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.
Coho-l Posts from Various Cohousers across the U.S.
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?
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.
“My illness is messing with my brain, making things fuzzy. But this kind of stuff, I can’t forget it.”
The cohousing world lost a pioneer and community mentor in the Summer of 2016, Joani Blank of Swan’s Market Cohousing in Oakland, CA. A fierce advocate for the power of community, all who knew her have stories to tell.
I had the privilege of interviewing Joani by phone a few months before her passing. She kept me on my toes, and soon I’d strayed far from the list of questions I’d written.