About NICA

Our Mission is to grow and support Intentional Communities in the Northwest U.S. & British Columbia — a.k.a. 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 members’ lives but to foster ecological, economic and social sustainability in the wider culture.

NICA’s Five Primary Purposes

1) Ascertain and promote intentional community aims and values that contribute most to community sustainability;

2) Facilitate communication and networking between local, regional and national intentional community organizations;

3) Foster and assist the study of and education on all major elements of intentional communities;

4) Assist organizing and financing efforts of and for sustainable communities;

5) To coordinate the exchange of resources between communities and others.

What we do

Communities Gatherings:   Spring and fall gatherings of 1 to 3 days provide opportunities for intentional communities in our region to meet each other, talk about similarities and differences, and share learnings. The events are not designed to be promotional although community seekers are welcome and do typically attend. If you are in a forming community or at any stage of development and are seeking new members, it’s a great way to enhance your visibility.

Special Events:  Besides our board meetings being open and inclusive of visitors, we have 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: Danish cohousing design; co-creating traditions within community; consensus and other group decision making forms; intentional communities and the sustainability movement (and specifically the Transition Towns Movement); facilitation training; and exploring the role of elders in community.

Brief history

The Northwest Intentional Communities Association was formed by a coalition of intentional communities’ representatives who gathered in the fall of 1992, spearheaded by John Affolter of Teramanto community. The first meeting of NICA was held in the spring of 1993 at the Wesleyan Community on Vashon Island, at which time the bylaws and articles of incorporation were ratified. We incorporated in the Fall of 1993 as a Washington State non-profit. We were involved in the 1993 Fellowship for Intentional Communities Celebration of Communities gatherings and have held gatherings ever since. We began publishing a newsletter in the Fall of 1992, and we successfully became a 501c3 tax exempt organization in 1997.

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