Councillor’s new president role

Chris Coates.
Chris Coates.

Scotforth West Green councillor Chris Coates has been elected president of an international academic association.

Chris was elected president of the International Communal Studies Association (ICSA) at the association’s recent conferencein Scotland.

Formed in 1985 in Israel at Yad Tabenkin, the Research and Documentation Centre of the Kibbutz Movement, the association’s aim is to provide a forum and framework for the scholarly exchange of information regarding communal life; communes, intentional communities , kibbutzim and other collective communities throughout the world.

Chris, who has been a board member of the association for a number of years, said: “I was surprised, and a bit taken aback to be asked to become the ICSA president never having been to university and having drifted into research and writing rather late in life.”

The accolade has been given following the publication of Chris’s second book on communal living Communes Britannica earlier this year.

The book tells the story of communal living in Britain from the second world war through to 2000, beginning with wartime pacifists looking for an alternative to the death and destruction they saw the world descending into, through the 1960s and 70s hippy communes, up to the 21st century where environmental activists are trying to create new communities that can cope with the challenges of climate change.

Chris added: “I have lived in some sort of communal set up on and off for more than 30 years, but I never dreamed that it might one day lead to being head of an international academic organisation.”

Chris lives with his partner at Forgebank Cohousing project, a 40 unit ecohousing development on the banks of the River Lune at Halton that he helped to set up.