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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Twin Oaks Communities Conference 2013 to feature the Solidarity & New Economy

Preparations for the 2013 *Twin Oaks Communities Conference are now in full swing!  For those who don't know, Twin Oaks is an income-sharing, egalitarian community located in rural Virginia. We are 95 people living on 450 acres, where we collectively own and manage a number of our own businesses (more at We have hosted this fantastic conference for over 20 of our 45 years of existence. 

The Conference is a chance for communards, people interested in exploring community and folks who are involved in other community-oriented projects or businesses to get together and share ideas.  There are formal workshops and sessions as well as many informal opportunities to cross-pollinate with other community minded folks.

Our theme for the conference this year is Community Vs. Uncertainty. What role can community play in preparing for an uncertain future?  How can cooperation and resource sharing be leveraged to create equitable, sustainable and satisfying solutions to local and global crises?
Monday Programming!

One of the most exciting aspects this year for us as organizers is our Monday programming. The final day of the conference will be a multi-faceted look at the concepts around, and examples of the Solidarity and New Economy.  What the heck is the Solidarity and New Economy?  Its pretty exciting stuff. Basically, its a radical approach to tackling environmental and social justice issues while building a fair economy and a strong democracy.

For example: currently, we dump a lot of our trash into landfills or use incinerators to burn up our trash. The result? Toxins leaching into the soil, water, and air: often in low-income, inner city neighborhoods. A New Economy solution? Turn the landfills and incinerators into recycling and compost, and shift the jobs from large, private corporations to local unions. The New Economy is about this kind transformation; turning aspects of our environmentally harmful, unjust economic system into into an environmentally sustainable, fair and equitable one.

The bulk of the Monday program of the Communities Conference will be a symposium on these ideas and a look at the small local groups that are the human-scale, driving force behind these national movements. We are still in the early stages of developing the programming for our Monday sessions and are actively seeking people/groups who are involved in New Economy activities.

Join us for the entire awesome weekend of workshops, community-building and culture creation! Learn about intentional communities from co-housing and coops to communes and eco-villages. We’ll explore issues such as group-decision making, diversity in community, intentional relationships and sustainable living. In addition to structured workshops and sharing circles, there will be plenty of time to network, swap stories and play together at beautiful Twin Oaks Community.

Participant fee includes food and tent space or indoor accommodations (prices vary). We welcome both community seekers and members.

If you are interested, or know someone who might be, let us know! You can write us at

You can register for the conference at

Find out more about Twin Oaks at

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