People/Earth Centered Agreement & Mission
From: Mmariner (
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 1996 11:55:30 -0500
Below is the mission statement and the interpersonal agreement that members
of the Geneva Community are using to guide them thru the process of forming a
community.  They've purchased over a hundred acres a few miles north of
Boulder near the town of Lyons and plan to begin building next spring --
clustering all the homes on just a few acres of the land and leaving much of
the land in their beautiful valley in pristine condition.

Disclaimer:  I'm not a member of Geneva but have friends who are and have
attended meetings awhile back.  (It'll be a few more months (a year?) before
I seriously look to form/join an intentional  community.)

By the language in the document below, you can probably tell some of them are
involved in the human potential/personal growth/healing movement and might be
some flaver of what's called "new age."  They call themselves cohousing, but
from their plans seem to have many characteristics of an ecovillage.
 (Realizing, of course, that there is a continuum of philosophy -- that
cohousing and ecovillages overlap along the continuum)

For my tastes Geneva's agreement is a bit long and redundant, but I love the
orientation - they understand that to make their efforts successful, the
needs of both people and planet must be balanced and the people need to get
along in order for their community to be successful.  Also the detail and
length serve to emphasize the importance of paying attention to self and
others at all times.  Better to pay more attention than less.

I post this not to promote their community (they're "full") but as an example
for other fledgling (or older) communities to compare their missions and
agreements with.  Also, maybe to spark some conversation here.

What do you like about the agreement?  Not like?

What would you omit?  Add?  Change?

Does this seem too idealistic or "Out there" for cohousing?  I'd comment that
having very high level mission, it can minimize some of the bickering over
details if you keep referring back to the mission and the kind of behavior it
[Note:  those of you who subscribe to Ecobalance list will get this twice --
thought it would be of interest to some folks on both lists.]

Michael Mariner

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

             THE GENEVA COMMUNITY (Boulder/Lyons, Colorado)

email contacts for Geneva:
Buzz Burrell   =  buzz [at]
Denise Cote'    = denise [at]

                             MISSION STATEMENT

MISSION: To assist each other to fulfill our lifes' purposes and 
contribute to the sustainability and evolution of all life and our Earth.

GOAL:  To create communities where we care for one another and our Earth, 
and from which we are supported to fully express our potential; and to 
serve as models for others who wish to do the same.

CONTEXT:  Creation of community is an evolutionary process.  
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that 
matters, in the end.  Ursula K. Le Guin

_ construct beautiful, energy-efficient, ecologically sound living, 
learning and working environments that are in harmony with our land and 
_ model loving, supportive, co-creative relationships 
_ create joyful environments for the child to flourish
_ demonstrate replicable community living technologies and philosophies 
that exemplify the world in which we choose to live
_ use effective renewable energy technologies to conserve our natural 
_ create environments that support and are supported by paradigm shifts 
in economic, social, scientific, political and spiritual realms
_ inspire and support the creative arts
_ provide a warm, welcoming environment in which people can come together 
to meet, feel nurtured, and experience healing, growth and unconditional 

 1. To Commit to the Mission:
 I agree to use the mission of [organization name] as a guide to my 

 2. To Communicate With Integrity:
 I agree to tell my truth, with compassion for myself and others.

 3. To Listen With My Heart:
I agree to listen respectfully to the communication of others and pay 
attention to their deepest meaning.

 4. To Honor Each Person's Process:
I agree to acknowledge that everyone, including myself, is making the 
best possible choice or decision we are capable of at that moment of 
choice or decision.

 5. To Appreciate My Contributions:
I agree to take responsibility for acknowledging myself and receiving 
acknowledgment from others.

 6. To Express Appreciation for Others:
I agree to acknowledge others.

 7. To Honor Our Differences:
I agree to come from a sense of cooperation and caring in my interactions 
with others, and from an understanding that goals are often the same even 
though methods for achieving them may differ.

 8. To Use Grievances as Opportunities for Self Growth:
I agree to look for the unresolved issue within me that creates a 
disproportionate reaction to another's behavior.

 9. To Maintain Harmony:
I agree to take the time to establish rapport and then to re-connect with 
anyone with whom I feel out of harmony as soon as it's appropriate.

10. To Resolve Problems Constructively:
I agree to take problems, complaints and upsets to the person(s) with 
whom I can resolve them, at the earliest opportunity.  I agree not to 
criticize or complain to someone who cannot do something about my 
complaint, and I will redirect others to do the same.

11. To Go For Excellence!
I agree to support others and to be supported in participating at the 
highest levels of excellence.

12. To Learn From Experience:
I agree to look for opportunities to learn from my experiences, to 
continue doing what works and discontinue doing what does not work.

13. To Be a rEvolutionary Leader:
I agree to foster an environment of genuine collaboration, in which all 
people, including myself, feel empowered to express our individual and 
collective potential.

14. To Re-evaluate My Commitment:
I agree to choose and re-choose to participate in [organization name]. 
It's my choice.

15. Lighten Up!
 I agree to create fun and joy in my relationships, my work, and my life. 

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