Conference of the International Communal Studies Association (ICSA)
Findhorn Community, June 26 – 28, 2013
The Findhorn Foundation and community will proudly host the 11th international conference of the International Communal Studies Association (ICSA) in June 2013 which will bring together up to 250 communal scholars and community activists from around the world. The conference and associated events will offer a rare opportunity in a unique communal setting to share academic research and lived experience of collective life in intentional communities such as ecovillages, cohousing, communes, kibbutzim, sectarian communities and housing cooperatives.
The conference title and themes focus on the nexus between community and sustainability. At a time of increased public awareness of the human causes of global warming, there is a critical need for information about, and demonstration of, low impact sustainable lifestyles. Historically, many intentional communities developed materially modest lifestyles in small socially cohesive groups, striving for self-sufficiency and exercising stewardship of their land. Modern day ecovillages, of which Findhorn is a prime example, seek to further reduce their ecological impact by technological, social and other means. This conference will showcase sustainable lifestyles within communal settings and offer a wellspring of data, analysis, ideas and applications to inform and inspire those attending.
ICSA conferences are held every three years, usually in a well-known intentional community (e.g. ZEGG, Germany in 2001 and Damanhur, Italy in 2007) or at a historical communal site (e.g. New Harmony, USA in 1993 and The Amana Colonies, USA in 2004). Conferences are usually preceded or followed by a three-day tour of other communities and historical sites in the region. In 2013, we wish to vary the format and offer, instead of an extended pre- or post-conference tour, an opportunity for participants to fully immerse themselves in the culture and practice of the Findhorn Foundation and community via a three-day Experience ‘Week’. Experience Week is the program we offer to first-time guests. Most participants find it a poignant, heart-opening and, in some cases, life-changing experience.
So the planned program of events is as follows:
Saturday June 22nd – Monday June 24th: 3-day Experience ‘Week’ (optional)
Tuesday June 25th: Rest day and/or (optional) tours
Wednesday June 26th – Friday June 28th: Conference
In the ICSA spirit, the conference will cater for both researchers wishing to present scholarly papers and communards seeking to gather with like-minded souls to share ideas, experiences and inspiration. The program with therefore include, in roughly equal measure, paper presentation sessions and participatory workshops of many kinds. We also intend to incorporate much celebratory activity – song, dance, storytelling, performance etc. We hope and anticipate that considerable cross pollination will occur amongst participants to help create a rich and memorable event.
Conference organiser (Findhorn):
Dr Graham Meltzer, The Park, Findhorn, UK IV36 3TZ
Tel: +77 89 59 39 89
Email: graham.meltzer AT findhorn.org
Conference web site: www.findhorn.org/icsa