Our WebChat program has been a great success with dozens of informative presentations. With so many great programs, you have probably missed some along the way. No worries, Past Web Chats are available for viewing below. Enjoy!
9/30/2020 WebChat #55 Neil Planchon & Raines Cohen
Neil and Raines describe the concept of open space events and we introduce the online coho version: 2020 Cohousing Open
8/13/20 WebChat #54 Daisy Birch
Cultural Awareness Resource Menu
As an introduction to our upcoming Community for All online conference (on August 23), Daisy will be guiding us in how white allies can engage productively and profoundly in anti-racism work, in ways that can be life-changing. The program for the evening will include a short video followed by small group discussions and an informative (sometimes entertaining) Cultural Awareness Resource Menu.
5/19/20 Webchat #53 Community Life After Cornovirus
After Covid-19, the world and our communities will be changed. Looking ahead to the end of the pandemic, How will we, as communities, transition to our new normal? What will the new normal look like? What good things have we discovered through this crisis that we will keep going forward?
5/12/20 Webchat #52 Community Check In
A little over a month since our last community check-in, we connect and see what everyone is doing now, what’s working, where there is struggle, and ways we can help one another.
5/5/20 WebChat #51 Online Connection
Karen Gimnig and Megan Shea lead us through a selection of technology tools and best practices to make remote meetings effective and engaging. During the interactive demonstration, attendees share their experiences and perspectives. The focus of part two is deepening connection.
4/28/20 WebChat #50 Cohousing and Coronavirus
Online Meetings with Megan Shea and Karen Gimnig
Tips and tricks for effective online meetings. Tools include zoom, polls, and jamboards, along with best practices.
Gretchen Brauer-Rieke, RN, MSN and a member of the health team at PDX Commons will be with us to share the tools PDXC is using to prepare for potential Covid-19 illness within the community. Given the statistical likelihood that over the months to come their community will experience Covid-19 illness, the health team has developed detailed plans for containing the illness with compassion and care while giving as much support as possible to ill neighbors. Ranging from simple tasks like buying a thermometer to complex protocols for traversing shared spaces as you leave the community for medical care, this case study will help any community prepare for the current pandemic as well as more common occurrences of illness in community. Note that we’ve reserved 90 minutes for this rich topic.
4/14/20 WebChat #48 Cohousing and Coronavirus
Finances and Funnies
One of the impacts of COVID-19 for communities and community members is financial strain. Here, we talk about how communities can support one another, specifically as it relates to finances. And because we know that laughter helps us stay healthy, we’ll be interspersing this serious topic with our favorite COVID-19 humor. Please bring your ideas and your jokes. We’ll have opportunities to share both.
4/7/20 WebChat #47 Cohousing and Coronavirus
Community Check In
Communities share their strategies for living together in the time of coronavirus and their stories of coming together as communities in these time.
3/31/20 WebChat #46 Cohousing and Coronavirus
Joren Bass – Senior Development Manager for Urban Development Partners (UDP) discussed adjustments UDP is seeing in the development, lending and construction landscape during this pandemic. He discussed steps forming communities can take to keep on track with the development process while managing equity reserves. We also looked at how communities can optimize their position coming out of the current slowdown. Cameo appearances from Katie McCamant and Jim Leach.
3/24/20 WebChat #45 Cohousing and the Coronavirus
Forming communities have particular needs in the cohousing world and never moreso than during a pandemic. We’ll consider how to attract and engage with new members, the ways stress shows up differently for groups that do not live together yet, and the concerns that you bring about your experiences.
3/19/20 WebChat #44 Cohousing and the Coronavirus
Open House Options
An Open House is a great way for a community to share the good news about cohousing, which is why we do one on a national scale each spring. This year we’re thinking some communities may be looking for some alternative approaches to sharing with others. In this WebChat, National Cohousing Open House Day Coordinator Raines Cohen and CohoUS Board President Alan O’Hashi share some ideas, including an example of a tour video. Bring your ideas too, the more the merrier as we get creative in the face of challenges.
3/17/20 WebChat #43 Cohousing and the Coronavirus
Coronovirus is impacting more than our physical health. This WebChat explores the impact of isolation on our emotions, considering also the toll of worry for our health and for our economy in this time of uncertainty. While we keep our bodies safe, how do we also protect our emotional health? We gathered on zoom in our usual way for a time of sharing and discussion. What is your community doing? What is working? What isn’t? What are the ways in which living in community makes us resilient? What are the unique concerns and resources that come with living together?
3/12/20 WebChat #42 Cohousing and the Coronavirus
Keep Cohousers Healthy
As communities listen and respond to current events, it seems like a good moment to come together online and talk about how cohousing interfaces with public health concerns. What practices do communities use to stay healthy? How do we take action as a community in the face of individual differences when the stakes are high? How do we balance the competing needs for safety, connection and mutual support?
We gathered on zoom in our usual way for a time of sharing and discussion. What is your community doing? What is working? What isn’t? What are the ways in which living in community makes us resilient? What are the unique concerns and resources that come with living together?
WebChat #41 Katie McCamant
Affordability: Lessons Learned
As the person who has worked more cohousing project budgets (and seen them thru to completion) than perhaps anyone else in the US, Katie will review what makes it so hard to keep projects affordable. Almost every community starts out wanting to keep costs low and to be able to offer more affordable options. Katie will help us understand why they aren’t more successful in that aim. Katie is also very familiar with the affordable housing world of subsidies and the opportunities and limitations of that world. Katie’s goal, in all of her work, is to help cohousing groups increase their likelihood of success by building on the knowledge gained from the cohousing development over the last 30 years, while adapting to the needs of future communities.
