On my travels I have told many people about my quest to create media content on Intentional Communities. In smaller cities using urban sustainability they are aware of this term, but in more expansive bigger cities and even towns of 25,000 or less… this term is rarely used or even understood. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I am intrigued by this topic is to create more awareness around this idea of living in community. Now that isn’t to say that millions of Americans aren’t already doing that, I see it in neighborhoods and religious gatherings, cultural family gatherings, etc. But what the focus of our media will be is on people choosing to live together more harmoniously and working towards being sustainable and creating a positive impact on their living environment, as well growing healthy food for the participants in their community. Why is this important to share? Because living together with less resources can create more abundance for all in ways you can’t track on your smart phone. And then I could be wrong. I haven’t found a ton of video or podcasting on the topic and feel that people’s voice on this topic matters.
I (Zan Kavanah), have interviewed over 20 people this last summer on the topic and what I have found is that in most cases people do LOVE living in community. They seem grateful and happy and smiling, when we broach the topic of living in community. There are several layers to this subject matter though and my goal for this programming is to educate, through awareness what those layers are and how are they working. One thing I can say is that these are smart people. It requires more energy, space and effort to live in an eco-friendly way, on or off the grid. They are doing what everyone else does and they are living with integrity on our mother ship, earth. I haven’t met someone living in these communities that I didn’t like. This is not reality tv, this is reality. So let’s break it down a little.
What is an Intentional Community?
An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include collective households, cohousing communities, ecovillages, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams, and housing cooperatives. New members of an intentional community are generally selected by the community’s existing membership, rather than by real-estate agents or land owners (if the land is not owned collectively by the community).
What we have seen is that people are banning together to living in closer units with each other for the purpose of raising families and supporting visions of a more harmonious lifestyle.
You can learn about a lot of the IC’s Locally and Internationally at www.ic.org
What is an Eco-Village?
Ecovillages are intentional communities whose goal is to become more socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. Most range from a population of 50 to 150 individuals, although some are smaller, and larger ecovillages of up to 2,000 individuals exist as networks of smaller subcommunities. Certain ecovillages have grown by the addition of individuals, families, or other small groups who are not necessarily members settling on the periphery of the ecovillage and effectively participating in the ecovillage community.
Ecovillagers are united by shared ecological, social-economic and cultural-spiritual values. Concretely, ecovillagers seek alternatives to ecologically destructive electrical, water, transportation, and waste-treatment systems, as well as the larger social systems that mirror and support them. Many see the breakdown of traditional forms of community, wasteful consumerist lifestyles, the destruction of natural habitat, urban sprawl, factory farming, and over-reliance on fossil fuels as trends that must be changed to avert ecological disaster and create richer and more fulfilling ways of life.
What is Co-Housing?
A cohousing community is a type of intentional community composed of private homes supplemented by shared facilities. The community is planned, owned and managed by the residents – who also share activities which may include cooking, dining, child care, gardening, and governance of the community. Common facilities may include a kitchen, dining room, laundry, child care facilities, offices, internet access, guest rooms, and recreational features.
What is a Transition Town?
A Transition town, or more generally a transition initiative, is a grassroot community project that seeks to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability by creating local groups that uphold the values of the transition network. Local projects are usually based on the model’s initial ’12 ingredients’ and later ‘revised ingredients’. The first initiative to use the name was Transition Town Totnes, founded in 2006.
These are some of the basic types of communities lined up for IC_evolution to visit. We would be happy to hear from you. We are looking for communities to Scout for the video portion of our programming coming in the spring.
Please enter your contact details and a short message below and I will try to answer your query as soon as possible. Thanks in advance for your input! Blessings, Zan