Re: Facilitating community meetings online (was Dear Coho Professionals)
From: Lynne MARKELL (
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2020 10:43:02 -0700 (PDT)
Congratulations to you. Thanks for sharing and giving us these tips.
I find long Zoom meetings challenging. Our last one was 2.5 hours, because we 
added on an interview with a real estate lawyer at the beginning.
We had a social event on Friday and it was only an hour. Much better!
Lynne, Convivium Cohousing Co-operative, in Ottawa.

Lynne Markell, 
Lmarkell [at]
(613) 842-5222

> On Apr 26, 2020, at 7:49 PM, Scott Drennan <scottd [at]> wrote:
> Hi Martie,
> At Treehouse Village we've been using Zoom (and before that Google
> Hangouts) extensively as we move through the development process.  We have
> community members from England, northern Canada and West Coast USA, as well
> as Nova Scotia and environs, and this has made a huge difference to our
> level of comfort in this new "physical distancing" world.
> We're using Sociocracy as a governance structure, and the facilitators of
> our various circles have become quite adept at facilitating online.  Key
> things that we do:
> - encourage members to have video on wherever possible
> - use gallery view so we can see everyone at the same time
> - all members stay muted except the person speaking where possible
> - for rounds, the facilitator calls out both the person next to speak and
> the person after, so people aren't surprised when their turn comes (since
> it's harder to see the circle order online - the order of windows is
> different for each person)
> - use breakout rooms frequently, and send small groups (5-8 people) to
> discuss for 10-15 minutes, then come back and report to the Full Circle
> - use hand signals for non-contentious consent decisions:
>   - thumb up: consent
>   - thumb down: object
>   - thumb sideways: clarification
> - we also use hand signals for quick communication:
>  - jazz hands:  appreciation, agreement
>  - cupped ears: unmute please
> This applies to both working circle meetings (4-10 people) and larger
> meetings, including Full Circle consent decisions (~20 households, 35 adult
> members at this point).
> It reminds me I've been talking about writing a blog post on facilitating
> with Zoom - I should get back to that.
> Scott Drennan
> Treehouse Village Ecohousing
> Bridgewater, NS, Canada
> On Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 4:42 AM Martie Weatherly <mhweatherly [at] 
> wrote:
>> Was there ever a facilitators group formed? I have been away from cohoL
>> for quite awhile. I am particularly interested in the challenges of
>> facilitating a community meeting over zoom or some other such platform.
>> Martie Weatherly
>> Liberty Village
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