Getting the work done
From: Peter Scott (
Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 06:18:54 -0500

Our group has grown from 3 to 20 in the space of a year or so. In the process we
have had to continually refine how we get things done. At present we have 4 task
groups meeting fortnightly with full group meetings on the off week. 3-5 seem to
be the optimum number for the taskgroups. The process of choosing which task
group to work on is not always easy.

The full meeting frequently has more on the agenda than can be dealt with! Major
discussion with 20 is getting quite unpractical. As well as taskgroups
researching and presenting proposals to the full group meeting, we run 4-8
weekly 'hui' (full day gatherings). These we use for fun stuff and longer

In our last hui we used an exercise that seemed to work really well. The legal
taskgroup put together a list of questions analysing investment issues with
possible answers for each. The full group broken into arbitrary groups of 4,
discussed chunks of this list. As a result good group ownership, creativity and
understanding resulted on complex issues without exhausting and frustrating full
meeting time... well yet anyway!

It is clear to me that one of the major inhibitors of cohousing is this
supremely huge learning curve we all seem to go through. I am thinking that with
such exercises as this and the timeline game etc, that deal with common
cohousing steps, we may be able to develop something of a formula.


Peter Scott,
Waitakere Eco-Neighborhood Cohousing Project, (WENCP) --still pre site selection

Auckland, New Zealand

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