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West Coast Communities Conference Thursday Sept. 29 – Sun. Oct 2, 2016 Northern California

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Thursday Sept 29 ― Sunday Oct 2
at Groundswell Institute a queer ecovillage and retreat center
2 hours north of the San Francisco CA Bay Area
Co-Sponsored by the Fellowship for Intentional Community

West Coast Communities Conference 2015 LogoWest Coast Communities Conference: Racial & Economic Justice

Get details and register here

Whether old hat to intentional community or just diving in for the first time, join us at the second annual West Coast Communities Conference to get the boost in skills, connections, and wisdom that will take your engagement to the next West Coast Communities Conference - Assembly level. A blend of workshops and interactive social activities, we will go deep into the topics that matter most to our communities while also making time for joyous connections.

Inspired by the Communities Conference that takes place at Twin Oaks in Virginia each year, and organized with sponsorship from the Fellowship for Intentional Communities (FIC) and Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC), this event promises to be a brilliant convergence of those who see the vital role community has to play in the trying times we live in. Anyone with interest or experience in worker cooperatives, rural communes, artist collectives, or any other kind of communal enterprise is invited to participate.

West Coast Communities Conference - Chatting The focus for this year’s conference will be on racial and economic justice. These struggles remain present in our lives and more evident than ever – so, we feel it is essential for us to focus on these issues within the communities movement. We have tremendous potential to be leaders in confronting racial and economic disparities, and we also have a long way to go before our own movement reflects the diversity of our country. Continued discussion is key, so we are encouraging all presenters to find ways to bring these subjects into their workshops or activities and for WCCC participants to come with both ideas and open minds.

We will be limiting attendance to around 100 in order to minimize impact on our land, so please register to ensure your spot. Registration fees are $100 for tenting and $150 for cabins, which includes access to all programs and three scrumptious hot meals a day. In addition, there are day passes for those who don’t wish to stay overnight. Plentiful scholarship and work trade options are available – we do not want economic status to be a barrier to attending this event.

Register Now!

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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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North American Students of Cooperation Conference Nov 11-13, 2016 in Ann Arbor MI

Over 400 participants will converge on Ann Arbor, Michigan from November 11th through 13th, 2016 to share ideas, learn new skills, and look at issues affecting the cooperative movement worldwide.

Since 1977, NASCO’s Cooperative Education & Training Institute has been widely recognized as one of the most important training and networking opportunities available to members, directors, staff and managers of group-equity cooperatives.

The annual NASCO Institute is always a one-of-a-kind opportunity to network with hundreds of cooperative leaders and employers, to caucus about pressing issues, and to work on building an inclusive and accessible cooperative movement.

Conference registration and scholarship applications will open on September 1st. If you have any questions about NASCO Institute, please contact Morgan Crawford at

Apply to Lead a NASCO Institute Session

NASCO is inviting proposals for presentations at this year’s Institute. The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, August 19, 2016. Proposals will be evaluated on a rolling basis, so apply early! Final programming decisions will be made by the end of August.

This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and sharpen your skills as a cooperative educator. Also, presenters are eligible for conference travel and registration compensation!

To apply, and for more information, please see our website.

Conference Theme: Cooperative Resilience

As the wealth gap continues to grow and our systems of production and consumption are increasingly revealed to be unsustainable, people around the world are building alternative structures to a degrading and dehumanizing economy.

Cooperatives are robust and resilient organizations that succeed in times of crisis. Rather than prioritizing shareholder profits, they are driven by the needs and desires of their member-owners. As they provide necessary goods and services, they can provide hope that a just and sustainable economic system rooted in democracy and solidarity is possible.

In service of their members, cooperatives provide dignified jobs and business ownership to undocumented and low-income people, create access to healthy food in communities that have been neglected by grocery corporations, keep money local by providing communities with strong financial services and access to capital, unite small farmers banding together to sell their goods at market, and drive away the predatory landlord by providing affordable resident-controlled housing.

This year’s Institute focuses on the innovative and resilient nature of cooperatives, and how these qualities are essential to adapt in a changing world as we build the next economic systems.

Keynote: Changing the World in a World that is Changing

As we see social alienation, economic crisis, international contention, and the growing social movements in response to it all, many of us are moved to try to change the world. But, to state the obvious, the world is not just sitting there waiting for us to change it. In fact, the world is changing every day and we cannot stop it. The challenge, then, is how can we change a world that is already in motion.

