Helping Your Community Thrive

Pre-Conference Workshop, Thursday, Sept 12, 2019, O.U.R. Ecovillage

Helping Your Community Thrive:
Including “Three Aspects of Healthy, Thriving Community”

with Diana Leafe Christian and Lois Arkin

Workshop presenters are two internationally known workshop leaders and conference presenters, Diana Leafe Christian, author of Creating a Life Together, and Lois Arkin, founder of Los Angeles Eco-Village. Diana will present about 80% and Lois about 20%.

Five topics of “Helping Your Community Thrive” pre-conference workshop:

(1) “Three Aspects of Healthy, Thriving Community”
We begin with Diana’s well-known interactive exercise in which she and workshop participants explore:

  • Three mutually beneficial, mutually reinforcing activities all communities need (and without which they tend to have more conflict).
  • The basic, underlying, foundational community process that underlies and supports all three activities.
  • Adding a “secret ingredient” that can help communities thrive even more.

Diana begins every workshop with “Three Aspects of Healthy Thriving Community”. It’s what workshop participants say they remember most.

(2) Support Your “Bean Counters!”
Why and how communities need to understand, support, and benefit from management–savvy and skilled-bookkeeper community members.

(3) The Idealistic/Visionary – Community Experience Scale Over Time
The quick visual overview of this scale over time shows how communities can succeed and thrive by establishing certain systems at the start (like a clear through membership process, and a community labor-requirement and labor-tracking system). Some communities learned this only after long and bitter experience. But your community can do this now!

(4) A Clear, Thorough Membership Process — Why You Need One
Communities function far better with a “narrow gate” for new people to enter — with a clear, thorough membership process — then with a “wide-open gate” in which it’s easy to join. Many long-term, experienced communities finally learned this after years, if not decades of conflict, heartbreak, and even lawsuits, because of their lax, open membership process.

Now these communities have clear, thorough membership processes, and require people interested in joining to first visit and take a community tour, and fill out a member-application form. These communities now interview these people and ask for and call their references. These communities have a formal Provisional Membership period and poll their members to ask if and why they would or wouldn’t support each person’s full membership.

Why should your community wait years, even decades, to learn through painful experience steps like these are needed? You can save time — and perhaps prevent heartbreak, conflict, and even lawsuits with new members — by doing this now.

(5) Dealing Effectively with Especially Challenging Behaviors . . .
Diana has observed a specific cluster of exceptionally challenging behaviors that can be quite difficult to deal with. Sometimes some community members do two or three or more of these behaviors, triggering suffering, emotional pain, and conflict for individual community members as well as for the whole community.

We’ll explore how learning more about this cluster of behaviors can help you and your community create more peace and stability for yourself personally, limit the person’s ability to trigger emotional pain in yourself and others, and reduce the kinds of community conflict that can result. In this, the most controversial of Diana’s topics, you’ll learn that working effectively with people who do these kinds of behaviors requires learning about these behaviors, and knowing what to do — and not do.

Diana presenting “Three Aspects of Healthy, Thriving Community” at GEN’s 20th Anniversary Conference, Findhorn Community, Scotland 2015.

What people say about this workshop…

You were fabulous! I know I was grinning the entire time, but also took six pages of notes. I love how straightforward you are and your sense of humor. I left feeling revitalized and inspired.

-Bill Cole, Katywill Cohousing, Massachusetts,” Earthlands, Massachusetts, 2012

Your dedication, clarity, honesty, sense of fun and strength of heart has imbued Postlip Hall with new optimism. We are looking forward to seeing you again!”

-Ben O’Sullivan,  Postlip Hall Cohousing, Cheltenham, England, 2013

Because of the tools we learned in your workshop, yesterday’s Board Meeting was well-timed and efficient. What a joy meetings can be when energy is aligned! Many of us already feel the energy shifting and feel empowered to move ahead. Your workshop was a wonderful boost.

-Barbara Moore Therah Community, Galliano Island, B.C., 2013

This pre-conference workshop, “HELPING YOUR COMMUNITY THRIVE,” is on
Thursday, September 12th, at OUR Ecovillage. Workshop cost about CAN$75.

This conference is a precursor to the
Westcoast (+ North America) Communities Conference: Restorying Our Cultural Commons
September 13th to 15th @ OUR Ecovillage 
Friday 2pm to Sunday 5pm​