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Conflict: Mediating It and Staying with It

Presenters: 
Jeff Jones
Audiences: 
Emerging Communities
Thriving Communities
Cohousing Professionals
Time: 
Sunday 10:45-11:45

The basics of interest-based negotiation used in facilitative mediation will be explained and applied to common situations in cohousing: one person who has a problem; two people who would like to talk about the problem and find a solution; two or more outspoken and polarized individuals who are concerned about a community issue. Participants will learn how to use the interests of those listed above to inform a community process or community meeting. Any community member can use these interest-based mediation skills to address any potential community conflict early, increase overall understanding of positions as well as possible outcomes, and stay in communication with the issues over time.


The Happiness Factor

Presenters: 
Henry Kroll
Audiences: 
Emerging Communities
Thriving Communities
Time: 
Saturday 10:00-10:45

In our American culture, we often measure "success" on the extent of our personal wealth, degree of fame, and our accomplishments. We talk about our GDP which means Gross Domestic Product but seldom mention our GHF, the Gross Happiness Factor. Over the last 20 years, cohousing has learned how community itself can play an important role in our happiness factor, as individuals and as a culture. A panel of experienced and thoughtful cohousers will lead a discussion about the success and challenges of achieving happiness through participating in an intentional neighborhood community like cohousing.


Cohousing 2.0: Other Cohousing Models

Presenters: 
Joel Rothschild and Shelley Goguen Hulbert
Audiences: 
Emerging Communities
Cohousing Professionals
Time: 
Saturday 1:00-2:00

Joel Rothschild will discuss the evolution of the cohousing movement and will consider the question: How might atypical projects inform the future of cohousing's form and audience? Some communities (1) are retrofitted from an existing block, cul-de-sac, or building; (2) don't have a conventional common house; (3) are focused on particular demographics or spiritual practices; (4) use mixed economies of community and private incomes; (5) are very small or very large; (6) embrace alternative approaches to home ownership and investment; (7) use common facilities to stage public outreach and education services; and (8) have a second home approach. Shelley Goguen Hulbert will discuss a different development model, drawing from her own experiences with Nubanusit Neighborhood and Farm. Typically, a group of future neighbors work together to develop their cohousing community.

CANCELLED: Development of Cohousing in Sweden

Presenters: 
Dick Urban Vestbro
Audiences: 
Emerging Communities
Thriving Communities
Cohousing Professionals
Time: 
Saturday 1:00-2:00

Sadly, Dick Urban Vestbro will not be able to attend the conference.

Dick Urban Vestbro will describe how the previous Swedish cohousing model based on services with employed staff was replaced by a new model based on the residents’ own work. Since 1979, about 50 such multifamily housing blocks have been built in Sweden. Most of them are urban rental housing units built by municipal housing companies. This means that cohousing is available also to single parents, pensioners, and other persons with low or moderate incomes.


VestbroDick Urban Vestbro is a professor emeritus at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, having done substantial research on cohousing since 1964. He lives in the collective housing unit Tullstugan and has a position as the chairman of the Swedish association Cohousing NOW.

Coho U Report: Research and Writers Workshop

Presenters: 
Diane Margolis, Lisa Poley, and Dave Wann
Audiences: 
Emerging Communities
Thriving Communities
Cohousing Professionals
Time: 
Saturday 11:00-11:45

The Coho U Research and Writers Workshop brought together a diverse group of researchers, writers, and others who have an interest in studying and writing about the role that neighborhood-level community may play in the sustainability of human culture and our planet. Working together, the workshop participants shared information and ideas, presented research, and brainstormed research possibilities. Come hear the workshop organizers talk about the outcomes of this first-ever academic workshop.


Diane Margolis, PhD, is a founding member of Cambridge Cohousing in Massachusetts. She writes about cohousing and is professor emeritus at UCONN. She has published two books – The Managers: Corporate Life in America (William Morrow) and

This Is Delegated to the Ones I Love

Presenters: 
Laird Schaub
Audiences: 
Emerging Communities
Thriving Communities
Time: 
Sunday 10:45-11:45

It is crucial that large groups working with consensus learn to delegate effectively (or the meetings will never end). This workshop will break down what work should/must be done in plenary and what can/should be delegated to a committee or manager. We'll lay out the essentials of a clear mandate and the proper sequence of consideration that will empower committees and managers yet keep their work in balance with whole group responsibilities. We'll talk about groups whose work is redone in plenary and runaway committees that do way more than they were asked (bad, bad, bad.)

ElderSpirit Community: Results of a Three-Year Study of Seniors in Cohousing

Presenters: 
Dene Peterson and Anne Glass
Audiences: 
Thriving Communities
Cohousing Professionals
Time: 
Saturday 11:00-11:45

Dene Peterson and Anne Glass will present the findings of a three-year qualitative study of ElderSpirit Community in Abingdon, Virginia. ElderSpirit Community is a cohousing community of 29 homes – 16 low-income rental housing and 13 market-rate ownership homes. ElderSpirit is a community of mutual support and late-life spirituality.


Dene PetersonDene Peterson is the founder and developer of ElderSpirit Communty, located in Abingdon, Virginia. Dene holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in administration. Dene is certified as a Housing Development and Finance Professional. In 2006, Dene was selected as a Purpose Prize Fellow.

Selling the Cohousing Lifestyle (Canceled)

Presenters: 
Jean Le Vaux
Audiences: 
Emerging Communities
Thriving Communities
Cohousing Professionals

This session will utilize a discussion format to disseminate the value of cohousing to the general real estate buying public. As a realtor in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jean Le Vaux discovered cohousing through clients who have developed several cohousing properties and reside in one themselves. Once she realized the benefits to individuals, families, and people of any demographic, she became a "missionary" of sorts, persuading everyone she could to consider a cohousing lifestyle. When she found a property that she considered suitable for conversion, she had the developers create cohousing-friendly buildings.


Sociocracy

Presenters: 
Sharon Villines
Audiences: 
Emerging Communities
Thriving Communities
Cohousing Professionals
Time: 
Saturday 11:00-11:45

This session will focus on a presentation of the values, principles, and methods of sociocracy, the only governance method designed for consensus decision making and a model governance structure designed specifically for cohousing. Almost all governance structures are adaptations of parliamentary procedure and were developed to facilitate majority rule. The antidote, whole-group consensus, works well in small groups with narrow aims. As groups grow in size and complexity, however, consensus decision making becomes unwieldy, and decisions are made by default. We will discuss how sociocratic governance retains a sense of the whole and its respect for individuals while functioning effectively. Handouts will include a diagram of the consensus process and a governance and decision-making model for cohousing.


Discussion: How Are Communities Dealing with the Economic Downturn?

Presenters: 
Kathryn McCamant
Audiences: 
Emerging Communities
Time: 
Saturday 11:00-11:45

Groups in the development process in 2008/2009 have had to deal with radical changes in the financing and housing markets. What happens when you do everything right, but the market falls out from under you? How are communities dealing with unsold units after construction completion? What will it take to finance new cohousing communities in this new financing climate? What do new communities need to be aware of that older communities never had to deal with? If your community was caught in the recent downturn, come share your experience, tell us how your community is dealing with the economic slowdown, and learn from those who lived through it.


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