Page 7 - C.A.L.L. #29 - Winter 2007
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ICSA  –  A  Synthesis  of  Community

             Living Practice and Academia

             It was an honor and a challenge for me to be elected president for ICSA (International Communal
             Studies Association). ICSA has gone a long way since its establishment in 1985 at a conference held
             in  Yad  Tabenkin,  Israel.  Today  there  is  a  growing  need  for  an  association  such  as  ICSA  which
             combines  the  various  threads  of  the  broad  range  of  intentional  communities  with  ongoing
             research. Therefore, the main challenge of ICSA in the coming years, as I see it, is to follow practice
             with  academic  studies.  In  order  to  do  this  there  must  be  a  large  network  of  researchers  and
             practitioners who, by working together, produce insight on intentional communities. This network
             of people should analyze processes and needs within and surrounding intentional communities for
             further learning and application.

             Last June, at the very successful ICSA conference in Damanhur, it was decided that the next ICSA
             conference will be held in Israel for the following reasons:

             a) 2010 will mark 100 years since Degania, the first kibbutz, was established.

             b)  Recent  changes,  in  the
             traditional  rural  kibbutzim  and
             the  development  of  a  range  of
             urban kibbutzim mean that there
             is  a  great  deal  for  non-Israeli
             scholars to see and experience.

             c) The endorsement of the Institute for Research of the Kibbutz and the Co-operative Idea at the
             University of Haifa, as well as other academic bodies in Israel means that ICSA should have a good

             I hope that the next ICSA conferences will continue to have both an academic track and a practical
             community  track  because  the  meetings  and  the  exchange  of  ideas  between  these  two  groups
             benefit both.

             What will be in the next conference? A few preliminary suggestions have already been sent to me
             but a decision will be made by the conference committee. Any additional ideas are welcome and
             will be considered.

             Some of the suggestions for themes for the next conference that I have received are:

             a.     Challenges confronting the communal life in the Globalizing world.

             b.     Learning from the ecological intentional communities.

             c.     Learning from the intentional communities of the Far East.

             d.     The contribution intentional communities can make to peace and the reduction of violence.

             e.     Architecture as a representation of the development of intentional communities.

             I hope to see as many of you as possible at the coming conference.

             Professor Michal Palgi
             ICSA President

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