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Governance + Group Dynamics


Moving Through Times of Transition

Posted on May 23, 2016 by

What is it that keeps a community’s identity consistent over time? Is it the people? The place? The culture? Here at Foster Village in Portland, OR, we’ve had around a 50% turnover rate over the past year. Some long-term residents have moved on to live in rural communities. Some recent arrivals decided that the level… Read More


Common Fire’s Top Ten Hard-Earned Tips for Community Success

Posted on April 11, 2016 by
1 Comment

The sometimes triumphant, sometimes traumatic experiences of the three Common Fire communities yield wisdom relevant to anyone working to create a community.


Nobody Likes Bosses

Posted on November 1, 2015 by

Even an anti-authoritarian household needs agreements—but who and how to enforce them is another question.


Hot Topic, Raw Emotion, and the Spice of Life: Chewing over Food Choice in Community

Posted on June 24, 2015 by

At La’akea, members’ various approaches to food reflect the quest for emotional as well as physical sustainability.


Rough Start to Rural Community

Posted on May 28, 2015 by

Rough Start to Rural Community Christian and Johannes Zinzendorf call themselves Harmonists, with central beliefs around the value of hard work in an agrarian life, and a communion with the spirits in nature. They make their own clothes from fabrics that they grow and spin from flax. They grow and harvest grains, care for a… Read More


Income Sharing Urban Communities

Posted on May 2, 2015 by

Income Sharing Urban Communities Point A is a group which has “an audacious proposal to form urban, income sharing, egalitarian, democratic, ambitious, engaged communes in the cities of the American East Coast.” So far these cities include Washington DC, Baltimore, New York City, and Richmond. That is a lot of adjectives! Here are some descriptions… Read More


Which stage is your tribe?

Posted on March 17, 2015 by

Which stage is your tribe? It turns out that by listening to the way people speak to each other in working and social groups one can tell a great deal about their stage cultural of development. David Logan, a researcher and professor of management and leadership at USC, and co-founder and senior partner of consulting… Read More


Radical Governance Changes in Two North American Ecovillages

Posted on October 31, 2014 by

Earthaven and Dancing Rabbit embrace their groups’ evolution and growth with innovative new governance and decision-making methods.


Building United Judgment, Now Available for Download!

Posted on October 11, 2014 by

Community Bookstore Building United Judgment A Handbook for Consensus Decision Making Available in Print & for the first time in Digital Format Reviewed by June Wallenburg Building United Judgment by the Center for Conflict Resolution Re-published by the Foundation for Intentional Community 124 pages, Paperbound, 8.5″ x 11″; or Digital Download; ISBN 9780318170381 Building United Judgment… Read More


Facebook as Village Gathering Space

Posted on September 28, 2014 by

What goes on in my mind as I stroll along the Facebook village? When I joined Facebook I got quite excited because I could invite people to events that my friends and I were involved in. I found out about events and promoted them: foodie gatherings, cultural change workshops, important TED talks, meditation retreats, dance… Read More


Burlington Cohousing’s Excellent Solar Adventures

Posted on January 14, 2014 by

When community members want to place “private” panels on “public” roofs, don’t expect clear sailing.


Women and Intentional Communities

Posted on April 11, 2013 by

An interesting article about women and intentional communities!   http://www.more.com/home-not-alone


Living the Questions

Posted on September 7, 2012 by

Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage grapples with obstacles to create a visionary housing project in rural Maine.


Busting the Myth that Consensus-with-Unanimity Is Good for Communities

Posted on June 7, 2012 by
5 Comments

How can a diverse group best make decisions? After many years advocating it, the author concludes that consensus is not the answer.


Busting the Myth, or Changing the Terms?

Posted on June 7, 2012 by

Want a “problem” person to behave differently? Give a different response.


“Busting the Myth”

Posted on June 7, 2012 by

When assessing why a community is struggling to make decisions, we need to ask first how they handle conflict resolution, group-process training, and entrenched patterns.


Diversity Issues in Los Angeles Eco-Village

Posted on June 7, 2012 by
3 Comments

A longtime ecovillage activist moves beyond denial to recognize the institutional racism affecting not only her society and her community, but her own way of thinking.


The Paralysis of Racism in Social Change Groups

Posted on June 7, 2012 by

When a member of a minority population claims racism, how does a group committed to racial nondiscrimination respond?


Spirit in the Woods

Posted on March 7, 2012 by

At New View Cohousing, practicing consensus, navigating illness, and simply
sharing lives are continuing spiritual exercises.


Sharing the Path

Posted on March 7, 2012 by

Even “non-spiritual” groups can benefit through a multitude of simple practices that deepen participants’ connections with themselves, one another, and the sacred.


Sociocracy

Posted on December 7, 2011 by

Lost Valley Educational Center avoids collapse and reinvigorates itself by applying a new approach to governance combining the best of diverse models.


Social Permaculture

Posted on December 7, 2011 by
1 Comment

While expert at understanding ecological connections, permaculturalists often founder in relating with one another. Applying permaculture principles to group dynamics can help us work together more effectively.


Unto the Second Generation

Posted on September 7, 2011 by
12 Comments

When a cohousing group’s honeymoon ends, and economic stress dictates selling units to any willing buyers, can a community’s core values and connections endure?


The Relationship of Relationships to the Group

Posted on June 7, 2011 by
2 Comments

Relationships don’t exist in a vacuum. Through a culture of communication and support, communities can create the healthy container which relationships need in order to flourish.


Shadow Sides of NVC and Co-Counseling

Posted on March 7, 2011 by
1 Comment

To make best use of nonviolent communication and co-counseling, avoid these traps.


Hand in Hand, Heart to Heart

Posted on March 7, 2011 by

With loving help from others, the old emotional distresses that can sabotage both our mental health and our relationships in community can be cleared and permanently resolved.


Poor Minutes Lead to Wasted Hours

Posted on December 7, 2010 by

Author: Laird Schaub Published in Communities Magazine Issue #149 Good records of what happened at meetings are important for a variety of reasons: ● Informing members who missed the meeting what happened. The minutes should include sufficient detail that people will be able to tell if points dear to them have already surfaced in the… Read More


And I Listen

Posted on December 7, 2010 by
2 Comments

Howling, shouting, cries of despair, and The Pierced One greet a parent on her first visit to her daughter’s adopted community. Luckily, through lots of talking and listening, things improve.


Call in the Experts?

Posted on September 7, 2010 by

Author: Beatrice Briggs Published in Communities Magazine Issue #148 Q. Our group is very divided. We need to make major decisions regarding finances, organizational structures, and policies, at a time when interpersonal tensions have reached a boiling point. Certain individuals and factions seem to be locked in power struggles, and at this point we are… Read More


Power and Powerlessness in Community

Posted on September 7, 2010 by

A community member transcends a feeling of powerlessness when he inadvertently comes up with a brilliant idea about how to organize cooking groups, and others join him in implementing it.


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