Heads up: Another Coho/US Economic Crisis phone call is coming
From: Craig Ragland (craigraglandgmail.com)
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 21:39:33 -0700 (PDT)
Much thanks to the many folks that participated in the Coho/US Economic
Crisis and Cohousing phone call this past Saturday... The time window we
allowed for providing participant feedback via the feedback survey has now
passed. You can, if you would like, email me a note privately, or post about
it here (assuming you think it would be OK to place your thoughts into the
public record).

I've begun using the feedback we received to craft our next call, which will
be in early December. One thing we heard, loud-and-clear, was that the topic
for the first call was too broad and general for some. While every single
person that completed the survey reported they were satisfied with the call,
those that most appreciated the call tended to be those with the least
cohousing experience, i.e., people looking for a cohousing home/forming
group or people just considering cohousing. Those with more experience
wanted more concrete, actionable ideas for how to (1) help their forming
group get going, (2) help their building community get finished, or (3) help
their established community thrive. Accordingly, our next call will focus on
just one of these three topics.

The next call, in early December, will focus on needs of EARLY STAGE FORMING
GROUPS. There were more members of early stage forming groups on the call
than any other group. Unlike those of us living in cohousing, these folks
face the challenging prospect of "selling" a new real estate development
project to wanna-be cohousers in a time that is just plain frightening - not
only are real estate "values" falling, but many of us have significantly
less wealth in other types of investments than we did just a few weeks ago.

Coho/US also has a lot to offer this audience. We have easy access to a many
with successful track records dealing with the financial aspects of forming
groups... if you think about it, almost every one of the 113+ established
communities dealt with this early in their history - and some made it happen
during the last economic recession. This includes some of the more active
"voices" on Coho-L. Some of us demonstrated tremendous creativity, thinking
outside the box, as we made our projects happen despite many different
financial challenges.

By the way, it was extremely helpful getting the "mini-survey" input from
the people who planned to participate in the call - in advance. Your
questions and input were studied carefully as we worked with our moderator,
Lisa Poley, to craft the stimulus questions asked of the panelists. The
real-time questions we received during the call was also great - it helped
guide the conversation.

For the next Coho/US call, I intend to make even better use of your input -
to use the available collective wisdom to help Coho/US figure out how we can
better meet the needs of those precious, few people determined to create the
new groups to create new cohousing communities - come hell or high water (or
recession). I hope you understand that there are many of us out here who
want to see you succeed and maybe the next call will help...

To summarize:
(1) you can email me any feedback on the last Oct 25 call (the MP3 recording
is available for listening NOW on the cohousing website)

(2) please watch for upcoming surveys to help us make the next call even

In Community,

Craig Ragland

Coho/US executive director
craig [at] cohousing.org

Please try email first, include your phone number (w/time zone) - or give me
a call: 425-487-3550 (Pacific)... communicate!

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