I have been interested in starting an intentional community ever since I first stumbled upon the principles of permaculture. When pondering starting a community, the number one uncertainty that pops into my head is always about how to start it up. My concerns are mostly financial. I'm never going to be interested in acquiring a large amount of debt, so how do you get around the land acquisition startup costs?
Also, I understand that small and slow solutions are the way to go, but I feel like building a community in this fashion would take multiple generations. How do you apply this principle to the scale of building a community, when homes take a long time to build?
Carefully ask yourself the question, why do you want to START a community, as opposed to joining one already in existence or in the process of formation? A perusal of a site like www.ic.org will show you many, many communities already out there, many with just a few people and in need of help. These are also your best resource if you are intent on the plan of starting one....it would be a wise move for you and any other interested parties to make a tour of communities in your area, "to see how they do it".
One idea from my own experience of living in community settings of various kinds most of my adult life (two of which blew up in my face!)....it seems to work better to find and build the core group of interested people, and with them work on visioning, communication skills, and "invisible structures" in general, and then later think about acquiring property together. Far too many communities are "started" by a person or a couple with land already in possession as private property, and without very careful documents, with legal power behind them, that give newcomers, at some point, a secure stakehold, on whatever terms, you end up with "founders syndrome" and a modern equivalent of feudalism.....
"It's about being organic, man", it's about not starting a community, but inviting people into our everyday lives and seeing where it goes. Every "community" that I've been involved in, that worked, had a natural organic growth with ebbing and flowing of people count as well as direction. Some have continued on past my involvement, others have not. Death is natural. That's okay. I think it's in our desire to control that we lose control.
Sorry, I'm having a hard time summing up my experiences, without using ethereal examples.
But I stand by the statement of opening up your everyday life to people, they see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then there is no shock down the road. It reminds me of watching my boy play yesterday. He walked up to a boy playing in the dirt he'd never play with before. He stated his name, age, and that he wanted to play. When conflict arose, they stated what was the matter, it got worked out. An hour later when we had to leave, they parted ways having had some fun.
My two cents
Grow things and have fun