In his keynote presentation, Ed Whitfield will explore how we go about changing the world for the better, recognizing the motion and counter-motion all around us. In particular, Ed will talk about how the access to tools and resources is the key to the power to direct change along the path we care about, toward a wholesome, equitable, sustainable and just world.

Ed Whitfield is a social critic, writer, and community activist who has lived in Greensboro, North Carolina since 1970. He is co-founder and co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC).

Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Ed’s political activism started with attending Little Rock Central High School and beginning to do anti-war work as a teenager. Ed retired after 30 years in industry before becoming involved with philanthropy. He now speaks and writes on issues of cooperatives and economic development while continuing to be interested in issues of war and peace, as well as education and social responses to racism. Ed serves on the boards of the New Economy Coalition and The Working World.

While he spends much of his time practicing bass guitar, Ed can often be found playing jazz or blues flute along with singer-songwriters and bands in Greensboro and wherever he goes in the world. He recently won the “Plays the Most Instruments” award at Greensboro’s long-running Open Mic night.

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The Communities Conference at Twin Oaks, Virginia, Sept 2-5, 2016

The Communities Conference is held Labor Day weekend, Sept 2 – 5, at Twin Oaks Community in Louisa County, Central Virginia.  The event hosts between 150 and 200 participants, including people who are members of, interested in, and new to intentional communities and other kinds of cooperative living and working.

The focus of the event is on intentional communities, although workshops sometimes cover a broader array of topics in cooperative and alternative lifestyles, economics, and organizing. If the workshop is not specific to intentional communities the presenter will  address the topic in relation to intentional communities.

The conference site is rustic and mostly outdoors.

More info about Twin Oaks here:

Next GEN – North America gathering

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National Cohousing Tour Day – Saturday, April 30, 2016 at L.A. Eco-Village and throughout the U.S.

Saturday, April 30, 2016: Special Abbreviated tours scheduled at:
10:30am     and      1:00pm     and       2:30pm

These free tours are in conjunction with the National Cohousing
Open House.  Reservations please:  213/738-1254 or

Give us  your time preference. You will also have an opportunity to hang
out for discussions with Eco-Villagers.

Bring a brown bag lunch and hang out before or after your tour time.


“You Are Here Intentional Community Los Angeles” Forum, Thursday October 29, 2015 at 7pm at L.A. Eco-Village

Join You Are Here: Intentional Community Los Angeles and Lois Arkin, founder of the Los Angeles Eco-Village, for a panel discussion of what works and what doesn’t, in intentional communities.

Current and former residents of communities in Southern California will share their experiences with important issues like governance, shared space, decision-making, getting along, privacy, food and sharing.

Bring your questions and curiosities, this will be your chance to get a sense of what it might be like to live in a functioning community, navigate challenges and avoid common pitfalls.

The Los Angeles Eco-Village is one of the city’s largest and longest-running intentional community.

Date and Time:     Thursday, October 29, 2015 from 7 to 10pm
Location:                Los Angeles Eco-Village, 117 Bimini Place, Lobby,
Los Angeles 90004  directions
No Charge:             Donations accepted
Reservations or more info: or 213/738-1254 or just come.
Light Refreshments:                    Bring something to share if you’d like.
More info on “You Are Here Intentional Community


Elektra Grant,  Lecturer Otis College of Art and Design and associate of the The Regenerative Co-op of Pomona, an intentional community of approximately 30 residents distributed among 4 homes.  The Community strives to incorporate sustainable and regenerative principles in an urban/suburban environment. Most members are students or recent graduates of various local colleges, including organizers, teachers, technicians, students, business people, philosophers and artists. The group has vegetarian community meals 5 nights a week, uses solar power, and maintains a gray water system, edible landscaping and organic gardens. Community decisions are consensed upon during monthly community meetings. In addition to hosting skill shares throughout the year, the Community organizes a Sustainability Seminar every Spring with workshops and speakers on topics from solar power and making bio-diesel to activism and social justice.

Watch for more details.


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Diana Leafe Christian gives a public talk on “The Three Aspects of a Healthy, Thriving Community,” Monday. October 5, 2015 at 7:00pm in Westchester CA

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.”

