Is there another way to create cohousing? Many of our wonderful cohousing communities have been built on a foundation of member investment with a great deal of support from building professionals. In this week's WebChat, Alan O'Hashi considers a variety of paths to cohousing.
Yana Ludwig's second WebChat was another great success. This time she tackled the topic of Cooperative Culture, giving us 6 of her 10 strategies for being effective in cooperative governance. Yana begins with an introduction to the extremes of the cooperative spectrum and the dangers of overcompensating. Then she guides us toward balance in the middle.
Her 6 shared strategies:
1. Accurate hearing of self and others.
If you can't accurately hear, you can't accurately care.
So imagine this, you’ve had a meeting of your community, forming or
formed, and you could hear some tension in the discussion. Roberto was
really not happy with the discussion. At process check-in the
facilitator asked if he was upset and he said he was fine, he just
needed time to mull over the facts.
And then the next day you get a call from Evonne and she is crying.
“Roberto just emailed me and he thinks I’m trying to destroy our
Shelly Parks of Covision Consulting joined us for her first WebChat and took us through the basics of shifting new members from explorer status to full member status. She explained the stages from defining your path with clear descriptions of what membership is and what is expected at every stage, to walking along with your explorer as they get acquainted and decide to join your community.
Ted Rau, co-founder of Sociocracy for All presented our WebChat last week on Meeting Agendas and Minutes. Read the summary below and watch the full WebChat at this link https://youtu.be/J7HrsF3PXhk
A backlog tracks topics between meetings. It is a complete list of topics to be addressed by the committee or group. Keep this list up to date both by adding topics as they are submitted or suggested and removing them when they are complete.
I started Fair Oaks EcoHousing because I want to live in a friendly community where neighbors know and care about each other. I think we need more neighborhoods like that!
1. It was Love at First Sight
In Fall 2003, I visited my friend Don’s home in downtown Sacramento. When I looked out his kitchen window, I saw a number of other homes facing each other, all with porches, and all facing a beautiful shared green. One of the homes was much larger. My mind was blown. I asked my friend to explain. He said he lived in cohousing. I said “Co-What?”
For our 10th WebChat, Architect Laura Fitch walked us through the process her home community, Pioneer Valley Cohousing, uses for Design Review. In other words, how the community considers requests from members to make changes to the exterior of their homes.
We were excited to have Laird back for our first returning WebChat presenter. He took on the topic of participation, which is, as he says, the single most common challenge facing intentional communities he works with. Participation refers to the non-monetary contributions people make to communities and it tends to get messy.
That second question matters and may be worthy of review. In the broader culture of the US, there is a lot of focus on tasks, work and material accomplishments. This is good. We like beautiful flower beds, roofs that don’t leak and clean common house kitchens. The work does need to be done. But why do it together? Why not hire it out? Why not let each person contribute on their own schedule?
There’s a funny thing about cohousing.
When you look at typical cohousing marketing, you see messages about what it is like to live in community: private homes, shared common space, know your neighbors. But when you ask people why they live in cohousing, the conversation goes someplace else: Cohousing supports democracy, it makes me a better person, it improves communication and leadership skills in our children, I’m able to give support to my neighbors.