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


Positioning Yourself to Prosper in the Post-Capitalist Economy

The dawn of the 'self-reliant' worker
Thursday, April 4, 2013, 9:04 AM

Executive Summary

  • The importance of "ownership" of specialized & skills
  • Why decentralization of work (vs the traditional hierarchical organization) is the future
  • Why disruption and fluidity will be the norm for most sectors of the economy
  • Why flexibility, innovation and self-reliance will be the hallmarks of the successful post-capitlaist worker

If you have not yet read Part I: We're Living Through a Rare Economic Transformation, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part I, we reviewed the basic structure of what author Peter Drucker termed the post-capitalist society, a knowledge economy based on a model of decentralized, perpetually innovating organizations.

In Part II, we ask: How do we turn these structural insights to our own advantage?

Structural Inequality

I want to start with the social-political-economic divide that is endemic to the knowledge economy: the widening gap between the class of knowledge workers, which Drucker understood would be the smaller of the two classes, and service workers.

In broad brush, those workers and enterprises engaged in sectors that generate most of the wealth creation will do much better financially than those engaged in low-margin sectors.  In the knowledge economy, those with high-level, specialized skills will create more value and thus be better compensated than those with generalized knowledge and/or lower-level skills.

A fast-food worker, for example, is the modern-day assembly-line worker.  The entire process of assembling and serving fast food is highly organized for speed and efficiency.  But since the product is not high-value, the workers cannot be highly compensated for this work.

As Drucker recognized, all work requires management, and all organizations need to learn to innovate.  This creates opportunities for highly trained, specialized workers and managers, but it doesn’t do away with service jobs, which will remain more numerous than knowledge-intensive jobs.

This leads to a sobering conclusion:  Just producing more highly educated workers does not create a demand for those workers’ skills... » Read more


We're Living Through a Rare Economic Transformation

Those who understand its post-capitalist rules will prosper
Thursday, April 4, 2013, 8:47 AM

In 1993, management guru Peter Drucker published a short book entitled Post-Capitalist Society.  Despite the fact that the Internet was still in its pre-browser infancy, Drucker identified the developed-world economies as knowledge-based as opposed to from industrial economies, which were were from the agrarian societies they superseded.

Drucker used the term post-capitalist not to suggest the emergence of a new “ism” beyond the free market, but to describe a new economic order that was no longer defined by the adversarial classes of labor and the owners of capital.  Now that knowledge has trumped financial capital and labor alike, the new classes are knowledge workers and service workers. » Read more