General Meetings and visitors
From: Greg Nelson (
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2012 06:31:53 -0800 (PST)
A while back, Sharon Villines wrote:

> I'm always surprised to find that members of the community consider
> Membership Meetings and the Members Only email list to be "public"
> forums. I consider them to be private, between-us forums in which one
> can talk openly and ask questions.

I'm interested in hearing more on this topic especially regarding
meetings.  Since we are still growing (5/30 households built so far
with another 3-4 families hoping to build this year), our community is
currently using General Meetings as a forum for new prospective
members to come and meet the membership and learn more about us.  I'll
summarize some of our experiences with this below.  But I'm wondering
what others do (or did) during this phase of bringing new people on
board while also conducting ongoing business?

+ Visitors get a better sense of what community process is like.
+ We get great input from our visitors.
+ Visitors feel empowered because their input is heard by the
+ People who aren't scared away by the meeting process seem to make
  good members in the long run.

- Current members sometimes feel "embarrassed" by airing our "dirty
  laundry" in front of people we barely know.
- Visitors are often exposed to more of what is challenging (and thus
  requires meeting time) than what is working well (and thus happening
  outside of meetings).

Thanks for your thoughts,
Greg Nelson                     email:  terramantra [at]
White Hawk Ecovillage           phone:  607-273-2576
Ithaca, NY 14850                web:

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