Recording Library - Community Culture

Cohousing works best when communities foster a culture that is more cooperative and interdependent than mainstream American culture.  There are many aspects of culture and many approaches for creating it. These sessions address ideas and strategies for building an intentional community culture.  

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All Work and No Play? No way!
Loving Cohousing
Peg Boettcher, Joyce Harvey-Morgan, Shelly Parks

Nurturing member relationships in a developing community takes extra effort during these times. Peg Boettcher, Joyce Harvey-Morgan and Shelly Parks of Skagit Commons, a community under construction in Anacortes, Washington, will share what they’ve learned about fostering fun and making deeper connections with one another as they prepare to live together. Tips will include how to humanize general meetings, develop fun and engaging “happy hour” topics, and create strategies for meaningful internal communication.

Coho Math: IQ + EQ = WeQ
The Nuts and Bolts of Community
Rob Peck

High functioning communities are always a blend of head smarts and heart smarts. They know how to synergize IQ and EQ to tap into their collective intelligence, and harness their combined WeQ (group wisdom) by playing to people’s strengths, and pooling their resources.

In this enlivening keynote, motivational humorist Rob Peck points out that to really do “the coho math” core principles have to become common practices. Key steps include shifting from the Golden Rule to The Platinum Rule, persistently applying Stephen Covey’s 5th Habit (of Highly Effective People) and rigorously remembering a 9 word aphorism- Validate, Before You Advocate What You Want To Initiate (and for extra credit, a “complementary 6 letter acronym”; WHOOPS When Humans Overcome Obstacles, Providence Smiles!)
Find more about Rob’s work at Zestworks

Supporting Documents:
Cooperative Culture
WebChat #13
Yana Ludwig

Yana shares her experience with cooperative culture and the need for balance as we shift away from the competitive culture we learned growing up to a collaborative culture that includes discernment. Yana shares valuable strategies for any collaborative community.

Cooperative Culture Handbook

Creating online retreats – helping communities stay connected
The Heart of Community
Rebecca Hogue

In this session, we will share how we keep our community connected through online retreats. We needed to find a way to stay connected virtually while working through challenges posed during design development. Our retreats are a mix of business and community building helping us stay connected to one another.
Session 3

Cultivating Cooperation and Caring in Community
The Heart of Community
Sky Blue

The culture of individualism we’ve been steeped in does not prepare us for living in community. We want a culture of cooperation and caring, but our hopes and dreams run counter to our training. This session will look at how c1ooperative groups can address the culture they want to leave behind and foster the culture they want.

Ecosystems of Love
Loving Cohousing
Lotus Thomas

This session with roots in Deep Ecology, Social Permaculture, Nature Therapy and Transformational Leadership will weave a web of understanding the interconnection between loving self, others, society, and nature. It will honor ancient origins and highlight some of the pioneering species of the Great Turning toward Love like Joanna Macy, Bill Plotkin, Starhawk, Otto Sharmer and more. There will be four elements of this session including an overview of these modalities, anecdotes of how they seed love, related actions people can take, and feedback about how they have or could be integrated into cohousing.

Embracing Change: The challenges and possibilities of established communities
Cohousing Over Time
Sky Blue

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.

Fostering Connection Through Nervous-system Regulation
Loving Cohousing
Joann Lutz

Recent neuroscience research has shown that our autonomic nervous-system state is very influential in determining how well we can listen, think, respond, and act. If it is balanced, we can function optimally, offering the warmest and most rational and altruistic responses. If it is hyperaroused, in a flight-or-fight mode, or underaroused, in a freeze/shut-down mode, our ability to connect and participate in community can be compromised. Sometimes the dysregulation is subtle, and neither our neighbors, or even ourselves, are aware of it. In this workshop, I will teach autonomic nervous-system basics, and offer some experiential exercises which can help to balance it.

