A few weeks ago the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 was signed into law retroactively extending numerous tax incentives for green building and energy efficiency projects. An updated PDF summary of the incentives is attached.
I was recently in a discussion at home where about eight of us were shining our collective light on the topic of feminism. While there was ready agreement that Dancing Rabbit aspired to be a feminist community, it wasn't so easy defining what that meant, and even some resistance to making the attempt.....This is very murky territory, where the observations of any party can be discounted as biased. All can have a piece of the truth; some can be off base.
The problem with "blocks" is usually (1) lack of a common or well-defined aim and/or (2) avoidance of using a more appropriate decision-making method, like preference rating or majority vote. Unless the group can meet all the conditions necessary to use consensus, "blocks" will occur as the result of trying to use a decision-making method that is not appropriate.
We are completing five months in our digs and five months into the adventure of being a cohousing community. Several people in the community have pointed out that adventure requires missed turns, missed trains, etc. Something that goes smoothly is a vacation; all else is an adventure. I like to think of our first five months as similar to a newborn.
One of the ways the principles and methods used by sociocracy speed up decision-making is going directly to objections instead of discussing the proposal. The proposal should state the perceived advantages or reasons why a decision is needed. The presenters will also have presented the issues and options they considered. After clarifying questions, there is usually no need to hear arguments in favor or to repeat the discussion that has taken place in the team or in previous membership meetings. The following process produces a decision most effectively:
Some call me an “experienced cohouser,” but I am also a “wounded cohouser.” It’s like having cohousing PTSD. I am now a part of a newly forming cohousing group http://newamericanvillages.com/ and with every hint of delay, I get spooked. When potential members express their concerns, I think “Oh, yeah, be worried—be very worried.” I hesitate to lead but know that being in a community like this means that I can’t just follow passively. When anyone asks when the community will be built, I say “in about a year.” And then I cry a little inside.
What an enormous gift cohousing gives to those living in community ☺
Many of you currently live in cohousing, have collaborated on construction or development of communities, or are in the process of finding your new cohousing home. So, have you ever thought…
I’d love to help make more of these communities a reality!
What if my work helped cohousing community formation from the ground up?
What if I could learn how, and bring those skills to meaningful fruition in my area?
At Jubilee Cohousing in Floyd, VA, we are hard at work with our cohousing-savvy builder designing our neighborhood and homes. We are ambitiously building an all Passivhaus neighborhood and Common House (ultra-low energy design/construction) and it feels great, like we’re experiencing our own mini energy revolution! 2014 has been an amazing year of happenings...
We're talking about intentional communities, right? Then doesn't it make sense to be intentional about filling positions of responsibility?
Overwhelmingly, intentional communities can think up governance structures faster than they can staff them....it's essentially universal that communities have more committee slots than people who are actively and competently filling them. There are, I believe, a number of factors that contribute to this phenomenon. Here are five:
When people create intentional community they are purposefully choosing a culture that is shifted more toward the "we" end of the spectrum and away from the "I" end. People living in community are, by design, opting for a social reality in which their lives will be more interwoven with those of fellow members and less autonomous. In consequence, there will be a number of decisions that you may be used to making solely as an individual (or as a household) that you are now obliged to work out with fellow community members—because your choices may impact others, and you've agreed that you're in this together. Let me walk you through this.