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Overview: Sociocracy for Ecovillages and Other Kinds of Intentional Communities – Sunday, March 18, 2018 from 4 to 6:30pm at L.A. Eco-Village

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


In a lively presentation with hands-on exercises, Diana Leafe Christian will present an overview of Sociocracy, an especially effective governance and decision-making method she now recommends highly instead of consensus for ecovillages and other kinds of intentional communities, because of the wonderful benefits. When used correctly, communities have experienced better meetings, getting more done, being better organized, and a stronger sense of connection between group members. This Sociocracy overview will give you a sense of what Sociocracy is and how it works. However, people learn how to _do_ this method and apply it in their community in a 3-day Sociocracy training, which Diana will do here May 19-21.


Sunday, March 18, 2018 from 4pm to 6:30pm

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

$5 to $15 sliding scale


*Sociocracy (also called Dynamic Governance) is a system of governance using consent decision making and an organizational structure based on cybernetic principles (a system with closed feedback mechanisms). Sociocracy has been advocated as a management system that distributes leadership and power throughout the organization.

Watch for Diana’s three day Sociocracy workshop at L.A. Eco-Village, Sat-Sun-Mon,  May 19, 20, 21, 2018



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The Nuts & Bolts of a Worker Co-op Start-up – Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 in Culver City at 7pm

Long time L.A. Eco-Village resident, and founder of Pacific Electric Worker Co-op, Somerset Waters, will share his experiences as the founder of a start-up worker co-op.

Sponsored by:
LAWORCS: LA Worker Ownership Resources & Cooperative Services
More info:
The Nuts and Bolts of a Worker Cooperative Start-Up with Somerset Waters


Wednesday, October 25, 2017  at 7:00 PM

About Somerset:

somer photoSomerset Waters (“Somer”) wears multiple hats at Pacific Electric Co-op, including client relations, project manager, and lead electrician.  He has over two decades of experience as an electrician, one decade in the solar industry, and enjoys manipulating energy.  He is a licensed C-10, California Certified Electrician.  The trade runs in his blood: his maternal grandfather was an electrician at a factory in Poland.  His great-grandfather was a mason, a brilliant carpenter, and a master of quality in his projects.  Prior to cofounding Pacific Electric Co-op, Somer was a Journeyman Electrician out of IBEW Local 11 and worked for several large solar companies. Somer and his family live in Los Angeles Eco-Village. He plays the cello and performs with his wife, Aursiha. Watching his daughter grow up makes his heart sing.

Pacific Electric logoPacific Electric is a full service electrical and solar contracting firm based in Los Angeles committed to serving our clients, supporting our workers, creating jobs, and practicing environmental sustainability.  Contact:

Diana Leafe Christian workshops in San Diego: Keynoter at West Coast Communities Conference 9/29-10/1; Starting an Ecovillage 10/7-9; Sociocracy 10/14-16

Dear friends and colleagues in Southern California,
This Save-the-Dates notice is about three events in the San Diego area. See below.
If you or people you know are interested in starting an intentional community, I’m doing a workshop on starting successful new communities on Oct. 7-9. 
(1)  “Starting a Successful Ecovillage or Intentional Community” 
        Sat-Sun-Mon, October 7-8-9 in the San Diego Area. 
        Early Bird Discount price is $250 until Oct 1st; it’s $350, the regular price, after that. 
        Held at Terra Corazon (11945 Mesa Verde Drive, Valley Center, CA). Sponsored by San Diego Sustainable Living Institute.       More information on the Starting an Ecovillage workshop.    Register here. 

