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What’s going on in the world of intentional community? with Sky Blue from FIC – Friday, March 22, 2019 at 8:00 pm (veggie potluck at 7pm)

The intentional communities movement is growing and evolving. New, innovative communities are expanding our conception of what they can look like and why they matter. Communities that have been around for decades are helping us articulate the lessons learned and how they can be applied. A growing number of organizations supporting a range of regenerative communities are coming together to collaborate, and intentional communities are increasingly finding their place in a much larger movement of movements working towards a cooperative, just, and sustainable world. Come for a presentation, Q&A, and discussion with Sky Blue, Executive Director of the Fellowship of Intentional Community.


Sky Blue

Friday, March 22, 2019

Veggie potluck 7:00 to 8:00pm
(please bring your own non-throw-away eating ware to make this a zero waste event)

Talk, discussion, Q&A: 8:00 to 10:00pm

117 Bimini Place
Community Room
L.A. Eco-Village
Los Angeles 90004

$5 to $10 sliding scale (no one turned away)

Reservations please:
213-738-1254 or

About Sky
Sky Blue has spent the last 20 years living in, working for, and networking and organizing intentional communities, cooperatives, and community organizations. He works as the Executive Director for the Fellowship for Intentional Community and is a founder and core steward of the Global Ecovillage Network of North America Alliance. He’s visited dozens of communities and cooperatives, in the US and in Europe, consulted with a variety of groups, and has helped organize Communities Conferences at Twin Oaks, on the West Coast, and in the Southwest.

See Sky’s blog here

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Global Ecovillage Conference (GEN) Europe Conference – July 10 – 14, 2018 – Lilleoru, Estonia

Conference theme:  The Wisdom of Conscious Communities”

Including July 10, 2018: Co-Creation Day: How can we make Estonia the first organic country in the world.

The conference will bring together 500 sustainable experts, practitioners and visionaries from all over the world.

Go here for conference details:

For more information on the Global Ecovillage Network, go here

If you live in the Los Angeles area and are planning to go to this conference, please let me know:
Lois – 213/738-1254



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Regional Cohousing Conference in Boulder CO April 20-22, 2018

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Sociocracy for Intentional Communities with Diana Leafe Christian – Sat-Sun-Mon 5/19, 5/20, 5/21/2018*



All three days: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, May 19, 20, 21 2018:  
9am to 5:30pm with ample breaks and lunch break.  Write Lois for a summary outline of the three days, if you are considering attending:

Lots of small group work and playfulness.  Guaranteed fun workshop.

All three days:

Breakfast:  Coffee, tea, fruit served 8:30 to 9am
Lunch on your own from 12:30 to 1:30:  A list of good inexpensive restaurants within a five minute walk will be provided or bring a brown bag and have a relaxing lunch in the gardens.

117 Bimini Place – Community Room #201
Los Angeles 90004
Los Angeles Eco-Village

$200 to $300 sliding scale

Please let us know if members from your  group plan to attend:
Lois <> or 213-738-1254

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED and space is limited:
Contact Lois at 213/738-1254 or

About Diana:
Diana Leafe Christian is an author, former editor of Communities magazine, and an international speaker and workshop trainer on starting successful new ecovillages, how existing communities can be healthy and thriving, and community self-governance. She now suggests communities not use pure consensus, but rather use a modification like the “N St. Consensus Method,” or use Sociocracy, a relatively new self-governance and decision-making method.  She lives in an off-grid homestead at Earthhaven Ecovillage in western North Carolina, USA.

She’s the author of:
Creating a Life Together Practical Tools for Starting Ecovillages and Intentional Communities (New Society Publishers 2003)
Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community (New Society Publishers 2007)

Here’s a 1-minute video in which a Permaculture trainer highly recommends her work.
Comments of community members using Sociocracy successfully . . .* “People are happier and more satisfied and getting more things done.”
Laurie Nelson, Pioneer Valley Cohousing, MA* “People tend to have more energy after a meeting than before.”
—Hope Horton Hart’s Mill Ecovillage, NC* “We’ve made more decisions in the past two months than in the past two years!”
—Davis Hawkowl, Pioneer Valley Cohousing * “It’s very clear what I commit to do; both inspiration & accountability go up.”
Bill Baue, Pioneer Valley

* “We now organize committees in a way that we were never able to do before.”
—Marie Pulito, Rocky Corner Cohousing, CT

