Community Groups

Community Group Basics

You may be wondering just what an IONS Community Group is and what it does. If so, you came to the right place.

The Community Group Network links the individual groups into a coherent field of folks who share a dedication to bringing about a shift in consciousness. This section of the website offers opportunities for the groups to network in order to share their activities and connect with each other. Check out the Community Group Events to see what’s happening. You can search for happenings in your area by using the regional 'Event Location' drop down menu or by typing in your zip code in the search box for a more focused search.

Click on one of the questions or topics below, or just scroll down to read them all.

What is an IONS Community Group?

IONS Community Groups are self-organizing, self-directing, voluntary associations of members and their friends. Each group sets its own purpose and the direction it wishes to take, consistent with IONS’ overall purpose of “advancing the science of consciousness and human experience to serve individual and collective transformation.” Since IONS was founded on the premise that both science and “direct knowing” (noetic science) are valid means of understanding the universe, groups usually draw on both for their programs. Envision a dialogue between Einstein and the Dalai Lama. The particular balance of the two will depend on the interests of the group members, thus considerable diversity of programs exists among the groups. The essence of IONS groups might be said to be: Science, Spirit, Curiosity and Community. To join an existing group, please go to our Directory of Groups to see if one already exists near you. If not, consider starting a new group.


Why join a Community Group?

IONS Community Groups are a powerful way to connect with like-minded allies, explore frontier ideas about consciousness and transformation, and make a more significant impact on our world. On this page, you will find the basic policies and procedures that guide Community Groups. With almost 200 groups in the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia, our Community Groups are an active and dynamic collection of people dedicated to exploring the frontiers of consciousness. Some of these groups sponsor lectures, conferences, and experiential events in their respective locales in addition to their regular group gatherings.


Community Group Purpose and Principles

Purpose: To form a learning community focused on living consciously and connecting our inner and outer lives.

Principles: A commitment to

  • developing our personal paths and spiritual growth
  • sharing our chosen paths with others
  • supporting others on their paths
  • linking with the global IONS network
  • learning and sharing with others openly
  • building a bridge between science and spirituality
  • stimulating membership in IONS
  • supporting IONS by sharing the Institute’s research and events


Relationship of Community Groups to IONS “Hubquarters”

IONS’ support for groups is based upon a commitment to encouraging both diversity and local control of local activities. IONS trusts that groups will operate with integrity and guide their gatherings with good intentions. IONS’ central office or “Hubquarters” strives to foster open and communicative relationships with them. This is facilitated by the Regional Representatives, who form a link between Hubquarters and Community Groups. While IONS supports and assists groups in a variety of ways, each local community group operates independently of IONS and is legally and financially responsible for its own activities. Community groups are not "chapters" and we ask that they not refer to themselves as such.


Can anyone coordinate a Community Group?

A Coordinator or Co-coordinator must be enrolled at the $10-a-month (or higher) level in order to register with IONS to start a group. This contribution makes you a Sustainer Level Donor to IONS. It also ensures that the contact information for you or your Co-coordinator’s will be in the Community Group Directory. Some groups pass the hat at each meeting to share the cost as they share the benefits.

Coordinators are expected to be familiar with the guidelines and the materials provided on how to establish and facilitate a group. (For more information go to Starting a Group). We do reserve the right to remove a Coordinator’s name from the official IONS Directory if we feel that doing so is in the best interest of our members or IONS in general.


Why are coordinators requested to be $10/month members?

The Community Group section of this website is an incredible asset to Community Group Coordinators (CGCs). You can post events, find local members in your area, be found by other IONS members, and participate in the weekly teleseminars with today’s Noetic Visionaries. We find it is essential to stay connected to the larger Community Group Network by having the Coordinator be a Sustainer Level Member because your support is vital to the continuation of our research and educational programs. Participating as a Sustainer Level Member provides educational opportunities to assist you in providing up to date IONS research and information to your groups. At a Circle Member Level donation you are invited to participate more deeply in the research through our monthly Journal Club discussions. We hope Coordinators will want to participate in the new IONS website Community Group pages and check in for new information.


Is there a fee involved in starting a Community Group?

There is no fee, but we request that the leader of the group consider being a $10/month IONS Sustainer Level member.


Can anyone participate in my group?

In general, yes. We expect groups to be formed by an IONS Partner Level member who serves as the Coordinator to foster inquiry, dialogue, networking, and community building among IONS members and other interested individuals. The Coordinator should encourage individuals who are not members of IONS to visit the community group to learn about the work of the Institute, and to become IONS members.


What should we call our group?

While many groups operate without a formal name, you may choose to come up with a creative name for your group that incorporates your area and affiliation with IONS. For example, the Sacramento group calls itself “SacIONS.” You might also like to use a more generic title such as “The Nashville IONS Community Group.” Some groups refer to themselves as “study” or “discussion” groups, depending on their specific focus. Please do not use “IONS” as the first word in your group name, so that search engines will find the main site rather than the Community Groups when “IONS” is used as a search term. And please do not use the full name of the Institute of Noetic Sciences anywhere in your group name.


Can Community Groups use IONS’ nonprofit mailing permit or logo?

Because local groups are legally and financially independent of IONS, they are not sheltered by our nonprofit status and are not eligible to use our nonprofit mailing permit or logo.


Can local groups use IONS’ name for advertising purposes?

We ask that you use your individual group name, not the Institute’s name, when advertising or sponsoring special events. For example, “The Little Rock IONS Community Group invites you to its first meeting,” not “The Institute of Noetic Sciences invites you to a local meeting in Little Rock.” This is especially important when advertising public events and on your website.


Publishing Information About Your Group

An example to use when publishing information - "[Group Name] serves members and friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to research and education on consciousness, human potential, and personal and social transformation. [Group Name] is wholly independent of the Institute and is legally and financially responsible for its own activities." The second sentence is the more important of the two and we ask that you try to incorporate it into all your written materials.


Using the IONS Web Site for Your Community Group

Community Group Coordinators can use this web site to do the following:

  • create their own homepage for their group*
  • download media on topics to share at meetings
  • find research to stimulate group discussion at meetings
  • communicate with other Coordinators in the Discussion section
  • take your group’s ideas online and share them with others in the Discussions section

*contact if your group isn't listed


Posting your group's events on

We currently do not post community group events to the events calendar. We recommend using a site such as, to which we can link from your community group directory page on Please review your community group page in the global directory and make sure we have all the correct information, including any other sites where you currently list your events (meetup, facebook, your own website, etc). Send changes to Cathy Coleman.


What if my contact information changes, someone new begins coordinating the group or the group discontinues?

Please send changes to Cathy Coleman who will help update the Community Group Directory. It is extremely important that we keep our records current so members and interested newcomers can access accurate information. In addition, if your contact information is not correct, you may miss important updates, supply mailings and access to potential new members for your group.


What is the Community Group Network?

The Network is the collective of all Community Groups that exchange information among themselves in order to share ideas and materials, provide inspiration, and look for creative solutions for our common purpose: promoting individual and planetary shifts in consciousness. Networking is primarily via the Internet, and also in person or on the telephone at the instigation of the Regional Representative who facilitates connection and communication in the region.


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