There’s a lot of variety in what groups need and what experts offer. Areas of support may include consensus decision-making, skilled facilitation, conflict mediation, values clarification, organizational structure, and more. Because there is so much subjectivity in assessing how well a particular consultant is able to help a specific group, the FIC makes no recommendation about anyone on the list. Instead, we offer this advice:
1. Interview the candidate to see if they have experience and ideas that appeal to you about how to work constructively with your particular situation. (Note: Some people may be better at teaching process theory than demonstrating how to practice it, and vice versa—be clear about what you want the consultant to do.)
2. Ask for and check references. Ask about clients who wanted help of a kind similar to what you are seeking.
3. Be clear on what the fee covers. Besides the work on site, possibilities include handouts, follow-up consultation by phone or email after the visit, a written report afterward, and more.
4. Find out how long the consultant has been offering their services professionally.
Fees need to be negotiated directly with the community consultants. If anyone gets work as a result of being listed here, they have been asked to donate 5% of fees to FIC (exclusive of expenses), to help maintain our program of services for and about community living. If you hire someone through having read their listing here, please let both us and the community consultants know.
We are also interested in hearing your experiences with this service, whether or not the community consultants listed were helpful to you, and how things turned out. If you are a community consultant who wants to be listed here, you may contact us. Or if you know of community consultants who you think should be listed here, send us their info and we’ll get in touch.
Community Consultant List
West (WA, OR, ID, CA, NV, UT)
Facilitation and workshops on consensus, conflict resolution, meeting facilitation and more, plus a website offering extensive free resources. While I work with a variety of nonprofits and other organizations, my base is in communities of people who live and work together. I’ve been involved with the communities movement for over a decade, and bring a deep caring to this work—group process is truly my passion. My workshops are consistently reviewed as informative, fun, and practical.
11640 SW Boones Ferry Rd., Portland, OR 97219
Facilitator, mediator, and trainer with 15 years of experience supporting healthy process in activist organizations, cooperatives, collectives, non-profits, intentional communities, and other kinds of groups. With an active approach rooted in attention to patterns and relationships, brush helps grow consensus into living reality beyond formal procedure. He draws on experience as co-founder of the residential worker collective Cedar Moon, the non-profit TLC Farm, and the group process collective A Circle Group.
Night Kitchen, 6143 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Irina has worked as a group facilitator and mediator with experience in conflict resolution within collectives, worker cooperatives and intentional communities. She specializes in organizational and community development, strategic planning, and educational justice and reform.
1112 Harrison St., Berkeley CA 94706
I have over 15 years of experience working with consensus-based groups as a member, facilitator, and consultant. I recently completed my Masters Degree in Organization Development to expand my skills in helping groups identify their goals and how to reach them. I can offer meeting planning and facilitation; training in consensus, facilitation and communication; and a participatory process of problem solving and communication. This process increases the group’s skills while solving its own concerns.
M. Colette Hoff, M.Ed.
Colette Hoff co-founded the Goodenough Community along with her husband John. She is a life-long learner and has made the learning process her life focus. She has a Master’s degree in education and is a pastoral counselor as well as a pastor in the interfaith tradition. A Taoist by nature, Colette is a sensitive relational coach and a family life educator. She teaches group facilitation skills and is an effective organizational trainer.
Richard Kenagy, Ph.D.
Richard Kenagy is a research scientist at the University of Washington, is married and has three children. He has been instrumental in developing the men’s culture and program in the Goodenough Community, and currently co-leads the Conscious Couple’s Network with his wife Lee. Richard has been president of our community council, and is well-trained in group process and facilitation. Richard has been a member of the community for 24 years.
Rebecca is on the staff of the community as Outreach Director. She has a background in organic agriculture, both as a grower and as a field advisor. She is a skilled negotiator and group facilitator. Rebecca has three children and has helped raise several foster children. She is on the board of the Northwest Intentional Communities Association and is responsible for the newsletter. Rebecca lives in a communitarian household of 2 children and 6 adults.
Kirsten Rohde, R.N.
