Re: Concerning Consensus and established CoHo communities
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 06:34:13 -0800 (PST)

On Mar 11, 2005, at 9:47 PM, Kevin Wolf wrote:

Goals also need to be prioritized. Are safety goals more important than ecological ones? Is an affordable goal more important than a kids goal? It will be difficult but not impossible to agree on the top 3-6 primary goals of the community that never used priority goals as a screen for who moved in. With such a list and some guiding principles, a community can gain the foundation needed for consensus. It is always easier to have these agreed upon at the beginning than after members have bought their units.

I would add to this that once you have your BIG goals, you have to address them in the context of day to day living and what can practically be accomplished. That's one reason I like struggling with ideas in cohousing -- it grounds them in something real. Ideas are cheap if you can't implement them.

In sociocracy, decisions are made on the basis of moving forward as best you can because moving forward gives you new information that you can use to evaluate and correct course. "This is the best we can do at the moment. If everyone can live with it at the moment, then we reevaluate when circumstances change (or we change them) and new information becomes available.

I've been watching a new group form that has several goals -- housing, permaculture education, and a live-work community. They basically want to create a whole new culture. Unless they figure out how to build this dream like a jigsaw puzzle, putting pieces in place one at a time to build a supportive structure for the next pieces to be added, they will not accomplish any of these goals in their lifetimes.

Sharon Villines
Building Community: A Newsletter on Coops, Condos, Cohousing, and Other New Neighborhoods

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