Seekingc ohousing communities with criteria for a principled block
From: Diana Leafe Christian (
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 09:42:44 -0700 (PDT)

Does your cohousing community use consensus -- or do you know of one -- and your residents have agreed upon criteria for what constitutes a principled block? (Also called a "valid block" or a "legitimate block.")
And, have residents of that community also agreed on a procedure by which the facilitator and/or the group tests blocks against that criteria?

Both Laird Schaub, and CT Butler (in his book "On Conflict & Consensus"), recommend this for communities that use consensus decision-making. Earthaven, where I live, has a kind of general, unwritten criteria, and so far, no agreed-on method for implementing it. (A proposal will be coming soon that suggests the following criteria: 1. That the proposal constitutes a grave, catastrophic danger to the community, either legally, financially, or in terms of our reputation or physical safety, and the person blocking can demonstrate this to our satisfaction with either clear data or convincing reasons. -- OR -- 2. That the proposal violates our community's mission & purpose, _but_ not the blocking person's personal interpretation of the word "sustainability" in our mission & purpose. (Since different people here interpret that concept differently.)

I'm asking for this help because I'm preparing a slide show for my consensus training, and would like to show one or more examples of communities that have criteria for a principled block, and ideally, show exactly what the wording of these communities' criteria are.

        Thanks in advance to cohousers with information on this!

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