Laura Fitch, Pioneer Valley + Fitch Architecture & Community Design
New to cohousing? The National Cohousing Open House Day April 29, 2017 is perfect for getting a real taste for what it would be like to live in a cohousing community. Plan a whole vacation around an area that is featuring several tours, or just find a single tour near your home. Seeing is believing. You are sure to come away educated and inspired and wishing for great neighbors like the ones who will host your tours. Perhaps you will even find your next home in an existing community!
Intentional communities sort broadly into two kinds: those where members share income (roughly 10-12 percent of the North American field today), and those where they don’t (the vast majority). In the case of the former, the community takes primary responsibility for the economic welfare of its members. .....For non-income-sharing communities, however, the collective tends to leave the economics of member households untouched. This is a huge difference....Both because most intentional communities don’t share income and because the potential there is less explored, the primary focus of this examination will be the economic relationship between the collective and the individual in non-income-sharing groups. I’m going to first describe what’s extant, and then attempt to make the case for shifting it to something else.
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.
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.
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.
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.