A former union organizer, Kirsten is an experienced and well-trained facilitator, administrator, and negotiator. She has held a number of leadership roles in the Goodenough Community in the last 18 years, as well as having an extensive background in group dynamics and facilitation in her professional life. She is a nurse, currently working with US Veterans, as well as administrator of an Alzheimer’s research project. Kirsten also has interest in communitarian finances and alternative currencies.
You may contact any of these people through the Goodenough Community Office, listed above.
CoHousing Solutions has direct experience with all aspects of community development. We can assist you with every phase of a project’s scope from site feasibility to growing and strengthening your group; from overseeing the political process of planning approvals to outreach and marketing. In addition, we can help you structure investments, create budgets, and get financing. We’re also skilled in facilitating options and upgrades selection, managing the construction process, and preparing the community residents for move-in.
One of the nation’s leading cohousing experts, Katie McCamant has designed and developed dozens of communities. She and her husband, Chuck Durrett, introduced cohousing to North America with Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities. She brings the depth and diversity of her experience as an architect, developer, and cohousing resident to her clients.
I offer group facilitation, training and mediation services to non-profit groups and community organizations. I have lived in community for thirty years, including co-founding my present community, Sunshower Farm. I recently wrote “Consensus-Oriented Decision-Making” (New Society Publishers, 2011). I earned my doctorate researching how to help high conflict families in divorce and I taught group process at JFK University. My facilitation approach combines nonviolent communication, conflict resolution, and a deep understanding of group dynamics.
Kim offers trainings to help groups live and/or work together more effectively. His trainings address communication skills, individual awareness and empowerment, and creating cooperative decisions. Each training is tailored to your group and can include progressive leadership, dealing with projection, conflict resolution, and addressing burnout, among other topics. Kim’s trainings work for groups who are working together well and want to get better, as well as groups who are struggling. Joyful community is possible!
Lafayette Morehouse, a communal group, has thrived pleasurably for over 40 years, devoting those years to researching and achieving an ever-improving life in a group. Unlike many experts in the field, we actually live together. Drawing on our experiences, our consultants describe and demonstrate the time-tested successful communication processes, conflict resolution techniques and methods of sharing and agreeing on goals, attitudes and values we have found to produce gratified individuals in a cohesive and harmonious group.
Ron Milam is a skilled and experienced facilitator, having worked with many groups using a consensus decision-making process, including the Los Angeles Eco-Village where he has lived for eight years. Ron’s listening skills, his enthusiasm and his understanding of the group decision-making process have helped numerous groups make important decisions that have enabled them to grow as communities.
John Perkins, PhD
5201 22nd Ave NE Ste 201
Seattle WA 98105
In egalitarian communities the same people conceive, decide, implement and live with the results of important actions. I customize my facilitation to help you with the situation at hand while respecting the nature of your community. I can also facilitate real issues–like power–in ways that will strengthen your community. I trust that we can always co-create a way through that holds the group together while advancing the discussion. I have special strengths in facilitating Open Space Events which lead to doable decisions.
A clear & compassionate facilitator, conflict resolution specialist, organizational consultant, and group process trainer, Karl has over 20 years experience facilitating groups internationally, and 16 years living in intentional communities (including 3 years teaching at the Findhorn Foundation). His depth of process skills is rooted in an embodied, natural approach to Nonviolent Communication (he’s a Certified Trainer in NVC), Restorative Circles (a community-based approach to restorative justice), Process Work, and collaborative governance (consensus, Sociocracy, Holacracy).
Groups often wait until there is an emotional crisis before calling upon a facilitator. I understand. Most people are hoping they can deal with the emotional storm themselves. Many times, however, a group can’t see the layers beneath the initial issue. I have the ability to see the bigger story and to help a group of people understand the real nature of their conflict. I have received training in Process Work, Mediation, Nonviolent Communication, Sociocracy, and Circle Process.
I work with cohousing communities, other intentional communities, and nonprofits to:
* Facilitate meetings on difficult or emotional issues
* Coach process teams on agenda planning and facilitation techniques
* Teach workshops on consensus and other collaborative decision-making techniques; communication skills; and conflict resolution.
I am based in Northern California, but available to travel.
