This morning a friend brought my son home from a birthday party. Her sons had also attended the party and our house was on their way home, so bringing them all home together significantly reduced the carbon emissions. In other words, it was a good move for sustainability which we all value. But that isn’t why it happened. It happened because I didn’t have a car today. Sustainability born of necessity.
Most of us join a cohousing community with little experience of consensus. We find the ideas of shared decision-making quite appealing, but we don’t really know how to do it. So we read books and blogs and attend conferences and workshops and we try to find our way. Somewhere along the line most groups write down some cohousing rules. They may call them bylaws or community agreements or some other name. At their core consensus rules tend to be best practices, things we agree to do together because we believe they will make our consensus process work for us.
Yes! Well, probably. We welcome blog text from cohousers, those forming communities and cohousing professionals. We are a clearinghouse for all things cohousing and we want to offer as many perspectives and as broad a viewpoint as possible.
You may have noticed that the majority of our blogs are written by CohoUS staff. This is not by choice. We’d much prefer to have all of you submitting success stories, challenges overcome, and lessons learned to share with each other. Even better if you send photos to go with them!
As it happens, the community dumpster is on the far end of the community from my unit, so taking out the trash takes more time than it did back when I had my own curbside pickup. Funny thing is that despite it taking much longer (sometimes an hour or two!), it’s become my favorite chore. I could try to explain my reasons, but I think instead I’ll just tell you the stories.
It is time, my cohousing compadres, to plan for total global domination.
We shall train an army of children to storm the streets on tricycles, tear up pavement and leave greenspace in their wake. We’ll crush the fearful isolated suburbanites with a brutal onslaughts of holiday cookies, smiling neighbors, and spontaneous music jam sessions. Entire sprawling neighborhoods will get buried under tiny-home urban infill, lush organic gardens, and cooperative agreements. We will subvert the corporate HOAs and zoning boards with conversation and consensus.
Sociocracy for All
Making Meetings Shorter
Much appreciation to Ted Rau for presenting WebChat #5 earlier this month. We had a great audience who were drawn by Ted’s enticing topic “Keeping Meeting Shorter.
After reminding us that meeting are about connection and that long meetings can breed resentment and lower participation, Ted offered 3 great suggestions for making meetings shorter:
Keep groups small so meetings can be faster.
Consent decision making
Rob Sandelin, a member of Sharingwood Community for nearly 30 years, was a prolific poster to the cohousing-l email discussion group, and positively influenced the development and growth of communities throughout the U.S. with his wisdom. Although he passed away nearly 2 years ago, his words continue to guide cohousing communities. Below is a post he made to our cohousing listserv back in 2005. Thanks to Marty Maskall of Fair Oaks EcoHousing for bringing it back to our attention.
For most families it is easy to imagine the benefits of sharing a cohousing community with other families with kids the same age. Naturally the kids will play together, the parents will have peers moving through the same stages together, and carpooling to activities is likely.
You may have heard that a new cohousing.org website is on its way. The website is a central part of the services The Cohousing Association of the US offers. As a clearinghouse of information and connecter of people and communities, our website is one of our most effective tools for doing what we do.