The Art of Facilitation for Cooperative Groups

5-Week Online Course | Starts September 13th!

Gain the confidence and skills you’ll need to facilitate your group, team, or community towards greater effectiveness and cooperation. Groups often get bogged down by their decision-making and meeting process. Poorly held processes can diminish energy for the work of the group and undercuts the sense of joy and identification among members. This does not have to be the fate of your group! The secret of happy and productive groups is great facilitation.

The Art of Facilitation for Cooperative Groups course image

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Get ready to undertake personal work so that you can step into your full potential as a facilitator.

This course will unpack the essential elements needed to be an effective facilitator in cooperative culture. You will gain an understanding of what cooperative culture is and how you can build more of it through your facilitation work..

Distilled from more than three decades of working as a professional facilitator and trainer for cooperative groups, Laird Schaub will cover what you need to know to be the best facilitator you can be for the groups you care about.

Laird will unpack the subtle arts of facilitation, including:

  • What it takes to skillfully manage both content (what people are saying) and energy (the way they are saying it)
  • The ways in which people differ and how to work creatively and inclusively with those complexities
  • How to efficiently tackle issues that are worthy of whole group attention
  • Learning when and how to hand off work to teams


You will leave this course with…

  • An understanding of the essential differences between competitive and cooperative culture
  • An Operator’s License (the authority facilitators need to do their work)
  • Knowledge of how to attend to both Content and Energy
  • How to sequence work on an issue for maximum efficiency
  • And understanding of the myriad ways in which people differ and how to respond creatively
  • Knowledge of unexamined assumptions that get groups into trouble
  • How the expression of strong feelings can be harnessed rather than harmful
  • The advantages of opening up to non-rational input
  • A clear understanding of how to delegate effectively
  • How to give and receive critical feedback

Meet Your Instructor

The Art of Facilitation for Cooperative Groups and Working Constructively with Conflict in Community instructor image

Laird Schaub

Laird’s specialty is up-tempo inclusive meetings that engage the full range of human input, teaching groups to work creatively with conflict and diversity—all the while being ruthless about capturing as much product as possible.

Laird lived for four decades at Sandhill Farm, an income-sharing rural community that he helped found. He also helped found the Foundation for Intentional Community, where he served as the main administrator for 28 years.

In 1987, he created a self-insurance fund for healthcare among income-sharing communities called PEACH (Preservation of Equity Accessible for Community Health) that he ran for 22 years. In addition to his expertise in community living, he’s parlayed his passion for good process into a consulting business focused on cooperative group dynamics, styled CANBRIDGE (Consensus And Network Building for Resolving Impasse and Developing Group Effectiveness), since 1987.

The Online Course Experience

Live Interactive Sessions

Each week will feature a 2-hour live class with the course instructor so you can learn in a dynamic setting and get your questions answered directly. Get ready for interactive presentations, group discussion, small cohort activities and personalized support. Plus, each week there will be bonus sessions with guest speakers and panelists.

Journey with a Cohort

Join participants from around the world who are embarking on creating community for better living and more connection. You’ll have opportunities to network with like-minds and develop a network of support to carry your community project forward. Welcome to your global community of communities.

Deep Learning

Participants will have access to a private online space to connect with the instructor and other students through a discussion forum. Each week new learning materials will be uploaded to the space, including videos, worksheets and articles. You’ll be able to watch previously recorded sessions and stay on track with your weekly assignments.

Course Syllabus

  • Class 1: Working in cooperative culture & with content
  • Class 2: Formats and spectrums (how people are different)
  • Class 3: Working emotionally
  • Class 4: Working inclusively (understanding consensus)
  • Class 5: Delegation (right relationship with teams & whole)

Course Schedules

All classes will be recorded and viewable with other class materials for up to 3 weeks after the last class. Live classes will be hosted via Zoom.
Please click on the month below to view the respective class dates and times.

February-March 2022

February-March 2022

  • 2/17/22
  • 2/24/22
  • 3/3/22
  • 3/10/22
  • 3/17/22*

All classes are on Thursdays from 12:30-2:30pm Pacific / 1:30-3:30pm Mountain / 2:30-4:30pm Central / 3:30-5:30pm Eastern with the exception of 3/17.
*The 3/17 class will take place from 8:00-10:00am Pacific / 9:00-11:00am Mountain / 10:00am-12:00pm Central / 11:00am-1:00pm Eastern

September-October 2022

September-October 2022

  • 9/13/22
  • 9/20/22
  • 9/27/22
  • 10/4/22
  • 10/11/22

All classes are on Tuesdays from 8-10am Pacific / 9-11am Mountain / 10am-12pm Central / 11am-1pm Eastern


This course was a great overview of not only effective facilitation, but also of group governance using consensus. I gained a deeper understanding of both of these topics, and had insights that I know will make me a better facilitator. I am also taking away valuable information about how to shepherd the developments of ideas, projects and policies in my community in ways that are both inclusive and effective.

– Leslie Thomsen

Excellent course for facilitators of intentional communities. Laird brings a wealth of knowledge with excellent handouts and teaching style. He addresses the challenges specific to intentional communities where we are committed to moving from an “I” context to a “we” community. He offers specific information on all aspects of facilitating. I am putting his ideas to use immediately with my facilitation team in our community.

Martie Weatherly

Be prepared! This course covers a lo t of material in a short amount of time. Set aside enough time to read through all the materials before each session. This course is designed for people facilitating groups in intentional communities; however, it covers all facets of good facilitation regardless of the setting.

Julia Dodge

I thought the course was a tremendous intro to the role of facilitator; what it is (or should be) and what it isn’t (!) All of the material we touched on was very relevant to our community situation. I benefited greatly from the contributions made to the course by fellow participants, and I consider Laird to be a truly gifted teacher.

Susan Clark


The Art of Facilitation for Cooperative Groups Course


Gain the confidence and skills you’ll need to facilitate your group, team, or community towards greater effectiveness and cooperation. 

Duration: 5 Weeks (2+ hours/week)

Save when you register for Facilitation for Cooperative Groups and Working Constructively with Conflict🏷️


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Need financial support to attend a course?

Apply for a scholarship. Those with low-income and from marginalized groups are encouraged to apply. FIC is committed to ensuring everyone has access to intentional community learning opportunities.