“Peace is conflict done well.” I have been practicing and offering various process arts in community since 1998 and am happy to teach “aikido beyond the dojo” body language, as well as provide community building facilitation, consensus and conflict training, and an introduction to the “myth of peace” through several approaches including archetypal psychology, co-creative culture-making, and Martial Nonviolence. Please visit my website for free downloads and shared resources.
Southwest (AZ, NM, TX, CO)
Community building, conflict resolution and issues of power, control, and decision making are so often all wrapped up together that to approach just one issue separately is to invite less than full success. The “community” work I offer successfully integrates and addresses all these issues across the full range of people interactions: physically, emotionally, socially, mentally and spiritually. Founder of the Mariposa Group Community. Offering this work for 20 years to communities, private groups and corporations.
1080 Oakdale Pl., Boulder, CO 80304
I offer different services than many of my fellow community consultants. My specialties are strategic development, business planning and fundraising (having raised over $75 million). I lived in an ecovillage for seven years (Sirius) and in a spiritual community for 13. I have 40 years experience as the director of several nonprofits and foundations, including Omega Institute and the Waldorf Foundation and have consulted with over 200 communities, nonprofits and progressive businesses.
I work primarily with cohousing groups. Together we clarify their vision, shared values, methods for decision making, and expectations. I facilitate groups’ clear communication, setting realistic goals, with a focus on the intention behind decisions. I have an MA in Facilitating Community Development, and have developed a workbook to guide groups through their important forming stage. I also do consulting work with other non-profits. I’m a former president of the board of The Cohousing Network.
Middle Plains (MT, WY, ND, SD, NE, KS, OK)
No listings currently in this area
Midwest (MN, IA, MO, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH)
I offer training in consensus decision-making, facilitation, community organizing, and public speaking for radicals. I also work as a facilitator with community-based organizations, collectives, and non profits, specializing in visioning and organizational development . All of my services are available at a sliding scale or for barter. I use identity and rank awareness in order to understand and leverage conflict for growth, and all of my workshops offer opportunities for community-building.
Also see Autumn Brown’s NY listing in the Northeast section.
Jacob Stevens Corvidae
I have over 10 years of experience with facilitation and conflict resolution in a variety of sectors. Gender and race issues are comfortable terrain for me, as is the question of when consensus is and isn’t appropriate for a group. I recently co-founded the Detroit Facilitation Guild.
Grace Potts (in MI)
Please see Insight Unlimited’s main listing in the Midatlantic and Northeast section.
“Step by step the longest march can be won,
Many stones can form an arch, singly none”
A collection of stones can be a pile of rubble, or a wall–or, if carefully aligned, a graceful doorway. Through verbal and somatic coaching and group process facilitation, I assist individuals and groups to transform their unexamined habits and conflicts into more liberating practices and to move powerfully towards their visions.
Laird’s work is rooted in 40 years of community living and 30 years of active involvement with consensus-based nonprofits. Since 1987, he’s been a consultant about consensus, up-tempo meeting facilitation, conflict, and organizational structure. Key to his approach is encouraging people to welcome the full range of human responses. This expressly includes non-rational input—such as emotional, intuitive, and kinesthetic—in recognition that people know, process, and transmit information in a wide variety of ways. Since 2003 he has been conducting two-year facilitation training programs for participants living in specific regions (students meet eight times for three-day intensive weekends, spaced approximately three months apart). He has delivered this program 11 times all across the US and there are new courses starting all the time. Contact him if interested in a training program near you.
Facilitation of groups that heightens self-awareness, encourages creativity, values each voice, fosters self-organization, and inspires movement toward cooperative decision-making and action. Meeting formats include: Dialogue, Open Space Technology, Appreciative Inquiry, & Community Building Workshops. Training in Nonviolent Communication and Mediation. Extensive Construction related experience. Over 25 years experience in Sustainable Community Development, Design, Construction, Consultation and Inspection. Excellent ability to interface with Residents, Contractors, Architects, Municipalities, and Stakeholders on specific issues or complete Project Management.
PO Box 332, Cottage Grove, WI 53527
The work I love most is process facilitation, working to identify the challenges the group faces, finding the question(s) and facilitating a process that will help them uncover their path through these challenges. I have been consulting for over 20 years and am currently self-employed with EagleHeart Consulting. I have worked with people in intentional communities in the past, on both conflict/mediation work and coming to agreement on vision and values for their community.
