Diana Leafe Christian

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Diana Leafe Christian
Residence North Carolina, United States
Fields Permaculture
Participants in a 2006 workshop led by Christian at O.U.R. Ecovillage, British Columbia

Diana Leafe Christian is an author, former editor of Communities magazine, and a nationwide speaker and workshop presenter on starting new ecovillages, on building communities, and on sustainability. She lives in an off-grid homestead at Earthaven Ecovillage in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, USA.[1][2][3] A 2007 quip of hers about what living in community is, is that "it is the longest, most expensive, personal growth workshop you will ever take."[4]


Christian grew up in Los Angeles. According to her, she learned to write at what she called a "real-life school of writing". During the 1970s and 80s Christian wrote articles for New Age magazine, Yoga Journal, and East West Journal, and she hosted radio interview programs in Hawaii and in northern California.[5]

In the early 1990s Christian published a newsletter, Growing Community, about starting new communities. During 1993-2007[5] she was editor of Communities magazine, a quarterly publication of the nonprofit Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), about intentional communities and organized neighborhoods in North America. Her first book on communities (see below) was published in 2003 and her second in 2007. In 2007, she founded the bimonthly Ecovillages newsletter, a project of Cooperative Resources & Services Project.

Published works[edit]

Christian is the author of two books designed to help people who want to join or start their own ecovillages or other intentional communities. In Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities, she uses success stories, cautionary tales, and step-by-step advice to cover typical time-frames and costs; the role of founders; getting started as a group; vision documents; power, governance, and decision-making; legal structures; finding and financing land; zoning issues; sustainable site plans; selecting new members; and good process and communication skills for dealing well with conflict.

In Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community, she covers researching, visiting, evaluating, and joining communities.

Public speaking[edit]

Christian speaks, leads workshops, and shows slide presentations on ecovillages in the United States and Canada, including Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Tennessee, Los Angeles Eco-Village, Lost Valley Educational Center in Oregon, O.U.R. Ecovillage in British Columbia, and Easton Mountain Center in New York. In a 2015 engagement, she spoke on the application of permaculture design principles to ecovillages' financial, legal, and social aspects, in San Diego.[6]

She has led workshops at the North American Cohousing Conference, Twin Oaks Communities Conference, and FIC's Art of Community gathering. Her articles on ecovillages and intentional communities have appeared in publications ranging from Mother Earth News to Canada's This Magazine. She has been quoted in The New York Times,[2] Harper's magazine,[7] and AARP Magazine, and interviewed by Vision magazine, New Dimensions Radio, NPR, and the BBC.

When not touring to give workshops and talks, she lives and works in her sustainable homesite within Earthaven Ecovillage. She participates in Earthaven's consensus governance process, and has served on its strategic planning and membership committees. Christian also gives public and private tours of Earthaven.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Living green before their time". Toronto Star. 20 May 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Jacobs, Andrew (11 June 2006). "Ideas & Trends; Extreme Makeover, Commune Edition". New York Times. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Kelly, Joe (19 September 2007). "From homeless to village people?". Vue Weekly. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "Practical Tools to Grow an Intentional Community". Peak Moment Channel. 2007.  (interview)
  5. ^ a b "Diana Leafe Christian: About". Diana Leafe Christian. 
  6. ^ "Permaculture Voices". Retrieved 2015-06-19.  (speaker listing)
  7. ^ Urstadt, Bryant (August 2006). "Imagine there's no oil: Scenes from a liberal apocalypse". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved 27 Dec 2010. 

External links[edit]