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Our Mission is to grow and support Intentional Communities in the Northwest U.S. & British Columbia — a.k.a. the Cascadia bioregion — to make visible the many models of successful, intentionally cooperative ways of living. We coordinate the exchange of knowledge and resources about Intentional Communities not only to showcase how they benefit the members’ lives, but to foster ecological, economic and social sustainability in the wider culture.
NICA’s Five Primary Purposes
- Ascertain and promote intentional community aims and values that contribute most to community sustainability;
- Facilitate communication and networking between local, regional and national intentional community organizations;
- Foster and assist the study of all major elements of intentional community living, and to play a role in publicizing information to wider circles;
- Assist organizing and financing efforts of and for sustainable communities;
- To coordinate the exchange of resources between communities and others.
What we do
Communities Gatherings: Our typical spring and fall gatherings are 1 to 3 days each. These provide opportunities for intentional communities in our region to meet each other, talk about similarities and differences, and share what we have learned so far. We also welcome people who may be searching for a home in a community who are not members of one yet. The events are not designed to be promotional although community seekers will be able to hear about an array of cooperative living opportunities. If you are in a forming community, or at any stage of development and seeking new members, it’s a great way to enhance your group’s visibility.
Special Events: NICA has organized various panels, workshops and other educational events in response to direct requests from community members. Some of the areas we have focused on include: facilitation training, cohousing design; co-creating traditions within community; training on the use of consensus and other group decision making forms; intentional communities’ role and intersections with the sustainability movement (such as with Permaculture Design, and the Transition Towns Movement); inter-generational talks and exploring the role of elders in community.
The Northwest Intentional Communities Association was formed by a coalition of intentional community representatives who gathered in the fall of 1992, spearheaded by John Affolter of Teramanto. We began publishing a newsletter in the Fall of 1992.
The first meeting of NICA was held in the spring of 1993 at the Wesleyan Community, located at that time on Vashon Island, where the bylaws and articles of incorporation were ratified. NICA was involved in the August 1993 Foundation for Intentional Communities (FIC) “Celebration of Communities” Conference held in Olympia, Washington.
NICA incorporated in the Fall of 1993 as a Washington State non-profit organization, and became a federally approved 501c3 tax exempt organization in 1997.