I'm currently immersed in four days of FIC organizational meetings, where a key focus has been how to make better connections with others trying to build cooperative culture. Essentially, those of us with deep familiarity in community living believe that we're learning something in the crucible of that experience that has wide application—in neighborhoods, in the workplace, in schools, and in churches—yet we're frustrated with the lack of invitations to share what we know. What's going on?
Last week in Nevada City, a team of over 20 attendees – having traveled from as far away as Brazil – participated in a week-long workshop on Aging Successfully in senior cohousing. The concept stems from a workshop in Denmark that is designed to set seniors up for success, called Study Group One. The approach is outlined in Charles Durrett’s book, Senior Cohousing: A Community Approach to Independent Living. Participants included development professionals, architects and people who are already working on or want to start their own cohousing communities.
What a great community we have at Silver Sage Village!
And if anyone asks about how many it takes to boil a lobster ... the answer is simple: It takes a village to boil a lobster at least the village at Silver Sage. When we started to plan on Monday for the Lobster Boil ... many knew it would be fun! Yet I think the "adventure" of the entire evening with everyone contributing AND enjoying either "handling", cooking or even avoiding the crustaceans made our gathering FUN for all but the dozen lobsters!
I arrived home at midnight after a long weekend in Boulder, attending the Regional Cohousing Conference. I should have been exhausted, but I was wired after the energizing gathering. A success by any measure, we had close to 90 folks attend, 2/3’s from outside Colorado, including Minnesota, Mississippi, California, Texas, Missouri – even a few folks from Canada, and one from Australia! The conference program had a spontaneous flavor (Jim Leach described it as “cohousie” in organization), and thus allowed for abundant story sharing and organic issue discussion. Many who attended are part of forming groups, with lots of questions; others had enjoyed many years of cohousing life and were interested in ways to enhance the vibrancy of their community. There were two sessions that particularly influenced me.
Beth Baker, author of “With a Little Help from our Friends,” will be in Salt Lake City, Utah to speak at an “Aging Successfully in Community” event sponsored by SageHill Cohousing Partners. Beth will share innovative ways that people are approaching retirement by creating communities that ensure we will be surrounded by a circle of friends, family and neighbors as we age. Oct 18, 2014 visit http://sagehillcohousing.com/events/
Cohousers will be part of the NYC People’s Climate March on Sept 21st, showcasing this great banner! Laura Fitch is leading about 20 people from Pioneer Valley Cohousing, and will be joined by other cohousers from NYC Coho, NYC Cohousing Group, Katywil Farm Community, New View Cohousing, and Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm, along with others they may collect along the way. Nancy Turkle from Katywil Farm Community worked with Laura to design the banner - nice job! Let’s send good wishes to these folks giving their time to this good cause, and raising awareness that cohousing can be part of the solution!
Question: We are 3 months into starting a co-housing community in western MA. We will soon be discussing how we will make group decisions. I don't think we have to reinvent the wheel on this one. Consensus and sociocracy seem to be common strategies. Which do you recommend?
Sociocracy and consensus are not opposite things. Sociocracy is based on consensus decision-making.