Tonight,  we ponder the topic of how to create “community glue” to generate feelings of gratitude, how to develop good communication skills, and how to set up effective project management within a community.

Diana’s expertise on community decision making and governance processes has brought international attention to  “sociocracy,”  which means governance by peers and colleagues using feedback loops to help an organization continuously improve.

More about Diana here:


Date/Time:          Monday, October 5, 2015 at 7pm
Location:              Holy Nativity Parish
6700 W. 83rd Street
Westchester (Los Angeles) CA 90045
Suggested Donation:      $15
No reservations required

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Restoring Water and Healing Love as Keys for a New Culture, Thursday, September 24th, 7:00 pm at Agape International Spiritual Center, Culver City, CA 90230

A rare opportunity to meet and hear some of the pioneering internationally renown people  from Tamera Ecovillage in Portugal plus the “Water Gandhi” from India.  Details below.

Thursday, September 24th, 7:00 pm
Agape International Spiritual Center
5700 Buckingham Parkway
Culver City, CA 90230
Tickets in advance:  $15 at Eventbrite. Or for $20 at the door.

Our ability to create a future worth living essentially depends on rediscovering our sacred relationship with two basic sources of life: healthy water and vivid love. What water is to nature, love is to humanity. Our modern culture has been following systems incompatible with the true nature of both water and love. Today’s world is marked by progressive desertification and thirst – in nature as well as within people’s hearts – which poses a serious threat to our common future. However, this is not the way our future has to be!

We are excited to announce that two global pioneers will be speaking in Los Angeles, who have been working for decades on revolutionary answers for these pressing crises, showcasing concrete models for the future:

Rajendra Singh, also known as “Water Gandhi.” is a well-known water conservationist from Rajasthan, India. Using a traditional method for retaining rainwater, Rajendra led a popular initiative that transformed approximately 8,600 square km of India’s Thar Desert into fertile land, providing a hundred thousand people with a decent living, and causing dried-up rivers to flow throughout the year again. As a result of this project, regional weather patterns changed causing overall precipitation to increase and extreme storms and droughts to dramatically decrease. The principles used are not limited to India, but tackle the global roots of our current water crisis and could be applied in California as well. Honoring his outstanding initiative, Rajendra just received the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize, an award commonly referred to as “the Nobel Prize for water.”

To him, water is more than only a chemical substance; he sees it as an ensouled being with which we can communicate.

Sabine Lichtenfels, is peace activist, spiritual teacher and co-founder of Tamera Peace Research Center in Portugal, where she heads the “Global Love School.” She is a source of profound feminine wisdom and peace knowledge, grounded in nearly forty years of experience co-leading one of the most radical experiments in community building and healing love of our times. She is the author of many books (among them Temple of Love and Grace. Pilgrimage for a Future without War) and has led international peace pilgrimages through Israel-Palestine and Colombia. Sabine was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as one of the “1000 Women for Peace” in 2005.

The event will be introduced and accompanied by Benjamin von Mendelssohn, director of The Grace Foundation and one of the next-generation leaders of Tamera, offering a brief insight into the “Healing Biotopes Plan,” the global peace strategy of the heart of Tamera’s work. Operating in the frame of holistic sciences, the plan starts from the premise that a few highly complex model centers around the world might suffice in replacing the informational matrix of violence that steers this planet within a relatively short time with a new global matrix of trust, compassion, and peace; creating a new morphogenetic field of global peace.

More info on Tamera Ecovillage here:

For more events with Tamera Team in California, go here:




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It Takes a Village – October 9 – 11, 2015 at rural Emerald Ecovillage in San Diego County

Play . Learn . Vision . Connect . Nourish . Explore

Three days of family-focused, community-driven festival fun.

Also featuring Diana Leafe Christian


We invite YOU into the “Emerald Village Observatory” for an immersive community experience that will inspire all ages to explore and celebrate what it means to be part of the global family. Bring your childlike curiosity to delve into the science of sustainable shenanigans, get down and (literally!) dirty as we dance in the gardens and then get foamy with your homies!

We are excited to also offer a series of WHYshops that create space for a deep investigation into emerging culture and topics that are relevant to evolving families and burgeoning communities. Conscious parenting, family well-being community building, permaculture, rites of passage, intimacy, spirituality, emergent technologies, and financial and global health are the focal points of “It Takes a Village.”


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