Power and Leadership in Community

5-Week Online Course | Starts February 15th

Learn how to set the stage for healthy power dynamics in your group in the Power and Leadership in Community course.

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Course description

Many intentional communities struggle when it comes to power and leadership, misunderstanding that power can be used for either good or ill, and failing to develop a clear picture of healthy leadership in cooperative settings. In Power and Leadership in Community, you’ll learn what power represents, how to discern when there’s a problem with its use, and how to address tensions surrounding power. You’ll also discover why there is a general mistrust of people willing to serve in leadership roles and what can be done to remedy that.

Course instructor, Laird Schaub, is an esteemed process consultant for cooperative groups. Laird will provide an overview of what power means (and what it doesn’t) and how it works in cooperative groups, signs that leadership may be toxic, and how to develop healthy leadership and a positive community culture. You’ll leave with an accurate understanding about power and leadership dynamics for the benefit of your group or community.

Live classes are hosted on Zoom. All classes are recorded and available on our learning platform within 24 hours after each class ends and through 3 weeks after the last class. 

Who this course is for

  • community founders
  • community starters
  • community leaders

What you’ll learn

Classes and topics in the Power and Leadership in Community syllabus include:

1st Class: Power in Cooperative Groups

  • power as influence
  • good power vs bad power
  • how power is gained (earned vs privilege)
  • how power is distributed

2nd Class: Managing the Perception that Power has been Misused

  • the power with/power over spectrum
  • projection, privilege and abuse
  • power gradients
  • working emotionally

3rd Class: Cooperative Model of Healthy Leadership

  • dividing work efficiently and effectively
  • the difference between leaders and people filling leadership roles
  • the many faces of leadership

4th Class: Toxicity Associated with Leadership in Cooperative Groups

  • the danger of projection
  • imbalance of leadership appreciation and criticism
  • leadership in the forming stage vs leadership after move-in

5th Class: Developing a Positive Community Culture

  • apprenticing/mentoring
  • celebrating success
  • term limits vs continuity
  • hard conversations

Your instructor

Consensus for Communities, Designing a Community Membership Process, Working with Conflict in Community, Facilitation in Community course 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

Course schedule

  • 1st Class – February 15, 2023
  • 2nd Class – February 22, 2023
  • 3rd Class – March 1, 2023
  • 4th Class – March 8, 2023
  • 5th Class – March 15, 2023

All Power and Leadership in Community classes are on Wednesdays from:

  • Pacific: 8-10am
  • Mountain: 9-11am
  • Central: 10am-12pm
  • Eastern: 11am-1pm


“Laird Schaub is a national treasure in terms of his experience dealing with the different challenges that intentional communities can encounter in decision making and his positive attitude toward helping communities find solutions that work. His emphasis on the importance of both process and product is key. Students in course represented a lot of different types of experience with intentional living and were very engaged. Class discussions were interesting and helpful.”

-Deborah Kogan

“Laird is direct, complete in his course format, and inclusive of his students in group break-outs and engaging with students throughout his lecture. His life experience brings a strong foundation to want he is teaching.”

-Kathryn O’Siggins

“Laird’s style is no-nonsense, to the point and obviously comes from a place of years of experience. I really like his teaching style – he is accessible and super knowledgable. The class covered tons of excellent topics and content with many examples. Overall I learned a lot!”

-Alaya Vautier

Course fee

  • Early bird discount through February 5, 2023: $249
  • Regular price: $299

Become a member learner

You get several benefits, including 20% off all our online courses, and access to our Member Library with hundreds of videos, guides, policies and templates.

Sign up for membership

Financial support

You can apply for a scholarship if you need financial support to attend one of our courses. We encourage those with low-income and from marginalized groups to apply. We’re committed to ensuring everyone has access to intentional community learning opportunities.

Apply for a scholarship

The elements of an online course

Online learning platform

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

  • your course schedule with zoom links
  • recommended books
  • a dedicated discussion forum to connect with your classmates
  • class slides and other course materials
  • class video recordings and Zoom chat feed (posted after class ends)

Live interactive sessions

Each week you join a 2-hour live class with the course instructor, where you learn in a group setting with:

  • interactive presentations
  • break out sessions
  • group discussions
  • the opportunity for questions and answers, and personalized support

Classes are recorded if you miss one.

Journey with a cohort

You’ll join participants from around the world how, like you, want to learn how to be better communitarians. Benefits include:

  • opportunities to connect with like-minded people
  • opportunities to share ideas and stories
  • a network of support to carry your community project forward



Power & Leadership in Community course


(Price is per person)*

*Interested in participating as a group? Please email Lauren at [email protected].

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