Diana Leafe Christian, author of the books Creating a Life Together and Finding Community, is publisher of Ecovillages, a free online newsletter about ecovillages worldwide (EcovillageNews.org), and a columnist for Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) (gen.ecovillage.org). She is a trainer in GEN’s Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) program, and speaks at conferences, offers consultations, and leads workshops internationally. See www.DianaLeafeChristian.org. Articles by Diana Leafe Christian include: Ecovillage Activists in Japan (Issue # 138) Can We Make a Difference? (Issue # 137) The "Ten Most Beautiful" Communities in the World (Issue # 136) When Adobe Pueblo Meets Star Trek (Issue # 136) Worth Their Weight in Gold (Issue # 134) Remembering Eileen Caddy (Issue # 134) Avoiding Abundance’s Traps (Issue # 144) Reunion Under the Redwoods (Issue # 153) We the People (Issue # 154) Busting the Myth that Consensus-with-Unanimity Is Good for Communities (Issue # 155) Busting the Myth that Consensus-with-Unanimity Is Good for Communities, Part II (Issue # 156) How the “N Street Consensus Method” Helps N Street Cohousing Thrive (Issue # 157) Consensus and the Burden of Added Process: Are There Easier Ways to Make Decisions? (Issue # 158) So Why Do Cohousers and Ecovillagers Join Community? (Issue # 158) Saying Goodbye to Consensus-with-Unanimity in European Communities (Issue # 159) Transparency, Equivalence, and Effectiveness (Issue # 160) Self-Governance with Circles and Double Links (Issue # 161)
Just knowing the community has this process in place deters people from breaking agreements. People don’t want to get a knock at the door by one fellow community member, much less three or four.
Earthaven Ecovillage learns the hard way that it’s important for a community to choose its legal entities carefully, and to consult and listen to lawyers. A member shares some lessons from their ordeal.
Earthaven and Dancing Rabbit embrace their groups’ evolution and growth with innovative new governance and decision-making methods.
How can a diverse group best make decisions? After many years advocating it, the author concludes that consensus is not the answer.