Diana Leafe Christian: Finding Community & Creating a Life Together [Ep. 136]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.

Diana's mission is to help intentional communities get started successfully, function effectively, and achieve their goals. She has learned what works well from founders and long-time members of more than 170 communities worldwide — ecovillages, cohousing neighborhoods, housing co-ops, shared group households, income-sharing communes, and more. She is author of Creating a Life Together, (2006), (now translated into six languages) and Finding Community (2007) See this 1-minute video highly recommending her work.

Diana teaches  workshopsoffers consultations, and presents keynote addresses and breakout workshops for conferences internationally. In 2017 she received the Fellowship for Intentional Community's Kozeny Communitarian Award, a lifetime acheivement award for her contributions to the US communities movement.

She teaches workshops on Starting a Successful Ecovillage or Intentional Community, and on Sociocracy (also called Dynamic Governance), to intentional communities and member-led groups. She is an Associate Member of The Sociocracy Consulting Group (TSCG) and was formerly a Sociocracy trainer for the board of GEN International.  Her third book will be about how groups can use Sociocracy for better meetings, to get more done, and to feel more connected. She also teaches the N St. Consensus Method for groups that would like to use consensus.

Diana is a certified as a trainer for Gaia Education's Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) course, and a Board Member of GEN-US (Global Ecovillage Network-US) and GENNA (GEN-North America). She wrote chapters for the Gaia Education/EDE books Beyond You and Me and Gaian Economics, and the GEN book Ecovillage: 1001 Ways to Heal the Planet. She has written articles for Communities magazine, GEN Newsletter, the Communities Directory, GEN NewsletterPermaculture Activist, and Permaculture magazines. She was editor of Communities magazine (1994-2007) and publisher of Ecovillages newsletter (2010-2012). She is a member of Earthaven Ecovillage in North Carolina.

Email Diana at diana~at~ic.org


Some highlights from Kevin Bayuk’s conversation with Diana Leafe Christian include:

  • An overview of the various common forms of intentional communities

  • An introduction to Sociocracy and other governance & decision-making systems

  • How to integrate critically important feedback loops for group processes

  • Diana’s 8 crucial structures that groups, whether intentional communities or businesses, should put in place immediately to prevent structural conflict

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.


Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.


Kevin Bayuk, Co-founder and Partner at LIFT Economy, works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets next economy organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown and a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute.  You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinbayuk or email him kevin@lifteconomy.com.