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Discernment as an Essential Skill for Community Living


The Power of Discernment – and why it’s hard.


Discernment is a neglected skill, often confused with judgment or being mean to others. As we work with groups we are often asked questions about what they should do and find ourselves answering, “could be a few different things.” That’s because life is complex, and many lives coming together like they do in groups, even more so. Firm answers of the “right way” and the “wrong way” are rare in relationships, which is why we must become good at discerning the most effective action given the current needs.

During this interactive workshop, co-authors of the newly released Cooperative Culture Handbook, Yana Ludwig and Karen Gimnig, will unpack why we need to develop our discernment skills to use for everything from membership processes to clarifying and balancing values to decision-making. This session will also include some exercises from the book and plenty of Q&A time.


Register above to join this live workshop on Zoom and/or to receive the recording in case you can’t make it. Thursday, November 5th | 1-3pm pacific / 4-6pm eastern (See your local time).



Workshop Facilitators


Yana Ludwig

Yana Ludwig has 24 years of cooperative living experience, including four community start-ups. She serves on the board of the Foundation for Intentional Community, and as a trainer and consultant for progressive projects. Yana’s first book, Together Resilient: Building Community in the Age of Climate Disruption, was awarded the Communal Studies Association 2017 Book of the Year Award. She is the former Executive Director of both the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, and Commonomics USA, an economic justice organization. Her 2013 TEDx talk, Sustainable is Possible! kicked off a new era for her as a public speaker and advocate for communities. She is a founding member of the Solidarity Collective, an income sharing community in Laramie, WY, and a host on the community’s podcast, Solidarity House.  





Karen Gimnig

Karen Gimnig is a team builder, motivational speaker and relationship coach. As an Imago Facilitator, Karen uses the theory and practice of Imago Relationships to guide teams and communities through the complexity of working together. Karen has lived in cohousing and served as founder and member of communities that use consensus and sociocratic decision making. She is currently the Communications Director for the Cohousing Association. Other collaborative pursuits include co-authoring (with Yana Ludwig)  The Cooperative Culture Handbook: A Social Change Manual to Dismantle Toxic Culture and Build Connection, and co-creating (with Paul Tevis) the Employing Differences podcast.  


Watch the recordings of past workshops and events!

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