Page 5 - C.A.L.L. #29 - Winter 2007
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In  our  final,  plenary  session,  which  I  chaired,  Ross  Jackson  (Denmark)
             presented  “A  Gaian  Utopia,”  about  how  environmental  imperatives  must
             dictate  the  ways  that  not  only  intentional  communities  but  all  societies
             develop.  ICSA’s  co-founder,  Professor  Yaacov  Oved  (Israel),  then  presented  “Changes  in  Modern
             Communes: from Utopian Propensity to Pragmatic Approach,” based upon his half-century of research.
             We then collectively thanked the members of Damanhur Federation for opening up their lives, hearts,
             and nucleos to us.

             As well as these fascinating, albeit heady topics of ICSA’s formal presentations, we were entertained on
             the  first  evening  with  a  concert  of  esoteric  music  and  interpretive  modern  dance  by  Damanhur
             members at their Open Temple. On the final evening, we held an ICSA formal dinner, followed by a
             Laser Light Show, with accompanying dance, also put on by Damanhur members. On the intervening
             evening, we each had the chance to dine with different small groups of Damanhur members in the
             privacy of their nucleos.

             After the conference many of us took a bus tour to Torri Superiore ecovillage near the Italian Riviera.
             Without a doubt, Torri Superiore is one of the most charming and welcoming intentional communities
             in  the  world.  Thirteen  resident  adults  and  six  children  operate  a  Guest  House  and  permaculture
             demonstration site, and offer various training programs. They live in a restored stone village dating
             from  the  thirteenth  century  but  abandoned  after  the  Second  World  War.  The  160  rooms  of  this
             complicated  and  convoluted  complex  with  eight  levels  are  built  against  a  steep  hillside,  with  most
             rooms having vaulted stone ceilings—reminding me of what it would be like to live in an M.C. Escher
             print. ICSA conference members were welcomed with a tour, drinks, and a three-course dinner, on Torri
             Superiore’s balcony, which overlooks their olive, grape, and vegetable terraces, stepped down to the
             Bevera River. Most of us slept that night at Torri Superiore.

             On the final day, our tour buses took us from Torri Superiore to visit two nearby medieval architectural
             gems, the strikingly beautiful villages of Dolceaqua and Apricale. At the latter, we were welcomed by
             the mayor and given lunch at the hilltop castle, Eidechsenburg, with its extraordinary views. Our buses
             then headed home, taking delegates to catch trains, buses or planes back to our homes around the

             During the conference, the ICSA Board decided that our next President will be Professor Michal Palgi, a
             long  term  member  of  Kibbutz  Nir-David  (“The  field  of  David”)  between  Haifa  and  Jerusalem,  Israel.
             Michal is a sociologist who has been involved for years in studying organisational and gender issues
             within intentional communities, particularly within the broad range of Israeli kibbutzim. She has been
             an ICSA member for many years.

             The ICSA Board unanimously decided that our next conference, in 2010, will be held in northern Israel,
             under  the  auspices  of  the  Institute  for  Research  of  the  Kibbutz  and  the  Cooperative  Idea  at  the
             University of Haifa, and will focus on both the history of the traditional, rural Israeli kibbutzim (which
             began in 1910) and on the recent establishment of numerous urban kibbutzim in that country. These
             latter intentional communities appear to be modifying the kibbutz form of communal living, which
             suited the 20th century, into a new form of communal living which might be more appropriate to the
             21st century.

             Among  the  associated  issues  discussed  by  the  Board  were  questions  of  security  and  justice  in  the
             Middle East, since we recognised that such issues will be in the minds of people who will participate in
             our conference in 2010. We resolved that ICSA2010 should have the issue of peace as a key element. We
             need to explore what intentional communities can contribute to promoting ethnic accord and peaceful

             And will I be at ICSA in 2010 in Israel? Absolutely! ICSA gatherings are a wonderful opportunity to
             learn, contribute, and enjoy a wonderful few days of fellowship with a wide range of good people, all of
             whom are involved in intentional community in one way or another.

             Professor Bill Metcalf, PhD., of Griffith University, Brisbane, is author of nine books on community, including The
             Findhorn Book of Community Living. He is a past president of ICSA.

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