We are a group of academic staff from several disciplines with an interest in intentional communities. We are currently organising a series of events and activities including:
An inter-disciplinary lunchtime seminar series
A bi-annual symposium to bring together Academics, people living in intentional communities, researchers, developers, policy makers and housing associations to examine the phenomenon of communal living.
Working with social landlords in Wales to develop a better understanding amongst the sector, and to encourage innovative approaches to housing and community.
Developing a research based 'tool-kit' that can be used by new groups to help avoid pitfalls. This is not a meant as a practical guide (these are already available) but as a guide to better understanding some of the barriers so that they can be avoided/dealt with at an early stage.
Developing a body of research to better understand aspects such as:
Why people choose to join communities / and why they choose not to
Understanding the decision making process and governance
Issues of power - the 'formers' (people who initiate and carry through) and 'joiners' (people who join existing communities)
Are people influenced by utopian literature?
What are the signs / indicators that a conceptual community will develop into a reality. This may include following embryonic groups as they progress)
Do communities move through distinct stages and phases?
Are intentional communities different according to different cultures – Japan? America? (or is the very nature of 'stepping out of the norm' a normalising process across continents – the 'global' village')
Decision making within Intentional Communities? At every stage – does it change / mature. Are there critical stages for this, does the way decision making happen indicate the progress of the community?