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Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities Paperback – 2003
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An intentional community is a group of people who have chosen to live or work together in pursuit of a common ideal or vision. An ecovillage is a village-scale intentional community that intends to create, ecological, social, economic, and spiritual sustainability over several generations.
The 90s saw a revitalized surge of interest in intentional communities and ecovillages in North America: the number of intentional communities listed in the Communities Directory increased 60 percent between 1990 and 1995. But only 10 percent of the actual number of forming-community groups actually succeeded. Ninety percent failed, often in conflict and heartbreak. After visiting and interviewing founders of dozens of successful and failed communities, along with her own forming-community experiences, the author concluded that "the successful 10 percent" had all done the same five or six things right, and "the unsuccessful 90 percent" had made the same handful of mistakes. Recognizing that a wealth of wisdom were contained in these experiences, she set out to distill and capture them in one place.
Creating a Life Together is the only resource available that provides step-by-step, practical "how-to" information on how to launch and sustain a successful ecovillage or intentional community. Through anecdotes, stories, and cautionary tales about real communities, and by profiling seven successful communities in depth, the book examines "the successful 10 percent" and why 90 percent fail; the role of community founders; getting a group off to a good start; vision and vision documents; decision-making and governance; agreements; legal options; finding, financing, and developing land; structuring a community economy; selecting new members; and communication, process, and dealing well with conflict. Sample vision documents, community agreements, and visioning exercises are included, along with abundant resources for learning more.
About the Author
Besides editing Communities magazine since 1993, Diana Leafe Christian offers workshops nationwide in the USA on the process of forming new ecovillages and intentional communities. She is a member of Earthaven Ecovillage in North Carolina.
Top customer reviews
That's why Diana Leafe Christian's book is so invaluable. Written by someone who's been part of the intentional community movement for years, and a member of an ecovillage, "Creating a Life Together" could easily be subtitled "everything you always wanted to know about forming an intentional community but were afraid to ask." Especially valuable is its discussion of composing vision statements, thinking through what kind of land is right for your group, dealing with bankers who are likely to be wary of intentional living in the first place, and different strategies for conducting initial meetings and making group decisions--you'd be surprised how foreign consensus-style decision-making is to most of us.
A growing number of folks are searching for meaningful, peaceful, self-sufficient, and eco-friendly lifestyles-in- community that offer alternatives to the consumer-driven world. But building these communities is hard and sometimes perplexing work. Take all the help and advice you can get-and Christian's book is at the top of the list.
This small book is very dense with information and Christian provides great resources for doing additional research. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone interested in living in a community, co-housing, family or roommate situation. While not all of the information will be applicable to everyone, I think many people can benefit from reading about the real community issues that Christian uses to fortify each section of this book.
and: "These two books form an indispensable compendium of information that should be the constant companion to everyone interested in the communitarian path."
--Richard Heinberg, Peak Oil activist and author of: The Party's Over and Powerdown.
As a founders of 'Jindibah', an intentional community near Byron Bay, Australia's most easterly point, I can confirm that her experience and words of wisdom cross international boundaries and are as valid today in Australia as in the US.
visit her website here: [...]
And watch a 30 min interview with her here:
PO Box 264
"I'd put my money on the Sun and solar energy. What a source of power!
I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that." - Thomas Edison