We are in the planning phase for 2017 and will post Workshop details once finalized. In the meantime, take a look at what happened in 2016 to get an idea of what was offered…



Saturday, 2016: 1:30 – 3:15 PM

Panel discussion with the Federation of Egalitarian Communities

Location:  Pavilion

Workshop Description:  TBD

Bio:  Members of communities from the Federation of Egalitarian Communities.

Consensus 201: Different levels of agreement for a consensus proposal

Location: Dome

Workshop Description: Having someone block consensus is so challenging that many communities adopt a vote override as a back door. This workshop explores the challenges of consensus decision making and how to use a block to strengthen the decision. It includes how the group decides what is a valid block; what the responsibilities are of the blocker and the group; how to override a block that is not valid. We might even do a role play!

Bio: Martie Weatherly is a founding partner, resident and facilitator for Liberty Village Cohousing outside of Frederick MD. She is passionate about consensus and has provided consulting and training to her own community as well as those of Mid Atlantic Cohousing, of which she is a board member.

Organizing Community? Remember PC2

Location:  Ladyslipper

Workshop Description:  Organizing community is a lot like…community organizing. There is a strong inter-connection among four key components: your mission, your “brand,” your organizing, and your fundraising. This workshop will explore those interconnections and we’ll together discuss how to use them to develop your community from any stage to any stage. The bottom line we will work with is
PC2: how and why to be persistent, consistent, personal, clear–in an era when these things seem to be unusual and even unpopular.

Bio:  Beth Raps is the founder of RAISING CLARITY, a moneycoaching, coaching and nonprofit/entrepreneurial consulting practice. She’s an experienced grassroots organizer and fundraiser and co-founding member of Donald’s View intentional community.

The Community Land Trust: Networking Wealth

Location:  Crossroads

Workshop Description:  How do we distinguish a Community Land Trust from a Private Trust or a Corporate Trust? The intrepid Googler can find many definitions and treatises on this subject but the end result depends on where you are coming from and what you are looking for. I’ve been asked: “How does a private land trust differ from a community land trust?” and the simple answer is an “individual owns the land in a private trust while a community owns the land in a community land trust. But this can be deceptive. If you wish to own land “privately” I suggest you hire a good attorney. If you are interested in protecting, preserving and sharing the opportunities afforded those in possession of use rights to land then the Community Land Trust may provide the a model for creating wealth and sustaining a life of quality, security and beauty or the “good life” you may desire. * The workshop will include a brief history of the CLT in the U. S., explore the relation of Land to Labor and Capital, and delineate the varieties of Trust which can own and control the use of land. * The heart of the presentation, however, will be about defining what we mean by Community Land Trust, its many varieties, and SoL’s unique model which encompasses its Educational Mission. A goal of that educational mission is to remove LAND from private ownership and oligarchic control and return these Community Created Values (CCV) to the Commons. * The FORUM will include the collective experience and expertise of those who wish to participate in a discussion of the current status of the Communities Land Trust Movement and the opportunities and constraints that this form of land ownership presents to the participants whether they are leaseholders, trustees or supporting members of the at large community (locally and globally).

Bio:  Karen Stupski and Rita Jane Kiefert are long time members of SoL and participants in SoL’s Communities. They are experienced in formulating, administering and executing the legal structure of SoL’s Land Trust. Brenda Carr is Clerk and Chair of the Education Committee.


Saturday, 2016: 3:45 – 5:30 PM

The Parable of the Sower Intentional Community

Location:  Pavilion

Workshop Description:  The Parable of the Sower Intentional Community Cooperative’s mission is to provide a transformational justice housing community that provides a creative strategy space for Black mother organizers involved in movement organizing and domestic violence/sexual abuse work.

Our work addresses the issue of basic human needs for primarily black women organizers and is named after the book by Octavia Butler, a black, female science fiction writer. The co-op helps to provide the basic human needs of safety, work, child care, housing and food. This new approach as a housing cooperative of women will allow us to continue the legacy of organizing that has been part of our on-going work.

Bio: Aleta Alston-Toure

Culture Hacking 101: How to Create a Participatory, Intentional Culture For Your Community

Location:  Dome

Workshop Description:  Much of what we learn comes not from the content of our education, but from the culture and environment we are in. Creating a healthy and positive culture should be a top priority — but can be difficult to talk about. What if creating culture didn’t have to be a terrible challenge? What if it your community could get into it right away?

You can achieve this by making community norms explicit and the process through which they are changed participatory, iterative, and clear.

Join Agile Learning Facilitators Drew Hornbein & Rochelle Hudson to explore Agile Learning Center tools and practices that help people realize their agency to identify, shift, upgrade, and impact their community’s culture. Learn about the Community Mastery Board and Change-up Meetings that introduce community agreements through a participatory and iterative process.

Bio:  Drew Hornbein is a metacognition enthusiast who works with the FEC and Agile Learning Centers, among other radical ventures.
Rochelle Hudson helps people create more dynamic, resilient relationships via the Blueprint of We and Agile Learning Center tools.
Abram de Bruyn is a community-oriented Educator & Social Innovator.

