Sunday, April 13, 2008

Community Blooms in the Desert

One of the most fun things I do is participate in cmty events—gatherings where people come together to share information and swap stories about cooperative living. I've got five such gigs lined up this year (I did one in Houston last month, with four still ahead). The next one is coming up in Albuquerque on the campus of the University of New Mexico, May 30-June 1: the Art of Community Southwest, sponsored by my home team, the Fellowship for Intentional Community.

My wife, Ma'ikwe Ludwig, is the main conference organizer, and—in the subtle way she has—she nudged me last night to post this blog, so folks can take advantage of the seven days remaining for early registration discounts:
—Early Bird ticket (sliding scale): $95-200 until April 20th
—Tickets can be purchased online at:
—To register with a check, contact Syd at 206-679-5342

We are offering a weekend immersion in the evolution of cooperative, sustainable culture. Major themes include Residential Intentional Community, Guerrilla Community Building, Urban Regeneration, Permaculture, and Ecovillages. We will explore "community" from many angles:
o As part of peace and social justice work
o As a cooperative lifestyle choice
o As a spiritual path
o As a laboratory for social change
o As an antidote to global climate change.

The main speakers will be:
o Climate change author Albert Bates of The Farm's Ecovillage Training Center
o Urban homesteader and permaculturist Mary Lou Singleton of the Midwives Alliance of North America
o Earth Day organizer Mark Dubois of the Pachamama Alliance
o Community advocate and group consultant Laird Schaub of the FIC
o Author Margo Adair of Tools for Change
o Youth advocate Myra Murphy-Jacob of the Sustainable Global Leadership Alliance

Here's a sampling of workshop topics:
• Consensus
• Starting a Residential Intentional Community
• New Economics
• Pathways to Sustainability
• Aging in Community Successfully
• Spiritual Activism
• Biodeisel Basics
• Ecovillages
• Media, Community, and the Fate of the Earth
• Integrative Land Planning for Community

In addition to speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities galore, there will be a Saturday night banquet, followed by a raucous benefit auction. Whether you currently live in community or not, we hope you'll join us for practical information about living a more sustainable life now; for inspiration about creating more cmty in your life today; and for having a good time even as we're busy with the serious work of changing the world!

For more information, contact (my industrious wife) Ma'ikwe at 505-514-8180 or

I hope to see you there.

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