Re: Conference intensives registration
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Wed, 1 May 2019 05:52:58 -0700 (PDT)
On Wed, May 1, 2019 at 3:25 AM Jerry Koch-Gonzalez <
jerry [at]> wrote:
> Raines, could you say more what you are doing (and where) with
> post cohousing conference? I have a free Monday morning.

Thanks for asking, Jerry. Look for more to be confirmed in the next week,
but the short form is:

Several folks from Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) and the
Global EcoVillage Network (GEN) will be at the cohousing conference. This
includes myself, Crystal Farmer, Sky Blue, Yana Ludwig, and more, including
folks developing cohousing as part of EcoVillages from all over. Others are
already in the PDX area, or can make it down from British Columbia or up
from California or the Southwest, and beyond.

We are getting together after the conference for several days of planning
meetings to build the GENNA Alliance, the still-emerging North American
network that integrates US and Canadian networks of communities -- mostly
internal work, but starting with Monday of more outward, public-facing
conversations, including some of interest to cohousers, and room for
extended conversations on topics that the conference could only touch on
in the brief session slots available, or that didn't fit in the conference
schedule, such as:

* Sustainability beyond "Green Building" - our communities' relationship to
nature and the people who came before us and who will come later
* Aging in Community: Not just Senior Cohousing, but how even
intergenerational cohousing can integrate spirit and purpose in later life.
Plus a deep dive on the Squirrel Fund, a newly-emerging financial tool that
we can use to prevent displacement among seniors in our cohousing
* Economic Justice and inclusivity in how we define our movements - what
are our growing edges?
* Research: Beyond Academia, what do we need to know about ourselves as a
* Affordable Housing (including perhaps a field trip to a local community
serving people without homes, built on cohousing principles)
* Effective Decision-making and group development tools, integrating
outside perspectives (I bet this one could use some sociocratic
perspective, hint hint)

While some topics are being planned, you can think of Monday's gathering as
a one-day "unconference" with room to pursue what matters to you in greater

We are partnering with the Village Building Convergence (VBC), City
Repair's linchpin annual event that includes 10 days of neighborhood
Placemaking activities that starts the Friday night of the conference, to
help produce a Sunday evening event and other activities.

We just confirmed a venue for Monday all-day activities that is walking
distance (or bike or trolley) from the conference hotel, and not too far
from transit connections to the airport, so easy enough to stop at for a
while on your way home.

The VBC website has general background but no details yet - note that while
it currently lists "cohousing" as the Sunday night topic, really this is
just a placeholder page (they are, like many headline writers, using the
term generically for shared housing, not in our specific meaning of an
intentional neighborhood blending privacy and community), the evening will
be much more broadly about the intentional communities and EcoVillage
movements and offer an interactive experience co-designed by some longtime
community organizers:

(note that this website will probably not show the Monday activities - stay
tuned for specifics on that, and write me off-list to get notice of updates)

These days, I speak of all cohousing neighborhoods as "planting the seeds
of EcoVillages" in terms of the personal and collective transformation we
bring about, and think that our future survival, relevance, and
accessibility depends on us finding, building, and expressing the ways that
living the way we do serves a higher purpose, which is why this matters so
much to me.

Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach and Global Ecovillage Network Ambassador
at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing

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