Creating an Intentional Community

Planning and initiating and intentional community is a complex task. It can also result in a lovely community to live in. In the hopes of supporting other communities in formation, this page is a collection of resources and tools.

Developing a Vision, Shared Values Statement, and Shared Beliefs Statement

Envisioning Your Community is a document you can use to support your group working together developing and documenting your core vision, values, and beliefs. It includes some example text of visions, values, and beliefs. We also have a capture-sheet you can use to record some answers as a group.

Decision-making

There is a variety of forms of consensus group decision making. We believe that a values-based approach helps make decisions more cohesive in the community. C.T. Butler’s On Conflict and Consensus is one for values-based consensus, though for some this procedure manual doesn’t sufficiently emphasize the most important perspectives about the process. CT also has some good things to say in this video interviewthis audio interview, and in this recorded talk which we find expressed more clearly some of the important pieces of the consensus attitude and spirit.

Recording Policy

Instead of collecting our policy in a list of rules, we wanted to create a form of policy record that was clearer in relating the policy choices to their motivations and which hopefully also therefore was easier for new members to propose changes to. So, we collect our policy in a “document of intentions and practices,” where we list an intention and then the practices that follow from it. Our document is available upon request in case you feel it might assist your process.

Ownership

Co-ownership is complicated by the fact that U.S. property ownership models are not well suited to the flexibility most communities need. Maitri House developed a hybrid co-ownership model that makes it possible to buy-in or develop equity over time in the legal entity that owns the building. The Sustainable Economies Law Center has created a case study of our model. We invite others to freely make use of our model if it suits them.

Resources

Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities is a book that we found useful in many aspects of creating our community.

The Intentional Communities Manual, from the Australian National Intentional Communities Conferences & South East Australia Communities Gatherings, discusses a variety of in-depth topics for those interested in joining, establishing or developing an intentional community.

Contact

You can contact Ryan McAllister: ryan@notjustskin.org for assistance.