cohousing

Insider

Key Considerations for Starting an Intentional Community

Success depends on making the right decisions early on
Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 11:17 AM

Executive Summary

  • How to recruit the "best-fit" members
  • How to develop community rules in advance to attract the best prospects and set expectations from the beginning
  • Ownership/management options for running communities (including a recommended structure)
  • The 6 key guiding principles for running an intentional community 

If you have not yet read Part I: The Growing Appeal of Intentional Community, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part I, we surveyed some of the more common variants of traditional communities: religious communities, family-based hamlets, cohousing and cooperative housing. In Part II, we’ll examine some of the issues that must be addressed when starting an intentional community.

I hope I won’t shock you too terribly by starting with the observation that human beings are notoriously difficult to deal with when assembled in groups.  Those of you who participate in community groups need no further explanation, as you are already nodding your head in agreement.

Trying to achieve consensus on every issue is either impossible or impossibly time-consuming, and so every organization, from church to nation-state, has a structure to simplify participation and authority.

There are two sets of problems in launching an intentional community: assembling a group of people with the collective capital and will to bring a complex project to fruition, and locating a practical, affordable building or parcel for the community... » Read more