the coming weeks about our bigger projects unfolding! Indeed some of you reading this may become peers, collaborators and friends in this year. Many more of you will continue to quietly but effectively do the work of planting, healing, educating, designing, imagining and building which is so needed for our planet and our people. I give thanks for it all!

For a Regenerative Future!

Gaia U Outreach Coordinator

Gaia University – Transition by Design

4-Week Online Plant Medicine Class starts Feb 11, 2021 at The Birdhouse Los Angeles

A Brand New Plant Medicine Series from Elegant Alchemy
Exclusively for the BirdHouse!

The BirdHouse Community Apothecary Presents

Plant Speak, Winter 2021: Rooted
Working with the Earth & Medicine for Your Root
with Clinical Herbalist, Roxanne

Thursday evenings, starting February 11th, 7 – 8:30  PM PST

Suited for beginners and experienced plant lovers alike,
this virtual 4-week series will be held on Zoom.

This Winter we can create opportunities to fall in LOVE with the Earth.

As a participant, you’ll have access to the class recordings and the private Plant Speak online community where you can post pictures, ask questions, and get to know your classmates. 

  • Week 1: The Language of Plants
  • Week 2: The Root Chakra
  • Week 3: Medicinal Plants for Your Root
  • Week 4: More on Roots & Closing Circle

Cost (includes materials)
$115 for BirdHouse Members // $140 for non-members


More info on The Treehouse: Home – At The BirdHouse

Sociocracy for Ecovillages, Cohousing, and Other Kinds of Intentional Communities start Mon. Feb 8, 2021with Diana Leafe Christian

10-week online Sociocracy Webinar, Mondays, Feb 8 – Apr 12, 2021, with short watch-ahead videos & handouts, live sessions for practice. Register here. My mission is to help intentional communities get started successfully, function effectively, and achieve their goals.

I have learned what works well from founders and long-time members of more than 170 communities worldwide — ecovillages, cohousing neighborhoods, housing co-ops, shared group households, income-sharing communes, and more.

Here are two videos I’d love you to see. First, an 11-minute presentation, Three Aspects of a Healthy, Thrivng Community. Second, a 45-minute slide show (with slides embedded in the video) How Ecovillages Benefit the Wider Culture. My books are Creating a Life Together, (2003), (now translated into six languages) and Finding Community (2007) Here’s a 1-minute video from Bay Area Permaculture trainer Kevin Bayuk recommending my work.    

I teach workshops, offer consultations, and present keynote addresses and breakout workshops for conferences internationally. In 2017 I received the Fellowship for Intentional Community’s Kozeny Communitarian Award, a lifetime achievement award for contributions to the US communities movement.

     My workshops and webinars include Starting a Successful Ecovillage or Intentional Community, Helping Your Community Thrive, and Sociocracy for Intentional Communities. I’m an Associate Member of The Sociocracy Consulting Group (TSCG).  I also teach the N St. Consensus Method for groups who like to use consensus. 

I’m working on my third and forth books now: one on how groups can use Sociocracy for better meetings, get more done, be better organized, and feel more connected; the other on helping your community become more healthy and thrivng.

I’m a certified as a trainer for Gaia Education’s Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) course, a Board Member of GEN-US (Global Ecovillage Network-US) and formerly a board member of GENNA (GEN-North America). I contributed chapters to the Gaia Education/EDE books Beyond You and Me and Gaian Economics, and the GEN book Ecovillage: 1001 Ways to Heal the Planet. I’ve written articles for Communities magazine, GEN Newsletter, the Communities Directory, GEN Newsletter, Permaculture Activist, Permculture Design, and Permaculture magazines. I was editor of Communities magazine (1994-2007) and publisher of Ecovillages newsletter (2010-2012). I live at Earthaven Ecovillage in North Carolina.

Please email me here.

“Your workshop was fantastic! You truly are a master at taking complex material and making it simple — at putting together workshops, teaching, and facilitating. The way you engage participants is brilliant.” —Gaya Erlandson, co-founder, Lotus Lodge Community, North Carolina

“Your presentation at the Permaculture Voices conference was one of the best I’ve seen. . . . down-to-earth, humble, extremely knowledgeable, realistic, practical, insightful, inspiring (and funny). I learned so much!”  —Laura Allen, Los Angeles Eco-Village; author, The Water-Wise Home

“You are a sparkling trainer and a joy to work with. L.A. Eco-Village was energized for a year following your workshop.”  —Lois Arkin, co-founder, Los Angeles Eco-Village

“I love the way you teach — supporting the questioner and question, being totally honest, and keeping a smile and positive, hopeful attitude about everything!”  —Dave Henson, co-founder, OAEC Community, Sonoma County, California

I was riveted — your conference keynote was an awesome presentation. You hit the fundamental, untold truths about cohousing and decision-making.  I 100% recommend time with you as obligatory for any forming cohousing community.” —Mark Westcombe, Chairperson, UK Cohousing Network, and co-founder, Forge Bank Cohousing, Lancaster, England

Please join us for the fifth of eight Zoom Conversations with Jim Schenk, founder of Enright Ridge Urban Eco Village Cincinnati, Ohio and Jan Spencer for A Preferred Future on March 18, 2021 at 3pm PST plus others thru Apr. 29, 2021

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 895 5367 3085
Passcode: 990252


Jim Schenk
Enright Ridge
Urban Eco Village  Cincinnati, Ohio
Mar 18 Thursday
3 PM Pacific
6 PM Easte

Bio, Enright Ridge, various projects, inspiration, outlookwebsite Enright Ridge
videos of Enright Ridge
  Sunil Patel
Patchwork Farms
Asheville, NC
Mar 26 Friday
1 PM Pacific
4 PM Eastern

Bio, Patchwork Farms, local food projects in Asheville, inspiration, outlookwebsite Patchwork Urban Farms
video Patchwork Urban Farms
Jan Spencer
Suburban Permaculture
Eugene, Oregon

Apr 22, Thursday
5 PM Pacific
8 PM Easter
Bio, transforming suburbia, eco footprints, paradigm shift, inspiration, outlookwebsite Suburban Permaculture
Series of 7 zoom presentations
video tour of Jan’s place
Panel Conversation
Lois Arkin
Jim Schenk
Jan Spencer
Bob Randall
Apr 29, Thursday
5 PM Pacific
8 PM Eastern
Panelists interact, Positive stories, challenges, inspirations, outlook  Join Zoom Meeting LOG IN GOOD FOR ALL CONVERSATIONS Meeting ID: 895 5367 3085
Passcode: 990252

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