Legal Clinic

Location:  Ladyslipper

Workshop Description:  Are you forming or planning to form an income sharing commune? Thinking through and thoughtfully implementing a legal structure and agreements and choosing a tax status might be tedious and confusing but can also be vitally important to the success of your collective. This workshop will open with a short introduction framing the importance of:
Choosing a legal entity (LLC, corporation, LCA)
Choosing a tax status (S corp, partnership, 501(d), 501(c)7)
Choosing which documents and agreements to put in place legally (operating agreement/bylaws, foundational policies) in order to manage legal risk, minimize taxation, and put safeguards in place against existential threats to the commune. After the introduction the presenters will work with attendees on their specific issues and questions, providing guidance when able and connection to relevant resources. Come prepared with your questions!

Mutual Credit and Sociocracy

Location:  Crossroads
Workshop Description:  The rCredits mutual credit system together with the Sociocratic decision making process are a powerful tool for creating intentional community, empowering existing communities and in general raising awareness of the importance of sovereignty and issuing the money we use. rCredits has proven the concept in Greenfield, MA and is ready to start expanding. This workshop could give the conference attendees a powerful new tool for community building.

Bio:  John G Root JR has spent his life living and working with people with disabilities in the Cadmus Lifesharing Association, an intentional community, in Great Barrington, MA. He is now Senior Policy Analyst for Common Good Finance, founding member of the Future is Now Festival, and President of Just Abundance, Inc.


Sunday, 2016: 9:00 – 10:45 AM

Creating Fertile Ground for Community

Location:  Pavilion

Workshop Description:  It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you want to create social change, but don’t know how. Nicole walks you through the key steps of tilling your soil to create fertile ground for growing a real sense of community in your life. This workshop will help you determine your main mission, how to find fellow advocates for it, as well as provide tips and tools to see it through. Here you will find practical advice with opportunities for self-reflection using group participation to illustrate the actual process and determine the focus our session takes.

Things we will cover:
How to attract members for your mission that are right for the group’s purpose.
How to screen for prospective participants who will be positive additions to your cause, and avoid the heartache of expulsion later.
Ways to disseminate your message that brings the people you are looking for to you instead of you hunting and looking for them.
Resources such as books, websites and social platforms, as well as thought leaders to turn to that will help you effectively serve your mission.
Learn from the common mistakes others often make when creating a group, organization, or social change project so you may choose differently.

Bio:  Nicole Bienfang has dedicated her life to increasing the impact social change makers have on society. She is a research driven, lifelong learner, who uses that knowledge to build stronger relationships among communities and with individuals from around the world.

Boundaries: Speaking Truth, Meeting Needs, and Releasing Attachments

Location:  Dome

Workshop Description:  How many of us say “yes” to things we don’t actually want out of guilt or a fear of losing connection? In many ways, “no” is the most daring and intimate response possible – if I can hear your “no”, I can trust your “yes.” We’ll practice the skills of self-awareness, transparency, and non-attachment, which help us find the space of mutually desired connection that is available with each person.

Bio:  Sarah Taub teaches relationship and community skills and helps groups deepen their intimacy. She co-organizes “New Culture” events aimed at creating a culture based on love and freedom. Sarah lives at Chrysalis Community in Arlington, VA and at Allegheny Crest Intentional Village in Mt. Storm, WV.

The Role of ICs in Manifesting a New Paradigm/Next System

Location:  Ladyslipper

Workshop Description:  More and more people are beginning to believe that the current system(s) existing in the US and much of the world is so broken as to be likely irreparable and that we need to start focusing on creating a new one. The Democracy Collaborative created the Next System Project to focus on that. The New Economy Coalition and the network of Worker Owned Cooperatives are planning conferences this summer which have a similar focus.

This workshop contends that IC’s have the potential to play a major role in this process. IC’s are, in a sense, miniature new systems and can serve as examples and models. In addition we have land to grow food on, skills and resources and a ton of experience on how to get along.

The intent is to have an interactive discussion on how we might do that.

Bio:  Jack Strasburg is a Peace, Justice & Environmental activist. He served on the Pax Center board for 20 years. Organized and raised funds for the Navajo/Hopi elder groups to go to the United Nations Human Rights Commission regarding relocation. He is certified in permaculture design and facilitated the creation of the first native teaching team. Jack is a founding member of the Green Party and a college educated Viet Nam Veteran.

Overview of the new Urban Kibbutz Movement

Location:  Crossroads

Workshop Description:  The new Israeli kibbutz movement consists of between 100-200 communes, all established over the last 20-30 years. This session will examine the historical process which has led to the creation of several movements/federations of anarcho-socialist communities in present day Israel. The presenter will present his urban kibbutz as a case study, leaving ample time for questions.

Bio:  Anton Marks is a member of Kibbutz Mishol, the largest Urban Kibbutz in Israel. Until his temporary relocation to the US, he was general secretary of the Intentional Communities Desk (ICD), editor of its journals C.A.L.L. (English) and KOL (Hebrew), and a member of the International Communal Studies Board