Tag: cohousing

Consensus or Sociocracy?

Drop Cap Letter QWe are 3 months into starting a cohousing community in western MA. We will soon be discussing how we will make group decisions. Consensus and sociocracy seem to be common strategies in cohousing and other intentional communities. Which do you recommend?

“Consensus or Sociocracy?” Is the Wrong Question

(But there are no dumb questions. This one is a very good question and one we hear frequently.)

Sociocracy and consensus are not opposite things.

  1. Consensus is
Read More . . . “Consensus or Sociocracy?”

Cohousing Meal Programs and Leadership

Some successful cohousing meal programs require participation by either cooking, preparing, or cleaning once every few weeks. (No one is required to eat.) But other communities that require participation in meal support still have meals infrequently.

A successful program averages 3-4 meals a week and their success is often attributed to  organization and leadership. This statement is typical of those programs:

We have a “meals boss” role, the Scheduler. Meals usually a major reason for

Read More . . . “Cohousing Meal Programs and Leadership”

Thinking in Systems by Donnella Meadows

Photo of Donella Meadows

Book Cover of Thinking in SystemsI highly recommend Donnella Meadow‘s little book, Thinking in Systems: A Primer (Chelsea Green 2008). It’s short, fun, and to the point. No math or physics required. Recommended for everyone, literally.

In clear, humorous, commonplace situations, Meadows explains the use of systems analysis and how it can be applied in both large-scale and individual problem solving. She moves from simple to more complex examples ultimately explaining the complex ways that feedback loops are used … Read More . . . “Thinking in Systems by Donnella Meadows”

Switching to Sociocracy in Cohousing Communities

Ecovillage of Loudoun County Virginia which adopted sociocracy when it began organizing in the late 1990s.

 

As is true with all governance changes, it is easier to begin with sociocracy than to switch midstream. Communities tend to stick with “the devil they know” rather than take a chance on a new one, but more and more and more communities are switching full scale or adopting some of the principles and practices.

Except for those who have switched to sociocracy, cohousing communities use full group consensus as their primary method of … Read More . . . “Switching to Sociocracy in Cohousing Communities”

Jerry Koch-Gonzalez, Massachusetts, US

Pioneer Valley Cohousing

Jerry Koch GonzalezJerry Koch-Gonzalez is a certified sociocracy consultant  and  partner in the Sociocracy Consulting Group. His focus is individual and organizational development in governance, decision-making, communication skills, and conflict resolution. His career has been in  organizing, educating, and consulting for social justice.

The approaches he uses are sociocracy/dynamic governance, Non-Violent Communication and Mediation, Restorative Circles, and Transformational Mediation. The organizations with which he has worked include Movement for a New Society, the National Coalition Building … Read More . . . “Jerry Koch-Gonzalez, Massachusetts, US”

Burlington Cohousing East Village, Burlington, Vermont

Burlington Cohousing East Village, Burlington, Vermont

Burlington Cohousing East Village adopted sociocracy in 2013. About their community from their website:

Mission

The mission of Burlington Cohousing East Village is to sustain our community strengths and to create and share better ways to live as neighbors – towards a way of living that welcomes diversity and fosters social connection, affordable living, environmental stewardship, and a smaller ecological footprint.

Values

Contributing to this mission are the following values:

  • We participate in the urban
Read More . . . “Burlington Cohousing East Village, Burlington, Vermont”