Titled, Communal Pathways to Sustainable Living, the 11th conference of the International Communal Studies Association (ICSA) was hosted by the Findhorn Foundation and Community in late June, 2013. The ICSA holds a conference every three years. It attracts communal scholars (academics from disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, history, education, architecture, politics, utopianism, geography, religious and cultural studies etc.) as well as community activists (members, advocates and associates of intentional communities) who come together to exchange research data and analysis, ideas and applications. Presentations cover diverse aspects of collective life in intentional communities (both historical and contemporary) such as communes, kibbutzim, sectarian communities, ecovillages, cohousing, and housing cooperatives.
The Findhorn conference was a great success. It attracted about 250 participants including 120 presenters from over 30 countries (see downloadable world map below). It was intense, rich and lively. Many participants said it was the best conference they had ever attended – such is the ‘magic’ that Findhorn can engender. This page offers links to the conference proceedings (a downloadable pdf containing more than 50 written papers) as well as almost 60 videos of the various panel sessions and paper presentations.
As the title suggests, the 2013 conference focussed on the nexus between ‘community’ and ‘sustainability’. At a time of increased public awareness of the human causes of climate change, 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. The 2013 ICSA conference showcased sustainable lifestyles within communal settings and offered a wellspring of data, analysis, ideas and applications to inform and inspire those who attended. We hope that these proceedings (and the associated video footage of conference presentations) similarly inform, encourage and inspire.
The conference proceedings (written papers)
can be downloaded by clicking on the image below.
The videos to the conference presentations
can be viewed on YouTube by clicking on the image below.
A map of the world showing the nationalities of the
conference presenters can be downloaded by clicking on the image below.