Save the Date! April 12 Workshop on Emerging Tiny House & EcoVillage Opportunities

Interested in tiny houses, treehouses, hobbit houses, and ecovillages in the Blue Ridge region?

Join us on Sunday, April 12 for a review of design innovations, market trends, and new initiatives for resilient living!

The gathering is from 11:30 am - 4 pm, and will include a pot luck lunch/picnic at the Green Barn at 131 Mulberry Drive, Stanardsville, Virginia  22973.  

We'll also do a walking tour of the White Lotus Eco Retreat and practical conversations on tiny houses and intentional communities, 

Highlights of the program are attached – look forward to seeing you on Sunday!  RSVP to or call Mark at 202.257.2574.

Click on image to view in high resolution

Click on image to view in high resolution

James Madison University Talk Explores Tiny House Opportunities


Despite bone-chilling temperatures, more than 40 students and faculty members at James Madison University turned out for a Tiny House Community presentation on February 15 in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Openworld Villages President/CEO Mark Frazier outlined trends favoring emergence of new communities, regulatory barriers now holding back their formation, and prospects for "crowdmoves" to localities that implement reforms.  Many students expressed interest in building tiny houses and in work-study and internship opportunities to prepare. The event was sponsored by Madison Liberty, a campus group promoting free market and decentralist approaches.  The presentation is available on Slideshare.

Openworld Villages Joins Initiatives for Global Change

Three global forums focusing on innovations in community development are bringing principals of Openworld Villages into their strategy discussions.

The Antigua Forum, an annual gathering of global investors and changemakers sponsored by the University Francisco Marroquin, invited Openworld Villages co-founder Mark Frazier on January 16-17, 2015 to share ideas on accelerating the growth of intentional communities. In two days of discussions, facilitated by Robert Quevedo, a working group mapped opportunities for Openworld Villages to catalyze local-level zoning and building code reforms, and create toolkits to jumpstart development of Tiny House Communities in the United States and abroad.

The WorldFix, a new global network that has formed to promote innovations in governance, has invited Openworld Villages to share ideas in an upcoming Congress in the British Virgin Islands. Organized by Sunny Sangha of the Artha Group, other founding members of TWF include Zachary Caceres of the Startup Cities Institute, Marcin Jakobowski of Open Source Ecology, Ben Knight of Loomio, Joe Quirk of the Seasteading Institute, Michael Strong of Radical Social Entrepreneurs, and Joshua Vial of Enspiral.

Initiatives of Openworld Villages will also be highlighted in the Building the New World Conference, a May 28-31 global gathering in Roanoke, Virginia.  Openworld Villages cofounders Fred Oesch and Mark Frazier will be conducting a workshop on "Planning Micro-Communities of the Future: The Tiny House Movement and Beyond." Other speakers at the conference, which is being organized by the Oracle Institute, include author Charles Eisenstein and futurists Barbara Marx Hubbard and Jerome C. Glenn. 

Scottsville, Virginia Moves Forward on Nature Trail Project

Fred Oesch, cofounder and VP of Planning for Openworld Villages, has completed a master plan for for The Van Clief Nature Area in Scottsville, Virginia.

The plan calls for a nature trail near a downtown retail and residential area. It was accepted by the planning committee in a meeting on February 2, 2015,  as in conformance with comprehensive plan.

Construction of the trail system, which will run for more than two miles, is scheduled for the Spring.

EcoVillage Charlottesville Plans Advance

Fred Oesch, cofounder of Openworld Villages, has been invited to join the board of directors of EcoVillage Charlottesville, a nonprofit group developing a 6.5 acre, mixed use site.

Oesch will have a principal role in preparing physical development guidelines, dwelling unit design, master site planning, and costings for the privately-funded project, which aims to create a replicable model for intentional communities.

Openworld Villages President/CEO Mark Frazier also has been invited to advise on inclusive ownership and financing structures for the community.


Preparing for New EcoVillage and Tiny House Community Opportunities

As traditional approaches to community development falter, a new era of opportunities for EcoVillages and Tiny House Communities is emerging. 

This vision has inspired the cofounders Mark Frazier, Fred Oesch, and David Vanderveer to launch Openworld Villages as a nonprofit venture that will provide tools and startup support to emerging intentional communities.

"We feel it is the right time to share our experiences in ways that can accelerate the spread of sustainable communities," said Frazier, the President/CEO of the new venture. "Innovations in building techniques and the rise of AirBnb and other sharing economy platforms are reducing the startup resources needed for successful new communities."

Frazier, who also serves as president of Openworld, Inc., has experience in pre-investment studies and policy reform projects in 50+ countries as well as in state and local projects across North America.

Another cofounder of Openworld Villages is Fred Oesch, head of Oesch Environmental Design and a leading specialist in EcoVillage design. Oesch has been a principal of residential community and resort development projects in the US and abroad. He oversees physical planning for Openworld Villages projects.

David Vanderveer, cofounder and Chairman of Openworld Villages, is owner of White Lotus Eco Retreat, a leading venue for special events located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The 21-acre site has attracted a world-wide clientele and top ratings on AirBnb and other sites from hundreds of short- and long-stay visitors.

"Together, we are gearing up to offer free starter tools, a spectrum of fee-paid services, and revenue sharing partnerships with high potential EcoVillage and Tiny House Community ventures," said Frazier. "We are excited at prospcts for emergence of freer, more affordable, and replicable EcoVillages and Tiny House Communities."