Participation and Work in Community

10-hour Pre-Recorded Course

Explore the dynamics of participation in community and how to develop a robust program around participation and work in community.

Course fee: $79-$129 USD

On this page:

Watch the Understanding Tensions and Resolutions webinar to get a peek into the Participation & Work in Community course

Course description and syllabus

While almost all communities envision member engagement in community life, Participation tends to vary considerably—both in kind and in amount. As a result, there tends to be friction around the sense that some are doing too little (slackers) while others may be doing too much (martyrs or powermongers). In addition, there may be anxiety about not getting enough done.

In the Participation and Work in Community course, we’ll lay out the complexities and dynamics of Participation, the various ways that ambiguity creeps in, and how to get things straightened out.

Classes and topics in the Participation and Work in Community syllabus include:

1st Class: Identifying the Participation Questions

  • questions group need to address to have a robust participation program
  • strategy for working through complex issues

2nd Class: The Intersection of Power, Delegation and Conflict

  • community as a system
  • how power, delegation and conflict enter the picture

3rd Class: What Counts?

  • sorting contributions by category
  • maintenance, governance and social

4th Class: Advantages of a Participation Team

  • creating a mandate for the team
  • expectations from members for team cooperation
  • team member qualities
  • filling the team

5th Class: The Hard (though Important) Conversations

  • martyrs and slackers
  • unpacking diversity in the group
  • accountability
  • staying in a job vs. rotating jobs
  • options when the work isn’t getting done

Your instructor

Participation and Work 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. He lived for four decades at Sandhill Farm, an income-sharing rural community that he helped found.
Laird 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.

Read his blog Laird’s Commentary on Community and Consensus


“I could tell Laird was speaking from a deep base of experience working with communities, and lots of what he said resonated with what I have also found to be true. There were several tools offered that can be immediately implemented within my community.”

-Erica Mack

“Laird is concise and comprehensive without running over people; he addresses each person’s questions with an appropriate level of thoroughness and invites further discussion via email if the subject is somewhat off-topic for the class topic that day. His handouts are very well organized, and he is all at once funny, compassionate, knowledgeable, and entertaining.”

-Emily Abel

“Laird has a lot of knowledge, experience and can convey it in a concise way. he uses humor in a respectful way and gives enough space for questions as well as providing thought provoking, challenging assignments.”

-Hodan Warsame

“Laird clearly has vast experience, so I trust that he knows what he’s talking about and is not just speaking theoretically. He has a clear mind and is able to articulate points very well. I appreciate his no-BS style and calling things as he sees them. Also, I really admire his energy, which helped keep me engaged.”

-Jeffrey Billing

The elements of an online course

Online learning platform

Once you register, you’ll get access to our learning area that includes:

  • 5 class recordings (~10 hours of video content)
  • downloadable class audio and transcripts for learning on the go
  • class slides and other course resources
  • discount on complementary books to deepen your learning

Go at your own pace

Learn at your own pace with a course that fits your schedule. You’ll have a full 90 days from registration to move through the learning material. One section at a time, when and where it works for you.


Participation & Work in Community Course

From: $79.00

(Price is per person)

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