Get to know your community – introverts and extraverts
The Heart of Community
Alan O’Hashi

When you decide you want to live with a bunch of people, collaborate with them on making decisions about your community, socialize with each other, why is it important to get to know your neighbors on more than a superficial level? The data are these – 65percent of the time, a cohouser is an introvert. In this interesting and insightful workshop, you’ll get a taste about the importance of knowing about the continuum between these two personality type

Introverts Unite
WebChat #26
Alan O’Hashi

Introverts Unite: Cohousing is your hedge against isolation
There aren’t a lot of data out there about this, but a scholarly article by gerontologist Ann Glass, phD from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington indicates that in one sample, 65% of senior cohousers are introverts. Why is this topic of interest to me? I’m an introvert – Myers Briggs INFP to be exact. Introverts have a particular role in community, and there are great strategies for working effectively with introverts in community process.

It’s Not About the Nail, Empathy in Dialog
Loving Cohousing
Jerry Koch-Gonzalez

This session shows a brief provocative video and then do role-plays to explore how to get past emotional traffic jams. The focus is on skill development and to understand the dance between empathy and self-expression. 1. listening to understand 2. expressing ourselves to be understood This session is based on the theory and practice of Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

Love in the Age of Covid
Loving Cohousing
Charles Durrett

Author/Architect/movement co-founder Charles Durrett will be sharing insights from his new book Community-Enhanced Design: Cohousing and Other High-Functioning Neighborhoods related to how Cohousing alleviates isolation, especially in light of the pandemic. The talk will discuss previous patterns of social connection and how cohousing communities are adapting to covid, such as greater numbers of people working and studying from home.

Loving Cohousing Keynote
Loving Cohousing
Trish Becker

An inspiring opening keynote by the new CohoUS Executive Director.

Mindful Cohousing: Bringing all of yourself to cohousing!
The Heart of Community
Sarah Arthurs

Cohousers are often folk with spiritual practises . This workshop will be a combination of sharing as well as an introduction to spiritual practice which can support and deepen your cohousing experience .

More than Microcosms: The Transformative Impact of Intentional Community
WebChat #35
Sky Blue, Avi Kruley

Humanity is in crisis. The feedback loop between larger society, the communities we live in, and our personal experiences reinforce systems of privilege and oppression that create harm–harm for people and the planet. As microcosms of (and alternatives to) mainstream society, intentional communities can help us understand ways to shift out of this harm. But what makes something an intentional community, and how is it relevant? To what extent does an intentional community counteract or reinforce systems of harm, and how can we do better? This presentation will provide a deeper understanding of and criteria for these multifaceted experiments known as intentional communities, as well as their relationship to society, current impact, and potential to support the transformation of our world.

Planning Virtual or In Person Retreats for a Cohousing Community During A Pandemic
Loving Cohousing
Jennie Lindberg

Sunnyside Village Cohousing, a forming community in Western Washington, has planned and conducted retreats both in person and over Zoom. We will share with you how we set goals, organized the day with pacing and breaks, balancing business with fun, and resources. We will share with you the differences we found between Zoom and in person.

Relating to Neurodivergent People
Loving Cohousing
Crystal Byrd Farmer

Have you ever been annoyed at someone who is disorganized or forget things easily? The person who wants rules followed to the letter or makes a face when they smell strong scents? Neurodivergent people (those with autism, ADHD, and other so-called disorders) live among us, and they are probably just as annoyed at you! In this workshop you’ll learn about the characteristics of neurodivergence, important accommodations people may need, and how we all can coexist peacefully in community.

Tricks and Tools for Creating Effective Egalitarian Culture in Community
Connecting in Cohousing
CJ O'Reilly

How can a community help develop and maintain a culture of equitable and empowered membership? How can we make decisions effectively as a group? No matter your governance system, from Sociocracy, to majority vote or consensus, or whatever hybrid, there are many tools and which can be applied to help empower and balance voices, participation and decision making.
This presentation is an introduction to some basic principles of effective egalitarian governance and ways to inject or build that culture in community settings. The presentation will include a balance of group participation and presentation.

What can we learn from the Sound Relationship House (Gottman Couples Therapy ) for vibrant lively cohousing communities?
Loving Cohousing
Sarah Arthurs & Kathleen Ryan

A high participation session generating ways to apply the prInciples of The Sound Relationship House from The Gottmann Institute to Cohousing Neighbourhoods.