* “Information flows better, and we have better follow-up to our decisions; our meetings are faster and lighter and have a rhythm that feels satisfying.”
Anamaria Aristizabal, Aldeafeliz Ecovillage, Colombia

* “People feel heard and supported.” —Mike April, Pioneer Valley

* “A visitor said she’d never seen a community meeting be so effective, efficient, and fun!”
—Hope Horton, Hart’s Mill Ecovillage

* “I would never have joined the community if we didn’t use Sociocracy; It’s our saving grace.”
—Kreel Hutchison, Baja BioSana Ecovillage, Mexico

 How my Sociocracy trainings are different

Since 2012 I’ve been teaching Sociocracy for intentional communities — and visiting communities using it and I’ve learned what works well for people to learn Sociocracy effectively.

The workshop provides enough instruction to get started in using Sociocracy in forming or existing intentional communities or member-led groups, with ongoing help & training materials.

The workshop now includes:

* Simultaneous visual/verbal presentations with colorful, step-by-step drawings.

* Many small-group discussions for a shared learning process.

* Lively “Hobbit Skits” to introduce the Sociocracy meeting processes by seeing, hearing, and doing.

* Laughter and fun.

* Large wall posters of each meeting process. (I provide templates of these for each group in the workshop to make these wall posters for their group.)

* Abundant practice sessions “to learn in your bones and cells”

* A comprehensive 45-page handout booklet for workshop review and reference.

* All training materials in a Google.doc: the entire handout booklet, workshop exercises, templates for each wall poster, scripts for each Hobbit skit, and many additional handouts.

* Ongoing consultations by phone, Skype, or email about how  workshop participants can implement and use Sociocracy. (No charge; included in the workshop fee.)

     * “I got so much more than I expected — a solid understanding of how Sociocracy works and how to begin teaching and implementing it in my community. I feel so empowered! Your workshop is a 13 on a scale of 1-10.”   —Jana Amsellem, Highland Lake Cove Cohousing, North Carolina, 2017

   * “Your fabulous, fun, and effective workshop was so valuable for our group — I didn’t want to miss a word! I recommend your workshop to anyone curious about using Sociocracy in their community.” Gale Tolan, Highland Lake Cove Cohousing, NC, 2017  

Three Necessary Conditions for learning Sociocracy

As I see it, Sociocracy has seven important, mutually beneficial and mutually reinforcing parts, which we learn in the workshop. Like the design of a bicycle or a human body, each of the parts helps all the other parts function properly — all parts are needed!

After teaching Sociocracy and observing it being used well (and sadly, not so well) in various intentional communities since 2012, I now see three necessary conditions for learning and and using Sociocracy effectively:

(1) Everyone learns it. (Those learning it first help train other community members, ideally using the workshop’s training materials and with my ongoing consultation help.)

(2) Use all seven parts.

(3) Use it correctly! (Don’t combine it with consensus — this doesn’t work!)

 I’ve also learned that it takes a three-day workshop (not two days) to learn Sociocracy well enough to use it well in an in-house study group or in the whole community if everyone is trained.

If you can only attend two days of the workshop, please attend the first two. Please have at least one group member attend the third day, so your group can learn all seven parts.

 * First day: Basics of Sociocracy, including why building feedback loops into every proposal and clear aims for each circle is crucial. Circles & double links. Vision, Mission, Domains, & Aims. If you can attend only one day of the workshop, the first day is the one to attend.     

* Second day: Consent Decision-Making and how feedback loops, clear aims, and what objections are and are not makes it work. Implementing Sociocracy — in-house study groups, proposal to try Sociocracy for 18-24 months, more training for members, member survey. 

* Third day: Proposal-Forming, and Selecting People for Roles (Elections). Overview of and resources for learning more about the last two Sociocracy meeting processes: Role-Improvement Feedback and Consenting to Circle Members. Policy Meetings Operations Meetings, four roles of a circle in Policy Meetings, logbooks/websites.

