Jan Bang new president of the International Communal Studies Association
Jan Bang has been voted in as the next president of the International Communal Studies Association. The study of how community works has been one of his interests for many years, and he says that “to be entrusted with the development of this as an international study is an honour as well as an opportunity.”
Jan was born in Oslo, Norway and grew up in London in the 1950s and 1960s. He studied archaeology, geography, philosophy, education and agriculture in Nottingham and Lincolnshire. He was very active in the English Co-operative and Trade Union Movements in the 1970s. In 1984 he moved to Israel and was a kibbutz member for 16 years. Since 1993 he has worked on environmental projects within the Kibbutz Movement. He represented the “Global Ecovillage Network” in Israel, and helped build up the Israel Permaculture Group, teaching the first Permaculture Design Courses in Hebrew. His work took him on extensive travels within the region, visiting ecovillages and teaching courses in Egypt, Turkey, Cyprus and the Palestinian areas.
From 2000 to 2007 he was a co-worker at Camphill Solborg in Norway, where he had domestic and administrative responsibilities. He has been co-editor of “Landsbyliv” (Village Life), the Norwegian Camphill magazine, for the last six years. He was secretary of the Norwegian Permaculture Association, and has been active within the Norwegian Ecovillage Trust. He received the Permaculture Diploma in the fields of Education and Community Development from the Nordic Permaculture Institute in 2006.
He has written a book on Permaculture Ecovillage Design published by Floris Books in 2005, called “Ecovillages – a practical guide to sustainable communities”. A second book, “Growing Eco Communities – practical ways to create sustainability” was published by Floris Books in 2007. “Sakhnin – a portrait of an environmental peace project in Israel” and “The Hidden Seed – the story of the Camphill Bible Evening” were both published in 2009. He has just edited “A Portrait of Camphill” published this summer to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Camphill. He is currently working on several books about community and environment.