Cohousing Over Time ^ Bios ^ Cost ^ Program ^ Registration ^ Schedule & Sessions ^ FAQ

Schedule & Session Descriptions

Session descriptions will be posted here as they are available.


Join us for opening remarks from the Cohousing Association staff and board, including instructions for using technology for this online conference.

Sky Blue, Embracing Change: The challenges and possibilities of established communities

Becoming a stable, established community is something to celebrate. It can also bring a whole slate of problems that may not pose an existential danger, but can drain the life out of a community. This doesn’t have to just be the way it is. If we come together and embrace the challenge a whole new world of community is possible.


Session 1
“I love them, but…” Constructively Addressing Values Differences & Conflict in Community
Georgia Handforth

This is a structured discussion designed to explore the experiences and concerns of longtime cohousers, those seeking community, and everyone in between around how to navigate conflicts and values differences in community. We will draw on lived experiences to practice communication and coaching skills that can be brought back to home communities.

Changing Feelings About Workshare
Sharon Villines

In my 25 years of studying and living in cohousing, I have drastically changed my view of workshare. Initially I was wedded to the idea of measuring and reporting time. I tracked my work on spreadsheets. I designed a database, defined jobs, estimated hours, etc. In the end I was the least interested in filling out my forms. But workshare was finally going very well at Takoma Village. What was working?

Kids and Co-housing: How to Prevent the “Us versus Them”
Kellie Teter

What can Co-housers do to avoid the kids and adults being at odds, with an “us vs. them” sentiment? Learn how we have become more skilled at incorporating our children and young people into decision making, into community building, and generally managing our adult anxieties about the life and well-being of what we call “our children”, in order to improve the lives of all our members.

Adopting Sociocracy/Dynamic Governance in an Established Community
Jerry Koch-Gonzalez

How can an established community transition from consensus decision-making to dynamic governance/sociocracy? What are the potential benefits? What are the potential challenges?

Session 2
Neurodiversity in Community: How to Make Communities More Inclusive
Erin Roundy, Crystal Byrd Farmer

Living in community means recognizing and accommodating diversity. Neurodiversity covers autistic people and people with ADHD, personality disorders, and others. These people appear typical on the outside but struggle with everyday life in ways that may make living in community difficult. However, they can also be creative, out of the box thinkers and dedicated volunteers. In this workshop, we’ll cover how communities can benefit from and support neurodivergent people.

Maintaining for Sustainability: Strategies for Improving your Buildings over Time
Erik Bonnett

Does your heater keep breaking, are the windows drafty, or is the siding worn out? Maintenance projects can seem like a chore, but they are also opportunities to save money over time and to dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.

Reserve Funds: By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Mac Thomson

Every community needs to plan for large future expenditures and have reserve funds in place. But how do you know how much to save and what to save for? In this session, Mac will share insights gleaned from 25 years of being the person primarily responsible for the financial oversight of Heartwood Cohousing. If you want your established community to build a solid financial foundation, this may be a good session for you.

Sociocracy Tips – Better Governance for Everyone
Ted Rau

Are you using sociocracy (Dynamic Governance) in your community? Interested in adding on a few helpful tweaks? In this session, we will add backlog logistics, agenda templates, continuing education ideas, tweaked selection processes, operational roles, review processes and large group feedback – you might use some but probably not all of them yet! This course is better for people with experience – but also less experienced folks will be able to use these tweaks, even beyond sociocratic groups.

Session 3
Can Cohousing be Anti-Racist?
Grace H Kim, FAIA

For more than a decade, cohousers have been interested in having conversations about race – maybe even more so now. But cohousers, like many progressive liberals, are often triggered by the naming of White Supremacy, White privilege, Racist behaviors. Confusion about intent and impact often arise.

While many of us have started on a journey towards being anti-racist, what does it mean to make cohousing anti-racist? This session will be a primer – a baby step towards making cohousing anti-racist.

Changing of the Guard – Success in bringing new community members aboard and in parting with old ones.
Silver Sage panel

In this presentation a panel of three to five Silver Sage residents will present, discuss and answer questions about our 13 year experiences in bringing in new members as active participants in the community, including our experience with over 25% of the community turning over in the past 3 years. The presentation will include details on our current successful program for both aiding departing members and their new buyers with an emphasis on growing a deeper and better community.

Checking In on Senior Cohousing – Across the Country and Over Time
Sage Senior Cohousing Advocates panel, with Alexandria Levitt as Moderator

Senior cohousing communities are on the rise. The challenges of aging grow as well. Our panel is comprised of members from 3 senior communities who will speak to the successes and concerns they have faced over time as they and their neighbors age: community building, recruitment, physical limitations, caregiver suites, end of life issues, resident departures and more.

Participants will learn how these groups are faring and come away with ideas to help your own community.

Beyond Compromise: How Wild Sage Reached Consensus on a New Policy
Linda Tate

This session will take attendees through the process of developing a new policy that addresses a contentious issue in the community: participation. Attendees will learn how Wild Sage members worked in a small team to deal with their competing views and to create true consensus, rather than simply compromise.


9:0010:0011:0012:00Welcome and Introductions
10:2511:2512:251:25Session 1
11:3512:351:352:35Session 2
12:401:402:403:40Exhibit Hall
1:152:153:154:15Session 3
2:153:154:155:15Closing and Takeaways
2:303:304:305:30Open Discussion
3:004:005:006:00End of Event

Thanks to our Sponsors

Caddis Collaborative

Cohousing Solutions

Schemata Workshop

The Cohousing Company

Urban Development + Partners

Wonderland Hill Development