Southeast (AR, LA, MS, TN, KY, AL, GA, FL, SC, NC, WV)
1025 Camp Elliott Road, Black Mountain, NC 28711
I offer weekend consensus workshops, 1-2 day facilitation workshops, and meeting facilitation. Also, in late February 2003, after completing mediation training, i will begin offering mediation services. Experience: 20 years practice in consensus decision-making, 10 years of active facilitation, 5 years teaching consensus process. Training: Caroline Estes, C.T. Butler, Bea Briggs, Rob Sandelin. My most profound training, however, has been as a facilitator at Continental Bioregional Congresses and Earthaven Ecovillage Council meetings.
Author of Creating a Life Together and Finding Community and former editor of Communities magazine, Diana has taught consensus and offered consultation-workshops on problems associated with community decision-making for cohousing communities and other kinds of intentional communities in the US and Canada since 2006. She also offers consensus training for new members of Earthaven Ecovillage, where she lives. Her consensus teachers include Caroline Estes, CT Butler, Bea Briggs, Tree Bressen, Laird Schaub, and Ma’ikwe Ludwig.
Arjuna da Silva is a founding member of Earthaven Ecovillage, offering experienced group process and Consensus facilitation and education. A counselor and hypnotherapist, she’s studied Process Work with Arnold and Amy Mindell, and trained in various Consensus decision-making styles. “Adding Process Work to Consensus brings the group’s background into focus with the foreground.” A graduate of the New School for Social Research, she is committed to building a natural life at Earthaven.
Midatlantic (MD, DE, DC, VA)
I facilitate group process, lead trainings/workshops, and consult on cooperative organizational development. In my 10 years at Twin Oaks Community I’ve served a term on the Board of Planners and spent years on the community’s Process Team. I’ve helped start and run small, co-operative businesses. I was the staff facilitator for a co-operative healthcare fund. I’m on the Boards of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, the Fellowship for Intentional Community, and Ecovillage Charlottesville.
C.T. Butler is the co-author of the book On Conflict and Consensus and is the creator of the consensus process known as Formal Consensus. He is available for facilitating and consulting in consensus decision making, better meeting process and conducting conflict audits.
I work with nonprofit organizations on strategic planning, meeting facilitation, and conflict response training. I also have background in project evaluation. I use participatory methods, utilizing knowledge and expertise in the group in order to move forward. In addition to working for nonprofits, I have served in leadership roles on local and international nonprofit boards. These experiences have given me critical understanding of group process and organizational planning/management from various points of view.
I have lived in a number of intense group situations, with lots of roommates (or bus-mates!), and am planning/dreaming of an ecovillage with a food forest. I have a degree in Psychology, but my main area of expertise is in entrepreneurial, administrative, and project management pursuits for communities, organizations, and small businesses. I am experienced in online marketing, building websites, e-commerce, IT systems, branding, packaging, online distribution, budgeting, business administration, and sales. I am the Advertising Manager for FIC, both for Communities magazine and on ic.org. I was able to grow this income for FIC substantially. I am also the Business Manager, and have lead the efforts to digitize all of FIC’s work, boost sales, build a new website, create new products and income streams, and improve our financial situation. Now in addition to my work with FIC, I also work as the Operations Director, and IT Manager (busy man!), for the Global Ecovillage Network. Let’s brainstorm and create a plan to boost your community, organization, or business opportunities!
I enjoy supporting communities and strong interpersonal relationships. I have experience with group and interpersonal facilitation, clarifying organizational vision and values, parenting, and supporting relationships. I have also co-founded several relationship-building projects:
- NotJustSkin.org, an all-volunteer organization supporting parents, children, and communities.
- Maitri House, a family-inclusive intentional community operating by values-based consensus.
- the Human Support Group, a regular relationship practice and support group.
I work locally, on sliding scale, and accept barter.
I have devoted a 20-year career to helping individuals and groups reach their full potential, using methods like Appreciative Inquiry and Dialogue Mapping to develop strategies, charter teams, resolve conflicts, and clarify responsibilities. With my process facilitation support, people shift from judger into learner mode so they can engage deeply, honor each individual, and access the collective wisdom of the group. I want to help people and communities thrive. It’s my passion. Flexible fee schedule.