     On Oct. 14-16 I’m also doing a workshop on Sociocracy, an especially effective governance and decision-making method I now highly recommend for intentional communities. 
(2) “Sociocracy for Intentional Communities and Member-Led Groups” 
      Sat-Sun-Mon, October 14-15-16 also at Terra Corazon in San Diego County. 
      Early Bird Discount price is  $250 until Oct 1st;  $350, the regular price, after that.          
      Held at Terra Corazon (11945 Mesa Verde Drive, Valley Center, CA). Sponsored by San Diego Sustainable Living Institute.     More information on the Sociocracy workshop.     Register here.
Saturday, Sept 30, I’m also doing the keynote talk at the West Coast Communities Conference. 9:00 am – 10:30 am, talk and Q&A with attendees.
(3) Keynote talk:  “Recipe for a Thriving Community: Establishing an Internal Economy with Social Enterprises, Community Labor Systems, and More”     
The West Coast Communities Conference, Friday, Sept 29 – Sunday, Oct. 1 Conference will be held at Terra Madre Gardens, an ecologically sustainable event center (9928 Protea Gardens Rd, Escondido, CA).
                           Register for West Coast Communities Conference.

Diana Leafe Christian

About Diana
Diana Leafe Christian is an author, former editor of Communities magazine, and an international  speaker and workshop presenter on starting new ecovillages, on building communities,  on sustainability and Sociocracy. She lives in an off-grid homestead at Earthaven Ecovillage in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, USA.  Her popular books include “Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools for Forming Ecovillages and Intentional Communities” and “Finding Community: How to Join and Ecovillage or Intentional Community.”

Christian Arnsperger: Drawing ideas from Switzerland’s “horizontal metropolis”- Wed., July 19, 2017 at L.A. Eco-Village

Veggie Potluck and talk on L.A.’s perma-circular future:

According to Dr. Christian Arnsperger, Los Angeles has never been just an unsustainable, sprawling,

Christian Arnsperger

resource-guzzling behemoth. At least since the 1930s, and especially since the 1960s, there has been a small, persistent, and varied underground that wants “another LA.” The city has been variously (re)imagined by Olmsted and Bartholomew as a garden-and-park idyll, by Richard Register as a network of ecocities, and by Paul Glover as a network of ecovillages. People have puzzled about how to make Los Angeles more regenerative, more bioregional, and more human-scale. In his talk, Christian Arnsperger  will reflect on this “other LA” as a sympathetic outsider, looking at our city from the Swiss vantage point, drawing elements from his ongoing collaboration with Swiss and Italian urbanists. Switzerland can be viewed as a “horizontal metropolis” — a city-territory of 8 million inhabitants with a very specific way of weaving together the urban and the rural, the cutting edge and the traditional, the dense and the diffuse — a time-tested recipe against sprawl and wastefulness but also against destructive densification and concentration. There may be very interesting things to learn about a sustainable, “perma-.circular” future from a comparison between the LA metropolitan area and the Swiss horizontal metropolis.

About Christian Arnsperger
An economist by training, I’m a professor at the University of Lausanne. My affiliation is with the Faculty of Geoscience and Environment, and I am a member of the Institute for Geography and Sustainability. We are a multidisciplinary institute focused mainly on the human- and social-science aspects of environmental issues.  My own teaching and research revolve around Sustainability and Economic Anthropology. That’s what my chair at the University of Lausanne is called. Yes, really …

read more about Christian and see his blog here.

Christian visited L.A. Eco-Village
last year to a full house.  Please come join us again this year.

Reservations please: or 213/738-1254

Date & Time: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 
6 to 7:30pm:  Veggie potluck.
Please bring your own non-throwaway eating ware and make this a zero waste event

7:30 to 10pm: Talk, Q&A, discussion

Fee:  $5 to $15 sliding scale at the door
If paying by check, make checks out to “CRSP”

Los Angeles Eco-Village
117 Bimini Pl – Lobby and courtyard
Los Angeles 90004





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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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Mutual Aid Network Cooperative with Stephanie Rearick Sat., Dec 10 from 2 to 4pm at L.A. Eco-Village

Communities around the world are piloting Mutual Aid Networks (MAN) designed to meet life’s economic needs – food justice, work redesign, sustainable energy, community justice, housing and transportation access, travel and culture exchange, etc. Local MANs are connecting in a global cooperative, the Main MAN, in order to support each other’s success and build a network of networks that can engage the 100% in a neighborly global economy. 