* “Quite simply the finest workshop I’ve ever attended.  Practical training with a hilarious sense of humor. —Dennis Gay, 2013. Champlain Valley Cohousing, Vermont  *

“The way Diana engages workshop participants is brilliant. She’s a master at taking making complex material and making it simple. —Gaya Erlandson, Lotus Lodge, NC 2012


In Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of
the Los Angeles Eco-Village

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Third Annual West Coast Communities Conference – September 29 – October 1, 2017 in Escondido CA

Conference Theme:  Thriving, Not Just Surviving – Fiscal Health in Community

Featuring Keynote Speaker: Diana Leafe Christian, author of Creating a Life Together

Taking off from last year’s theme of economic justice, we are organizing this year’s topics around the subject of equitable and sustainable income and affordability.  We have workshops

Workshop topics and speakers include:
– Financially feasible ways to start Community and ongoing affordability
– Organizing for affordability in less able neighborhoods
– Intentional Business (IB): Kinds of businesses that may be suitable with Intentional Community
– A look at Worker Cooperatives (Collectives)
– Fairness of equitable effort: Everyone pulling their own weight while respecting those less able
– Balancing Intra (local) Economy and Extra (global) Economy
– Alternative Trade Systems: LETS, TimeBank, HourWorld, etc.
– Sources of Funding

The event will be held near Escondido, CA, off Highway 15 between Los Angeles and San Diego.

Click here for Reservations

Community founders and other experts in cohousing and other kinds of intentional communities in California will share what works well, especially in community financial and economic health.

Diana Leafe Christian’s keynote address will be on “Recipe for a Thriving Community: Establishing an Internal Economy with Social Enterprises, Community Labor Systems, and More.”


Workshop presenters include Lois Arkin, founder of Los Angeles Eco-Village and longtime ecovillage activist; FIC Executive Director and longtime Twin Oaks Community member Sky Blue; cohousing activists Raines Cohen and Betsy Morris; and Jonah Mesritz, superstar expert on finding and financing community property and cofounder of Emerald Village Ecovillage.

Panel discussions of experts on healthy communities, and  on community financing, and Diana Leafe Christian’s breakout workshop on Sociocracy for cohousing and other kinds of intentional communities.

Call for Volunteers:  Help make this year’s event even better.  There are several roles we can use help with.  People are needed for registration, volunteer coordination, website administration, among others.  Those who would like to get involved or for more information, please contact:

Contact Us: Conference Email; Conference FaceBook Page; South-West Intentional Community Alliance (SWICA) website; SWICA Email

Organized by SWICASouth West IC Alliance,
Fellowship for Intentional Community
Cohousing California
Terra Madre Gardens
Sustainable Living Institute

Event organizers:
Werner Kontara  (949) 551-2800
Steve Fuji, SWICA Committee Head – (505) 715-1418

Los Angeles Area Intentional Community Summit – Sunday, April 23, 2017

We’re putting on the second Los Angeles Intentional Community Summit this Sunday!
It’s for all folks who live in or are interested in community living to get together and create a larger network, to learn about how other communities operate, discuss the issues that affect community life, etc.

Let’s eat some snacks and drink some drinks and get to know one another and our city’s communities. 

Where:     Sugar Shack, 4402 W Pico Blvd, LA CA 90019
When:      Sunday, April 23 at 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Bring:       Veggie Snacks and/or drinks to share + non-throwaway plates, utensils, cup

This is a leave no trace event

Please read details to make sure you’re a fit for this event.

 Please share it with anyone who might be interested!
Peter Dean
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National Cohousing Conference May 19-21, 2017, Nashville TN

THE 2017 NATIONAL COHOUSING CONFERENCE promises an amazing lineup of offerings, from innovative approaches to developing new and affordable communities, to potent ways to enhance our vibrant communities.WE WILL COVER cohousing basics as well as hot topics in sustainability and resiliency in both living green through energy efficiency, shared resources, and greener building, to how community sustains us for measurably healthier lifestyles.

The program will offer a tantalizing soup to nuts menu of session choices—something for everyone: those who are living it, those who are developing it, and those who are just dreaming about it. And with all of that there will still be plenty of time for conversations in the hallways, tours, and fun!

For more information, click on the links in the green box, or visit 2017 Conference Questions & Answers.

 more info

 2017 National Cohousing Conference: Building Resilient Sustainable CommunitiesRegister Now!

THE 2017 NATIONAL COHOUSING CONFERENCE promises an amazing lineup of offerings, from innovative approaches to developing new and affordable communities, to potent ways to enhance our vibrant communities.

WE WILL COVER cohousing basics as well as hot topics in sustainability and resiliency in both living green through energy efficiency, shared resources, and greener building, to how community sustains us for measurably healthier lifestyles.