Beth G. Raps
RAISING CLARITY: to cultivate abundance in noble causes, people and organizations
PO Box 117, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411-0117
304-258-2533, [email protected]gclarity.com
RAISING CLARITY works individually and with communities to improve money flow as a function of messaging, staying true to mission, uniqueness/brand, and good grassroots organizing and relationship building. We emphasize clarity–inner and outer. We have an amazing history of over 25 years of success. Our blog is designed to give away free many of the tools we teach: http://www.raisingclarity.com/ We welcome all serious inquiries and offer thanks for your work.
Northeast (PA, NY, NJ, CT, MA, VT, NH, RI, ME)
Alejandra Liora Adler
1562 First Ave. #284, New York, NY 10028
Please note that most of the year I am traveling in South America, so email is a better way to contact me.
Meeting facilitation and workshops in consensus decision-making and conflict resolution. Training of facilitators. Bilingual English/Spanish. I have taught workshops and/or facilitated meetings in fourteen countries. Co-founder of Huehuecoyotl Ecovillage in Mexico and la Caravana Arcoiris por la Paz. I have a creative, dynamic approach to my work and emphasize practice sessions in workshops. I am working on applying consensus process to daily life and spiritual growth as well as to governmental structures in South America.
Please see Autumn Brown’s main listing in the Midwest section. (Currently lives in Minnesota, often returns to New York so also potentially available there.)
In US: PO Box 811, Watertown, CT 06795
In Mexico: Ecoaldea Huehuecoyotl, Apartado 111, Tepoztlan, Morelos 62520 Mexico
In US: 860-945-0056
In Mexico: 739-395-5077
I’ve participated in Consensus, Facilitation and Conflict Resolution in communities of various kinds (nomadic and place specific) since 1977, and helped found Ecoaldea Huehuecoyotl in Mexico where I presently reside. Am fluent in English and Spanish and can manage well in Italian and French. I’ve received Facilitation training with Caroline Estes and Bea Briggs. In 2002 I became an associate member of the International Institute for Facilitation and Consensus.
I offer professional meeting facilitation on all topics with a focus on efficiency, inclusiveness, and good documentation. I help groups decide missions, work plans, etc. I live in a cohousing community and I’m especially experienced at consensus decision making. Please visit my website to see what others have said and a list of clients.
Over the past 25 years, I have studied and lived in dozens of communities (including Findhorn and Auroville) and offer a variety of facilitation and consulting services. My Ph.D. was on Children and Education within Intentional Communities and in 1999, I started Living Routes, which partnered with UMass Amherst to run study abroad programs in ecovillages around the world. I left Living Routes in 2012 to start Earth Deeds, which offers online tools for groups to meaningfully account for their carbon emissions and CAPE, which develops custom academic programs in ecovillages. I am particularly adept at building bridges between communities and universities and I currently serve as President of the Global Ecovillage Network.
I have 15 years experience living in communities (domestic and international) and currently teach in a conflict management program (Woodbury College, VT) and direct a community mediation center. I assist groups with meeting process, consensus building, visioning and conflict resolution plus offer free monthly electronic newsletters with practical tips. I usually start my work with an assessment and then partner with clients to design trainings or interventions to best meet their needs.
P.O. Box 44
Middletown, CT 06457
Alice Leibowitz (in CT)
Insight Unlimited provides facilitation, process training, mediation, and strategic planning services to communities, grass-roots organizations and non-profits. We believe that groups have the wisdom to create solutions for themselves–our role is to create a space for that wisdom to emerge. Please feel welcome to call us for a free 2 hour consultation. Our services are free or low cost for communities working to create affordable housing for the lowest income brackets ($25K/year or less).
Also see Insight Unlimited’s MI listing in the Midwest section.
I offer training, coaching, consulting, mediation, group process and facilitation services grounded in my 30 years experience with Nonviolent Communication (NVC), consensus and dynamic governance (sociocracy), diversity training, counseling and social change. I am a CNVC certified trainer, a certification candidate in sociocracy, and have an M.Ed. in Organizational Development. I have lived in cooperative housing and intentional communities all my adult life, and have been living in the Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community since 1994.
