Enterprise>Conferences>Intentional Communities Symposium

Intentional Communities Symposium

Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy, Cyncoed Campus, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales, UK

Friday 6th July 2018

Event Overview

This third Intentional Communities symposium provides another welcome opportunity for academics and communards to bring together research and lived experience under one roof.  This year’s theme throws the focus onto the process and experience of joining and leaving community. 

The day will provide delegates with:

• An opportunity to engage in discussion around the role and positionality of intentional communities today.
• To share different ideas and approaches that make communities an important site for research and consideration. 
• Participate in practical, thought provoking sessions which will explore different aspects of living in community, joining or exiting community.

This conference is relevant to:
• Academics
• Individuals considering community
• Community members
• PhD students    

Keynote Speakers

 Yael ArbeYael Arbell 4.jpgll is a founding member of Chapeltown Cohousing - an emerging project in Leeds - and a PhD researcher at the University of Leeds. Yael's research looks at questions of identity, subjectivity and social relations in community-led housing projects in England. She is particularly interested in routes to participation and the political significance of community-led housing.



Cath Boswell was a senior lecturer at Cardiff Met and retired at the beginning of 2017 moving to live in a community in rural mid Wales. She spent Cath Boswell.jpg15 years as an academic in fields of social policy in relation to housing and health and social care, specialising in social inclusion and social enterprise, but latterly in the area of intentional communities.
Since moving to 'live the dream' or take up 'porridge knitting' as some less aware people have put it, she is involved with developing micro-funding opportunities, whilst contributing to the upkeep of a Georgian house plus 14 acres of land owned by the co-operative.


Kirsten SW 1 Image.jpgKirsten Stevens-Wood is a lecturer for Cardiff Metropolitan University, she is also the lead for the Intentional Communities Research group.  Her interest in intentional Communities was initially sparked by a week long visit to an off grid community in the south west of England back in the 1990's.  Since then she has visited many different types of community both in the UK and abroad.  Her research interests include the dynamics of communal living and the way communal living experiments with alternative ways of living together and being in the world.


fran 1.jpg

 Francesca Fois is a post-doctoral researcher at Aberystwyth University, UK. Her PhD thesis explored the enactment of two spiritual intentional communities in Brazil and Italy using the concepts of utopianism and heterotopia. Since 2012, Francesca has been collaborating with Terra Mirim, an intentional community located in Brazil, and has organised a series of public events about communal living and shamanism in the UK and Italy with members of the community. Francesca has been supporting Terra Mirim spiritual environmental activism and their recent mobilisation against the construction of a landfill in a protected area of the Atlantic Forest in the Metropolitan Region of Salvador (Bahia). 


 Chris Coates L1.jpgChris Coates veteran communard and cohousing pioneer has been part of the Diggers & Dreamers (www.diggersanddreamers.org.uk) editorial collective since it started back in the 1980's. Author of two books on the history of utopian experiments and intentional communities in the UK. After 20 years living in a small commune in East Lancs Chris now lives at Forgebank Cohousing near Lancaster and balances writing about community with continuing to build it.

Event Programme

Intentional Communities Symposium Programme.PNG            


As part of our Sustainable Travel Plan, we encourage all visitors, students, and staff to travel to the University by walking, cycling, public transport, or by car sharing.

Cyncoed Campus
Cardiff Metropolitan University
Cyncoed Road
CF23 6XD

View in Google Maps


The 52/52A bus travels from the city centre to the Cyncoed campus every 15 minutes during the day, via Albany Road and Penylan Road.


Heath High Level and Heath Low Level railway stations are approx. 25 minutes walk from the Cyncoed campus, serving the area from the Rhymney and Coryton lines. See National Rail Enquiries for train times.


If travelling by car please use postcode CF23 6XD.

Related Websites

Cardiff Bus

Arriva Trains Wales

Traveline Cymru

See Also...

The AA Route Planner

National Rail

National Express


Cardiff offers a range of hotels, guest houses and bed & breakfast accommodation to suit all budgets.

For an extensive list of accommodation please go to: http://www.visitcardiff.com/wheretostay/

How to Register

The symposium fee is £70 per person.

To register for the symposium please click here.

Cardiff Metropolitan University staff wishing to book please contact: cseenterprise@cardiffmet.ac.uk                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The fee is inclusive of symposium registration, lunch and refreshments.

(Cancellations must be in writing and made more than 10 working days prior to the event or you will be charged the full rate).

Contact Us

Queries and correspondence regarding the content of the event should be sent to Kirsten Stevens-Wood at: kstevens-wood@cardiffmet.ac.uk

For enquiries regarding booking, or any other administrative detail please contact a member of the Research and Enterprise team at: cseenterprise@cardiffmet.ac.uk