WebChat #40 Betsy Morris
Affordability: Building Blocks
What are the basic building blocks of affordability in cohousing? What strategies have different communities employed to reduce costs and bring in outside funding as they develop? What kinds of partnerships make it possible to economically diversify and extend the range of the movement? How can we overcome the market realities and stereotypes, slay the myths of shortcuts and engage proven paths to true affordability?
As we prepare for the Affordable Conference on Affordable Cohousing on February 22, join Cohousing Coach Betsy Morris, in a re-release and group discussion of her Cohousing Journal / Communities Magazine article outlining the many innovative approaches that pioneering communities adopted in the first decade of the movement. Which ones are relevant today? Can these unique models be replicated in new projects?
Betsy is a Cohousing California regional organizer and Global EcoVillage Network (GEN) Ambassador, living in community in Berkeley, California. She is part of the Cohousing Research Network and serves on the area’s Gray Panthers board, working to learn from Tiny Home Villages and landless peoples as we share cohousing principles.
WebChat #39: Karen Gimnig
Personal Growth: Maybe the Most Important Reason for Cohousing
Cohousing is sometimes called the longest personal growth workshop ever. At the same time, we’re sometimes afraid to mention this to potential cohousers we don’t want to scare off. In this WebChat, Karen celebrates the tremendous power of cohousing to make us better humans. She also explains why growth is such a reliable part of cohousing, shares strategies for getting the most growth out of our cohousing experience and gives some tips on what to do when it is someone else’s growth we’d like to make happen.
Slides available here.
WebChat #38: Katie McCamant
Stages of Cohousing Development
Cohousing development is a long and complex process which can be divided into stages. Each stage has different tasks and challenges and requires different resources and skills to navigate successfully. In this WebChat, Katie will describe the stages and what is needed to successfully complete each one.
Slides available here.
WebChat #37: Diana Leafe Christian
Dealing Effectively with Especially Challenging Community Behaviors
After serving as a consultant for cohousing communities and other kinds of intentional communities and living in community herself for many years, Diana has seen four kinds of disturbing, disruptive behaviors that become painful and disheartening for the group. She will share what seems to work well in better understanding and dealing effectively with each of these kinds of challenging behaviors in community. (This is an encore of Diana’s previous WebChat that was interrupted by technical difficulties.)
WebChat #36: Mary Kraus
Getting the work done in community requires a system. There is a great deal of variety in terms of the systems adopted by different communities. In this WebChat, Mary lays out the options and the choices communities need to make to design the system that works for them.
WebChat #35: Sky Blue & Avi Kruley
More than Microcosms: The Transformative Impact of Intentional Community
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.
Slides available here.
WebChat #34: Mac Thomson
Heartwood Annual Budget Process
After decades of doing this, Heartwood Cohousing has a pretty successful annual budgeting process in place and a secret weapon for arriving at a balanced budget that we’ll share with you.
Slides available here.
WebChat #33: Alan O’Hashi
Tell Your Community Story
I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about how to get started with forming a community. Some folks have been at it for a while but haven’t been able to gain any traction. What are some reasons why this happens? In this webchat I’ll provide a way to write your community story to narrow down your “market” to improve the chances to attract the people who may be interested in joining your community.
Slides available here.
WebChat #32: Laura Fitch
Making decisions about architectural design is complicated and potential stressful. Up front “programming” is critical. We’ll discuss ideas for successful design decision making.
Slides click here
WebChat #31: Joe Cole
Culture Change and Personal Transformation
Community invites us to personal transformation in many ways, including through conflict. Joe shares strategies for working with conflict in community. He also explains how our work in community can help address systemic racism, particularly if we are intentional about naming it and paying attention to how racism shows up for us as individuals and in community.
View Slides here.
WebChat #30: Karen Gimnig
Conflict is part of community life. When we embrace conflict as an opportunity for growth and learn the skills to engage productively, conflict can result in more connection and stronger relationships.
WebChat #29: Laird Schaub
Delegate or Die
How to determine what needs to be discussed at plenary, and then to delegate well to avoid frustration and burn out.
WebChat #28: Raines Cohen and Betsy Morris
Buying or Selling a Home in Cohousing
Whether you are looking to join a cohousing community or inviting others to do the same, the process is different than a typical real estate deal. Betsy and Raines walk us through some of the differences and walk us through the process.
WebChat #27: Shelly Parks
Hosting a Great Marketing Event
Tips for making the most of your marketing events, engaging prospective members, and moving them to the next step of membership.
WebChat #20: We Can Work It Out
5 Critical Elements of a Comprehensive and Engaging New Member Orientation
April 17, 2019
WebChat #19: Michael LaFond
Cluster Apartments and Shared Flats in Cohousing
April 12, 2019
WebChat #15: Grace Kim
Acoustics in a Common House
March 6, 2019
WebChat #11: Ted Rau
Good Agendas and Meeting Minutes
February 7, 2019
How can one set up meeting agendas and meeting minutes so we can make things easy and transparent? How can we share information within a cohousing group?
WebChat #5: Ted Rau
Making Meetings Short(er)
November 14, 2018
WebChat #1: Jerry Koch-Gonzalez
Facilitating While Listening
October 10, 2018