Starting a new Intentional Community - Step 0

I’m wondering if there are any guides or frameworks for people who are just looking to start a new IC. I have now been part of a number of discussions with people in the area(Costa Rica) who are interested in forming a community, however those discussions seem to be all over the place ranging from how large do we want the community to be, to what the decision process will be to what values do we share, etc.

Feels like there could be a framework of some sort that allows a group to follow it and instead of starting from scratch. I imagine a framework that asks specific questions of the group and provides options to some things that have been discussed and debated by many who came before. The conversations that I am part of often don’t lead anywhere, yet they take a lot of energy and in the end discourage people from trying to form a community.

I recognize there are a number of books in the resource section and they are helpful, but I am looking for concrete tool or framework to follow in the very early stages. In some ways, such framework should either get people on the same page, or show them why their coming together to form a community is but a pipe dream.

Firstly, define your goal. Get together routinely with 10 or less deeply-invested founders to write a mission statement and a goal. The mission statement should be shorter than a paragraph but detailed yet concise. You will have to also figure out a goal. Here you will list out the features of your ideal land, structure, expectations, self-suffiency level, etc. The details yaknow? Expect this process to take a year or more, during which you can save for the huge upfront investments like land purchase, entity formation, legal help etc.

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Hello Notna! Excellent questions you ask :slight_smile: I can suggest you check out Collab (An Introduction to Collab | Round Sky Solutions) as a framework that can help launch communities. It provides templates for all the conversations any forming organization needs to have and was developed to enable groups to share power well and efficiently. Pm me if you’d like to chat further one-on-one.

I made a questionnaire to vet people I want to associate with. email me at and I will reply with it attached. My reason for making it was to use to vet candidates my local Democratic Party endorses for election to public office. But it may also help to insure people get along in a new community.

The first thing I did last spring when I wanted to start a community was write down my five core values for the community. Then I listened to the Inside Community podcast as well as a couple of other cohousing podcasts to get ideas of what to do moving forward. What I discovered is that while I have lots of friends who think its a great idea, none of them have the drive or perserverence to help me make it a reality. And so thusly I’ve shifted my goal from starting a community with my friends, to finding someone who’s starting a community and becoming one of the core group/founders group to cocreate together.
But my five values I wrote down at the beginning are still guiding my goals so it was a good idea.

I’d also suggest taking some FIC courses, as they’ll be thorough and get you that framwork for getting started.

Right now I’m now in the step of connecting with potential cofounders, having a conversation with each person/household to assertain who is a collaborate fit with me and who might be better suited to doing a different type of project with others instead.

I know that there will likely be starts and stops in the process and that the folks I’m communicating with now may or may not cofound together with me. But just taking it slow. I continue to seek more folks interested and once I’ve talked to everyone on my list of potential cofounders so far (8, one of whom is going to actually wait and see if something existing will be a better fit for now, so I guess now 7) we will gather to start forming group energy and combining visions.