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When to Use Consent and Consensus Decision-Making

In sociocracy, consent and consensus decision-making are only used for policy decisions. Policy decisions are those that govern actions and allocation of resources (budget, people, etc.). But this leaves questions for many people about when to use consent and consensus decision-making. It helps to look at policy decisions v, operations decisions.

Rob Sandelin: His insight and humor will continue to ripple through our communities

We are saddened by the passing of cohousing pioneer, Rob Sandelin, a member of Sharingwood Community for nearly 30 years. Rob 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. Below are two stories posted on the cohousing-l email discussion group:

In 1999, our forming community brought Rob in to lead a consensus workshop for us. The work we did together was transformative for me personally and for our community. There are a lot of things I could say about Rob, but the most profound is this story that I now share with every consensus workshop I lead. Seventeen years later, I still tear up EVERY TIME I tell it.

Cooperative Culture Revisited

Today I'm blowing on the coals of an exchange I had right before Thanksgiving with my friend, who offered the reflections below on my blog of Nov 20, 2016 Defining Cooperative Culture....
As I am taking a few days off work, I thought I would comment on your latest very interesting blog. I think you are overemphasizing the differences between competitive and cooperative cultures.....The points you make have become staples of well-managed companies because they work.
....When he writes that I'm overemphasizing the difference between the two I wonder what familiarity he has with cooperative culture. I don't say that to be snarky, but because I've worked as a consultant to cooperative groups for 30 years and the vast majority of my clients haven't—to their detriment— bothered to define what cooperative culture is. In fact, a lot of my workload stems from groups that are ostensibly committed to cooperative principles yet bring unexamined competitive behaviors to the attempt, and it's a train wreck.

How Cohousing can Unite a Divided America

I’m presenting an intensive at the 2017 National Cohousing Conference May 19th in Nashville. I’ve been struggling with the content.

It was initially going to be a redux of the “diverse personalities” retreat I led in Arcosanti in the fall, but after being a part of the Women’s March on January 21st, it came together for me as a workshop melding cultural competency, diversity and community activism.

Gainesville Cohousing Breaks Ground - First in Florida

Congrats to Gainesville Cohousing, breaking ground on a community five years in the making.

Great publicity received! Click here to see local ABC news affiliate video.

GAINESVILLE, Fla - A co-housing community in Gainesville broke ground Friday afternoon, and neighbors are one step closer to moving in.

Community Co-Care Agreements

This is a compilation of posts on the coho-l email discussion list serve in late January 2017, in response to this inquiry:
Does your community have formal or informal co-care agreements about how
neighbors will support one another in their aging journey? Have you had
discussions and if so, what questions guided the conversation to help get
to practical agreements?

Thanks,
Dyan Wiley
Pioneer Valley Cohousing

Oakcreek Community - A Different Type of Senior Housing

"Having people watching out for you helps with the practical aspects of aging but the consensus government, shared work and shared spaces that are part of a place like Oakcreek Community meets important emotional and psychological needs. Having a sense of purpose and the social interaction that comes with living in community have both been shown to be vital to healthy aging..."
Click here for the full article from the Stillwater Press: "Oakcreek Community - a different type of senior housing"; Click to view Oakcreek's video for a sneak-peek at senior cohousing.

How to talk across our political divide

[This is a repost from Craig's blog on Good Group Decisions Inc. Craig also offers a Make Shift Coffee House: a forum he designed to help people understand each other. If any cohousing community would like to host such a forum, he will facilitate it for free! Contact Craig here.]

In principle, when people in a country, state, town, or family have opposing political views, it’s really hard because political views reflect our core values and our core identity. It’s hard when your sense of identity is threatened. It’s no wonder people opt out of politics or don’t like it when things get political....Yet opposing political views also reflect our diversity; that we come from different places with different experiences and different beliefs. Our diversity helps us learn new things from each other and helps us craft new solutions to our problems.

With conflict in the air, cohousing communities are poised to be shelters in the storm

[Diana Sullivan was inspired by this [click here!] one-minute video featuring our keynote speaker at the 2017 National Cohousing Conference, Sarah van Gelder of YES! Magazine.]

“We're going to need to turn to one another and not on one another”

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