The program will offer a tantalizing soup to nuts menu of session choices—something for everyone: those who are living it, those who are developing it, and those who are just dreaming about it. And with all of that there will still be plenty of time for conversations in the hallways, tours, and fun!

For more information, click on the links in the green box, or visit 2017 Conference Questions & Answers.


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A weekend about Ecovillages and Sociocracy – Friday, March 3 – Sun March 5, 2017at L.A. Eco-Village. Attend any of the 3 events. Follow your passions

Diana Leafe Christian is author of Creating a Life Together and a well-known speaker and workshop trainer in the communities and ecovillage movements. Three events with Diana coming up: Friday, March 3rd at 7 pm – slideshow, How Ecovillages Worldwide Have Influenced the Wider Culture.     Sat, March 4, 10am-4 pm overview workshop, Introduction to Sociocracy for Ecovillages and Intentional Communities. Sociocracy, which means “governance by peers & colleagues” (also called Dynamic Governance), is a highly effective governance structure and decision-making method Diana now highly recommends instead of consensus.     Sun March 5 from 2pm to 6pm workshop on The Three Aspects of a Healthy Thriving Community                                                                                                                                                                   

Come to one or all three events.  See what fits your passions.
RSVP required for all events
: or 213/738-1254

All events will be held at 117 Bimini Pl, Los Angeles 90004 in the Los Angeles Eco-Village:

Diana Leafe Christian and friend
Diana Leafe Christian and friend

Here are the options:

Friday, March 3, 2017  from 7 to 10pm:
Slideshow & talk about Ecovillages around the world: How Ecovillages Worldwide Have Influenced their Wider Culture.  Diana’s tales and stories of beautiful ecovillages on four continents, many of which she’s visited, and how they are beneficially affecting their region, their country, or the Planet.  See reviews here.

Fee:  $5 to $20 sliding scale.
RSVP to: or 213-738-1254

Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 10am to 4pm*:

Introduction to Sociocracy for Ecovillages and Other Kinds of Intentional Communities. An overview of this effective governance structure and decision-making method, and one process, Selecting People for Roles (Sociocracy elections), a good-vibe meeting technique you can learn and use in your group.  Learn more here

Fee $70 to $90 (sliding scale).  Note that fees from been lowered for this event.
RSVP: or 213-738-1254

Please note that this is an introduction to, or review of Sociocratic principles and practices.

*Lunch break from 12:30 to 1:30pm: bring your own brownbag or visit one of our many “around-the-corner” cafes.



Sunday, March 5, 2017 from 2pm to 6pm:

The Three Aspects of a Healthy Thriving Community. Includes eight antidotes to structural conflict, and overviews of:
1 – the 19 steps people typically take to start successful ecovillages and intentional communities
2 – community vision and mission, and
3 – a clear, thorough membership process.

Learn more here

Fee: $60 to $75 sliding scale.  Note that fees for this event have been raised.
RSVP to or 213-738-1254

Reservations required for all events: or 213/738-1254
All three events held at Los Angeles Eco-Village, 117 Bimini Pl, Los Angeles 90004

Pay at the door (the old fashioned way); if paying by check, make out to CRSP

More about Diana here:  Popular lecturer and trainer on diverse aspects of ecovillages, cohousing and intentional communities,  Diana makes a rare visit to Southern California.

Author of Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities and Finding Community: How to join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community, Diana is also the former editor of  “Communities Magazine.”

Diana’s expertise on community decision making and governance processes has brought international attention to  “sociocracy.”  Sociocracy is a governance for peers and colleagues using feedback loops to help an organization continuously improve.







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Senior Cohousing: Making it Happen – On-line course Wednesdays, October 12 – December 14, 2016

On-line course
Study Group 1: Training the Trainers brings together professionals involved in cohousing and senior cohousing, as well as seniors who want to live in high functioning communities. This instructional workshop offers experiential learning on aging issues and demonstrates the logistics of creating a supportive cohousing community. The secret to a successful community is participation and those who take this class will learn how to organize and motivate groups to take an active role in their lives.
Here’s what one past participant has to say:

“I was very fortunate to participate in Study Group 1: Training the Trainers… I feel well equipped to train others. I also feel the program impacted me personally in profound ways… Chuck is passionate about cohousing and you won’t be disappointed at the wonderful information they have to share!” – Sue Smith

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