We’re hosting a gathering of people and organizations in Los Angeles to learn what the Mutual Aid Network framework can do and explore how it might help us meet our goals – as individuals, as organizations, and in partnership with one another. Those of us who choose to proceed will determine goals and next steps.


About Stephanie Rearick
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Stephanie  is founder of the Dane Countysr-akron-hi-14l0247 TimeBank, a 2800-member time exchange, and Creative Director of Mutual Aid Networks. In addition to her work in cooperative economics, Rearick is co-owner of Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse and works as a musician.
Date & Time:      Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 2 to 4pm
Place:                     L.A. Eco-Village
                                 117 Bimini Pl

                                 Los Angeles 90004*

No Reservations required: or 213/738-1254
Free event but donations welcome to benefit MAN and Arroyo Sustainable Economies Community Organization (Arroyo S.E.C.O.)


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Designing a “Perma-Circular” Economy: Wed. July 13 at 7pm at L.A. Eco-Village

Join us for an informative and provocative talk with Christian Arnsperger of the Faculty of Geosciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. And a veggie potluck before the talk.

Christian will argue that the there is a serious imbalance when industrial societies promote wholesale recycling without also limiting economic growth, rendering such policies essentially useless for building resiliency.  He’ll share with us a permaculture approach to the economy in which natural, human and cultural capital are primary over advancing technological and financial capital, and how this transition from capitalism can take shape.

This type of dialog and civic engagement can lead us to explore radical ideas about what tomorrow’s “sufficiency economy” might look like.”


Date:     Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Time:     Veggie Potluck at 6pm in the courtyard*
Talk and discussion: 7 to 9 pm
Where:  Los Angeles Eco-Village
117 Bimini Place
Los Angeles CA 90004

Reservations required: or 213/738-1254

Fee:      $10 (self selected sliding scale)

* If attending the potluck, please bring a veggie dish to share and your own non-throwaway eating ware to make this a zero waste event


Christian Arnsperger is professor of sustainability and economic anthropology at the Institute for Geography and Sustainability (IGD) of the Faculty of Geoscience and Environmental Studies (FGSE). He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Louvain (Belgium) and has been teaching and researching for many years at the interface between economic analysis, human sciences, and existential philosophy. A specialist of post-consumerist/ post-growth economic alternatives and of the link between ecological transition and the change of mentalities and lifestyles, he is also a scientific adviser to the Alternative Bank Switzerland (ABS) and, in that capacity, he develops “action research” field projects and collaborations in the area of sustainable finance.At the IGD, Prof. Arnsperger more specifically centers his activities around the following areas:

  • Spatiality and territoriality as factors of ecological sustainability
  • Sustainability of lifestyles, sustainable consumption, and existential economics
  • Money, finance, and sustainability: Towards a “monetary eco-geography”
  • The cultural roots of unsustainability in the United States

Read Christian’s blog and more about Christian here

Mark Lakeman talks to L.A. City Departments Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 4pm. Free and open event

Mark Lakeman Talk - Flyer-3-16-16 city eventMark Lakeman Talk - Flyer-3-16-16 city eventUrban Placemaking for the City of Los Angeles

a talk with Portland’s Mark Lakeman
Ronald F. Deaton Auditorium:
100 W 1st St Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tuesday, March 29th | 4pm – 6pm

•  Successful strategies for
transforming public spaces
from car-centric to people-centric
•Accelerating culture change
within public agencies
•Learning and practicing effective tools
for continuing people and planet

healthy change

Presented by Portland’s City Repair Project founder and architect Mark Lakeman, this talk will provide a dazzling spectrum of real world tools for building participatory culture and manifesting lasting change through physical interventions.  Mark will also share the diversity of public policies and regulations that have made Portland’s people-centric interventions feasible and effective.

