Sustainable Communities

The very nice folks at Sustainability Camp 2008 have asked if I would be able to speak at their event on Sunday.

Well, to be honest, they asked my boss. And he said, "No." And they said, "Oh, pooh. We're maybe short a space." And then he said, "Hey Corey, what are you doing Sunday afternoon?"

But after SO MUCH FUN talking at ProductCamp just a few short weeks ago (and I should really write a piece on that, there's a good idea), and of course considering that there are few things in this universe I love more than the sound of my own voice (the sound of Julie Andrews' voice, for instance), it was pretty much a done deal.

So it's not yet 100% clear if I'll be speaking there or not, but my topic if I am will be Sustainability in Communities. I'm fascinated by the problem of building self-sustaining communities -- sustaining from a SOCIAL rather than an economic point of view. How do you create a community that will last? What makes long-lasting self-organizing groups different from those that collapse?

Lots of possibilities there, I think. New-style companies like Ricardo Semler runs (or that Chris and I are talking about), online hobby-based communities, and grass-roots political organizations.

Any thoughts from out and beyond? Any experiences with communities that persisted beyond expectations?