AdminService supports administrators in private schools, Waldorf schools, intentional communities and business managers in both schools and nonprofit organizations. AdminService is not a consulting service, but specializes in working alongside you on the project, simultaneously completing the project and training your staff. Projects range from Strategic Planning, board development, administrative reviews, policy and procedure manuals and transition from pioneer to administrative phase. We also can work on financial aspects of your organization. We bring a spiritual orientation to the work.
Canada (western: BC, AB, SK, MB)
Turning Times Research and Consulting
Turning Times offers co-op development services for housing and land co-ops – including working to introduce the equity co-op model to BC. Services include: visioning, governance and organizational development, business plans, strategic planning, consensus decision making, policy development, and co-op research. I am a member of CoopZone, Canada’s Co-op Developers Network, former Research Director of the BC Institute for Co-operative Studies and live at OUR Ecovillage.
April has worked as a mediator, facilitator and trainer, and believes passionately in our potential to work together with respect and equality. She specializes in organizational and community development, strategic planning, multiparty conflict intervention and mediation, adult education, and workplace issues of discrimination and communication. She has extensive experience in housing communities, and has worked as a mediator and trainer for both the Cooperative Housing Federation of B.C. and the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada.
Jan offers training and implementation on computer-assisted process management, including collaborative document authoring, on-line consensus making, policy development, decision modeling and recording, coop formation, asset management, financial organization, and more. Jan has 20 years consulting experience in addressing social issues with technology, having done process management consulting in Switzerland, Canada, and various US locations.
Community Leader – Facilitation – Social Policy
Vancouver, BC Canada
I have 12 years experience as a group facilitator and social policy maker. I tackled the “stuck” issue of community contribution through a focused and creative consultation process that included everyone in the community. Through team collaboration, we created a policy by consensus. I offer leadership, training and listening skills to move communities through challenging issues towards understanding and effective decision-making.
Canada (eastern: ON, QC, NB, NS)
I offer my services as a facilitator to small groups, in French or English. I invite groups to welcome diversity of personalities and opinions, to honor the self-organizing co-creative energy of the group and to collaborate in non-linear problem-solving. I have lived in community and have experience as a teacher and as a therapist. I enjoy meditation, yoga, massage and computers.
Gatineau, Québec, J8Y 2A6
Group facilitation in French and English for non-profits, associations, cooperatives, communities. I draw from active listening, group dynamics and non-violent communication, with special care given to creativity and humor. The facilitated process will allow you to clarify your position, decide for action, and experience change. I would also be pleased to assist a group in the co-creation and co-facilitation of their own process. And I work on a gift economy basis. Contact me for more info!
International Institute for Facilitation and Consensus
Plaza Corporativa #113, Domingo Diez 1589, Col. El Empleado, Cuernavaca, Morelos 62250 Mexico
Tel/Fax: +52 (777)1022288 and 1022290
Meeting planning and facilitation, conflict resolution, training in consensus decision-making and facilitation, consulting on organizational change. Because I am a USer who lives in an ecovillage in Mexico and has worked extensively in Latin America and Europe, one of my specialties is working with diverse, multi-cultural groups and meetings that require translation. I am bilingual (English-Spanish). I also am experienced in working with large groups, annual assemblies, board meetings and other complex gatherings.
28 Vasil Kolarof Street, Voditsa, Targovishte, 7851 Bulgaria
I have worked for over 20 years helping groups to facilitate change. I’m especially interested in the generation of ideas, project development, sustainable community/rural development, adult education, group foundations, consensus decision making and resolving conflict. If you’re based in the EU, I can help with accessing EU funding. I have a Low Impact Facility in Bulgaria if you all want to come here.
La Fonderie de la Dure, 11170 Montolieu, France
+33 468 24 81 81
I specialize in sharing and performing consent agreement using dynamic governance/sociocracy and Nonviolent Communication for which I’m a certified trainer. I have facilitated small and large groups since 2005, helping to empower many groups to resolve conflicts in difficult situations, improve efficiency at their meetings, and lead courses on Nonviolent Communication and consent decision making. My clients include small businesses, associations and co-operatives.