This event is sponsored by:
– Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Great Streets
– L.A. City Department of City Planning
– L.A. City Department of Transportation
in association with:
– CRSP Institute for Urban Ecovillages at L.A. Eco-Village
– Portland’s City Repair Project
– StreetsblogLA

– Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance

Free and open event ||
For more info, contact or 213.738.1254

For other LA events with Mark Lakeman and for more info on the City Repair Project and Mark Lakeman, see

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FEATURED EVENT: Urban Placemaking for Cultural Transformation with Mark Lakeman and the City Repair Project: Fri – Sun, March 25, 26, 27, 2016 at L.A. Eco-Village and Tue March 29 Downtown LA


Come learn with others in your communities and neighborhoods about successful strategies for:

  • Transforming public spaces from car-centric to people-centric
  •  Accelerating culture change within public agencies
  •  Learning and practicing effective tools for continuing change.

Presented by Mark Lakeman and core members from City Repair Project, this workshop will provide a dazzling spectrum of real world tools for building participatory culture and manifesting lasting change through physical interventions.  This workshop will also present powerful ideas for building resiliency while also addressing the negative effects of gentrification. Bring your own ideas, because the summation of the workshop will be strategies and timelines for doing projects in your Los Angeles neighborhoods.

See draft workshop outline below.


inspiring – a unique approach to urban planning and design – transformative – community development starting with the development of community…

Friday March 25, 2016 from 7pm to 10pm
Fee: $20     Pay here or at the door but:
Reservations required: or 213-738-1254
Location:  L.A. Eco-Village, 117 Bimini Pl., LA 90004  DIRECTIONS

Two day Placemaking Training at L.A. Eco-Village
Saturday & Sunday, March 26-27, 2016
from 10am to 4pm
Fee: $160      Pay here after you have reviewed the Training Outline and filled out application below
(some partial scholarships available.  See Application and Scholarships info below)
Pre-registration required: or 213/738-1254
Location:  L.A. Eco-Village, 117 Bimini Pl., LA 90004  DIRECTIONS

Please fill out APPLICATION below for two-day Placemaking Training and send with check made out to CRSP to:
117 Bimini Place #221
Los Angeles CA 90004

or watch for on-line payment option coming soon!

Mark also gives a special free and open talk in Downtown LA on
Tuesday March 29, 2016 from 4 to 6pm
ocation: Deaton Auditorium, 100 West First St., Los Angeles 90012

*The Deaton Auditorium event is co-sponsored by Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative, LA City Dept. of Transportation, LA City Dept. of  Planning, LA Streetsblog, Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance in Association with City Repair Project and CRSP

These talks and workshop are for:
– Architects
– Urban artists
– Recreationists
– Public officials
– Co-op activists
– Bicycle activists
– Urban Planners
– Urban designers
– Creative collaborators
– Environmental activists
– Transportation Planners
– Neighborhood and community organizers
– Neighborhood Council members and stakeholders
– People passionate about reinventing how we live in the City

And here’s the draft Two Day Placemaking Training Workshop Outline.
Sound exciting?  It will be even more exciting when we have your input:

Saturday – March 26, 2016 – Reimagining Space
10:00 am – opening  circle, “embodying permaculture”, introductions
11:00 am – City Repair Project Overview Presentation: “The Village Lives”
12 noon – Lunch
1:00 pm – Intersection/Block Repair Design Game
3:00 pm – Afternoon tea break
3:30pm – Neighborhood Walk: “Reimagining Urban Space through Spatial
Awareness” – “perform”-aculture placemaking activity

Sunday – March 27, 2016 – Sustaining Community through Policy-oriented  Placemaking
10:00 am – Ecodesign Principles; Case Studies Presentation
11:00 am – City Repair-initiated policy ordinances, how to do this in your  community
12 Noon – Lunch
1:00 pm – Public process issues, discussion circle, sharing initiatives
3:00 pm – Afternoon tea break
3:30pm – LA-specific project/presentations
4:00 pm – Closing circle


Please fill out and email to:



Neighborhood/Zip Code_________________________’


Organizational Affiliations that you are working with on
Neighborhood issues___________________________


Describe any experience you have with neighborhood organizing:



Describe, if any, your knowledge or experience with placemaking




Antioch University Los Angeles Urban Sustainability
Master of Arts Program
Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust
Bresee Foundation
East Area Progressive Democrats
Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance
Silverlake TimeBank
StreetsBlog Los Angeles –

Urban Soil-Tierra Urbana Limited Equity Housing Cooperative
You Are Here: Intentional Community Los Angeles

Is your organization or agency interested in being a co-sponsor?  Inquire by  contacting Lois at 213/738-1254 or

SCHOLARSHIPS:  We have a commitment to bring the skills and tools of placemaking to leaders in communities with social and environmental challenges. Scholarships for activists, people of color and neighborhood organizers are available. Please email us with answers to these questions: 1) Describe briefly why you are needing financial support. 2) How would this scholarship and training create new possibilities for you and your community? 3) Indicate what you may be able to offer financially, if anything. We may not be able to provide full scholarships to everyone who asks. Please indicate in your EMAIL to us, this subject line: “Scholarship for Placemaking Training”

CAN YOU SPONSOR A SEAT FOR SOMEONE? If you or your organization can sponsor someone to take the training, please let us know at or call Lois at 213/738-1254.

Those that complete this training are encouraged to bring this knowledge back to their respective groups and neighborhoods and begin the process of identifying and/or implementing neighborhood-based placemaking opportunities. Additionally a goal of placemaking training is to be involved with the streamlining of local policy and legislative actions for enhancing neighborhood placemaking projects.

For other locations for Urban Placemaking presentations in SoCal with Mark Lakeman, go here:






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From Lawn to Productive and Profitable Mini-Farm – Thur Jan 21, 2016 at 7pm – Pasadena

In this presentation Curtis Stone will walk you through the process in which a 2100 square foot lawn can be converted to a productive mini farm.

He’ll discuss the technical process of conversion, and the economics of producing out of that plot once it has been converted.

Curtis will demonstrate that your average lawn can be a considerable source of revenue, generating $18,000, or a significant source of food for the community.

This talk will be useful for anyone who is curious about how much food can be harvested from an average lawn space, or anyone who is interested in commercial urban farming.

The presentation will be followed up by Q&A.

This talk is an introduction to the full day Profitable Urban Farming workshops which will take place in Pasadena on January 23 and San Diego on January 24. For more information on those workshops visit

When and Where:
Thursday, January 21
The Shed
1355 Lincoln Ave
Pasadena, CA  91103

Register in advance or pay at the door.


About Curtis Stone:
Curtis Stone is an urban farmer, author, speaker and consultant. His area of expertise is in quick growing, high value annual vegetables for direct consumer market streams. His book, The Urban Farmer, demonstrates organic intensive techniques with a focus on business and systems to stream line labor and production. He offers a new way to think about farming. One where quality of life and profitability coexist.


You can learn more about Curtis in this interview, Profitable Urban Farming with Curtis Stone at:

About The Urban Farmer book:There are over 40 million acres of lawn in North America. In their current form, these unproductive expanses of grass represent a significant financial and environmental cost. However, viewed through a different lens, they can also be seen as a tremendous source of opportunity. Access to land is a major barrier for many people who want to enter the agricultural sector, and urban and suburban yards have huge potential for would-be farmers wanting to become part of this growing movement.


The Urban Farmer is a comprehensive, hands-on, practical manual to help you learn the techniques and business strategies you need to make a good living growing high-yield, high-value crops right in your own backyard (or someone else’s).


“The Urban Farmer is simply the best guide out there for anyone wanting to grow vegetables for market. Chock full of practical information on costs, business planning, the best crops to grow, how much land to farm, growing techniques, and how to develop markets, this book covers it all.” Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden and The Permaculture City


“I have no hesitation in saying that The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone is one of the most important, and overdue, books on urban agriculture ever published. It is simultaneously deeply visionary and immensely practical.” Rob Hopkins, Founder of the Transition Movement
Learn more about the 2016 Book Tour at


Founder, Permaculture Voices
PV3 | March 2-5, 2016 | San Diego

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