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The 2019 National Cohousing Conference in Portland, Oregon was a huge success. For information about future conferences visit the CohoUS website and subscribe to the newsletter. You can view and download a souvenir PDF with photos and more info about the conference.

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Intensives [clear filter]
Thursday, May 30
 

9:00am

Creating Your Cohousing Site Design
This intensive gives you a hands-on experience of the participatory design process typically used to create cohousing. After a presentation on cohousing site design, participants work together to create site plans, using to-scale blocks on urban and rural sites. You can bring a base plan of your site to use.

Speakers
avatar for Mary Kraus

Mary Kraus

Mary Kraus Architect
Mary Kraus, AIA, LEED BD+C is a cohousing architect and facilitator who has worked with over two dozen communities in the US and Canada over the past thirty years. She was a founding board member of the Cohousing Network (now Coho US). She lives at Pioneer Valley Cohousing, the first... Read More →


Thursday May 30, 2019 9:00am - 12:30pm
Studio

9:00am

How to Become a Cohousing Architect
As evidenced by the birth of the cohousing movement in the US, Architects are often the visionary leaders who inspire groups to action. However, there are too few architects to grow the cohousing movement. In this workshop, current cohousing architects will help the next generation of architects prepare to successfully engage with their future clients. This session is intended for architects only.

Speakers
avatar for Bryan Bowen

Bryan Bowen

Caddis PC
Bryan Bowen is an architect dedicated to the design of buildings and neighborhoods that explore how we may live more lightly upon our earth in beautiful and healthy environments. Bryan's niche is cohousing, though his work includes single-family homes, affordable housing, mixed-use... Read More →
avatar for Grace Kim

Grace Kim

Principal Architect - Conference CoChair, Schemata Workshop
Grace Kim is co-chair of this year's Cohousing Conference and a founding principal of Schemata Workshop and began her architectural career in Chicago before returning home to Seattle. Grace is a consensus builder, helping her clients and project stakeholders envision how a completed... Read More →


Thursday May 30, 2019 9:00am - 12:30pm
Galleria II

9:00am

Marvelous Meetings by Design
Join us for this interactive workshop on key design skills, such as: choosing topics, lively ways to explore issues, effective delegation, and more. If your meetings have 20+ people sitting in full group discussion for 2 hours, you are missing out. Learn new options in this fun, participatory session.

Speakers
avatar for Tree Bressen

Tree Bressen

Tree Bressen has been blessed with a calling to help groups function well.  For the past two decades she has served a wide variety of organizations, including many cohousing communities at all stages of development.  She is also the founder of the nonprofit collective that produced... Read More →



Thursday May 30, 2019 9:00am - 12:30pm
Council

9:00am

Power Dynamics
Learn a new framework for transforming conflict in your Community

Speakers
avatar for Bill Aal

Bill Aal

Tools for Change
Bill is deeply involved in social and environmental justice work with a focus on agricultural sustainability and social healing. As part of Tools for Change, he is known for his activism and training in the service of racial and gender justice. Versed in opening the heart and imagination... Read More →



Thursday May 30, 2019 9:00am - 12:30pm
Executive

9:00am

ALL DAY - Facilitation 301 - The Hard Stuff
This workshop will focus on facilitating those meeting moments when good technique and an understanding of group dynamics can make the largest difference in the outcome. We will highlight where the heavy lifting is done, how to handle those moments well, and why certain approaches work better than others. Note: This is a beyond-the-basics facilitation skills intensive that assumes general knowledge of the role of facilitator.

Speakers
avatar for We Can Work it Out

We Can Work it Out

Facilitators, Sarah Ross & Mary King
Mary & Sarah first met when they moved into Great Oak Cohousing, Ann Arbor, MI in 2003. Since then they have been learning from, and building on, each others' strengths as both community members and as professional collaborators.Mary & Sarah developed a passion for sharing the skills... Read More →
avatar for Laird Schaub

Laird Schaub

Canbridge
Laird has lived 41 years in intentional community, mostly at Sandhill Farm, an income-sharing community he helped found in 1974. He launched a career as a group process consultant in 1987, and has worked with more than 150 intentional communities (including 70 cohousing groups), both... Read More →



Thursday May 30, 2019 9:00am - 5:00pm
Directors

9:00am

ALL DAY - Senior Cohousing Part 1
Learn about what senior cohousing is, why it is important, and how you can start one in your community.

Speakers
avatar for Charles Durrett

Charles Durrett

Architect, Author, McCamant & Durrett Architects
Architect and author Charles Durrett brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. He pioneered the cohousing movement in North America, and teaches architects and community leaders how to start successful cohousing communities around the globe. Durrett authored The Senior... Read More →


Thursday May 30, 2019 9:00am - 5:00pm
Galleria III

9:00am

ALL DAY - Sociocracy/Dynamic Governance for Cohousing
Do you want to live in community that is both effective and egalitarian? Try sociocracy - a governance approach used successfully world-wide.Come learn consent decision-making processes, organizational designs and feedback methods for resilient and regenerative communities. Participants will leave with a big vision and practical tools to use right away.

Speakers
avatar for Jerry Koch- Gonzalez

Jerry Koch- Gonzalez

program manager, Sociocracy For All
Jerry is a consultant and certified trainer in Dynamic Governance/Sociocracy and Compassionate Communication (NVC), focusing on egalitarian governance, decision-making, communication skills, and conflict resolution/Restorative Circles. Jerry is a founding resident of Pioneer Valley... Read More →



Thursday May 30, 2019 9:00am - 5:00pm
Forum

1:30pm

Conflict Resolution
With people comes conflict. We will wrestle with when you can help, what are personal vs. community issues, what to do to help, what is privacy vs. secrets, and when to call in outside professionals. Introductory family systems theory, sharing our experiences, small group work on real cohousing scenarios.

Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth (Liz) Magill

Elizabeth (Liz) Magill

Mosaic Commons Cohousing
Liz joined Mosaic Commons Cohousing in 2002 and moved in 2009. She's been on the Community Support team since early on. Her day job is as a pastor, writer, and workshop leader, helping people address the hard things in life.  Facebook... Read More →



Thursday May 30, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm
Executive

1:30pm

Designing the Common House
The Common House is the heart of every cohousing community - and it should be designed to foster and support communitas (or the spirit of community). Architect Grace Kim is internationally known for her research and design of cohousing common houses and will share the key strategies for designing yours.

Speakers
avatar for Grace Kim

Grace Kim

Principal Architect - Conference CoChair, Schemata Workshop
Grace Kim is co-chair of this year's Cohousing Conference and a founding principal of Schemata Workshop and began her architectural career in Chicago before returning home to Seattle. Grace is a consensus builder, helping her clients and project stakeholders envision how a completed... Read More →


Thursday May 30, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm
Galleria II

1:30pm

How Communities Can Address Racism, White Privilege, and Social Justice
We'll examine the impact of racism and white privilege on our culture, our lives, our communities, and our bodies, and Joe will offer a framework for understanding racism and the special responsibilities that white people have for addressing racism and working for racial justice.

Speakers
avatar for Joe Cole

Joe Cole

As a Facilitator and Consultant, Joe Cole supports communities and non-profit organizations in developing cooperative skills, collaborative governance, and conflict transformation.  Joe has a PhD in Philosophy, and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict... Read More →



Thursday May 30, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm
Council

1:30pm

Three Aspects of a Healthy, Thriving Community
What Diana has found in her 25 years researching and teaching internationally about cohousing and other kinds of intentional communities re how communities can achieve their goals effectively, which (most of the time) results in happy, fulfilled community members. A lively, visual presentation with frequent participant interaction and small group discussions.  Topics will include
     (1) What Diana calls the "Three Aspects of a Healthy, Thriving Community," including the basic foundation of all three (and the secret small aspect many groups don’t know about). 
     (2)  "The Visionary Idealist - Practical Experience Scale Over Time." 
     (3) An approach to renters in cohousing with an agreement: "Rights & Responsibilities of Renters and Owners."  
      Diana will also touch briefly on relatively unknown but effective methods for helping one’s community, including member surveys, petitions, and . . . one way to work effectively with exceptionally challenging community members. 
      Diana is author of the book Creating a Life Together and has been a workshop presenter at Coho/US conferences since 2003.

Speakers
avatar for Diana Leafe Christian

Diana Leafe Christian

Diana Leafe Christian, Workshops & Consultants
Diana Leafe Christian is author of Creating a Life Together, about forming successful cohousing communities and other kinds of intentional communities, and Finding Community. She speaks at cohousing and ecovillage conferences, offers consultations, and leads workshops internationally... Read More →



Thursday May 30, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm
Studio
 
Friday, May 31
 

9:00am

Class Issues Arise: Let's Deal with Them
In this workshop we will surface the class issues that arise in the course of forming a co-housing community and explore some ways of consciously working with them in a way that builds rather than divides community.

Speakers
avatar for Jennifer Ladd

Jennifer Ladd

Jennifer Ladd Consulting/Class Action
Jennifer Ladd lives at Rocky Hill Cohousing and is co-founder of and senior trainer for Class Action, an organization that inspires action to end classism and extreme inequality by providing change-makers with tools, training and inspiration to raise awareness and shift cultural beliefs... Read More →



Friday May 31, 2019 9:00am - 12:30pm
Executive

9:00am

Conflict: Fight, Flight, or Opportunity
Why do we conduct meetings as if working rationally is the only option? As humans we are emotional beings, too, and we miss out on both information and energy when we disallow feelings as welcome input. While most of us haven’t been raised to work constructively with strong emotions, it can be done!

Speakers
avatar for Laird Schaub

Laird Schaub

Canbridge
Laird has lived 41 years in intentional community, mostly at Sandhill Farm, an income-sharing community he helped found in 1974. He launched a career as a group process consultant in 1987, and has worked with more than 150 intentional communities (including 70 cohousing groups), both... Read More →



Friday May 31, 2019 9:00am - 12:30pm
Council

9:00am

Let's Launch
Whether you are just beginning to form your group, need to re-energize your efforts, or you just need those last few members, this intensive will give you tried and true marketing and sales tools to ensure your community's launch. Topics covered will include a broad range of best practices including how to create a strategic marketing plan and how to turn interested people into committed members.

Speakers
avatar for Shelly Parks

Shelly Parks

CoVision Consulting
Shelly Parks spent a career leading professional sales and marketing teams in retirement living start-ups. In 2017, she founded CoVision Consulting to share her skills and knowledge with forming and developing cohousing groups.  As Shelly partners with groups, her goal is to always... Read More →


Friday May 31, 2019 9:00am - 12:30pm
Studio

9:00am

ALL DAY - 3 Simple Tools and 1 Community Process
Sometimes simple practices can lead to big shifts in community relationships. Based in the theory of Imago Relationships, these tools can be used in meetings, between two people, or in conflict resolution for big impact. These tools are simple enough to learn in a day and share with your community, but I didn't say "easy".  We'll start practicing in session and give you all the support you need to master them over time.  
After practicing the basic skills in the morning, we’ll use the afternoon to apply them in a group process that guides communities to the heart of difficult topics and creates a sense of connection at the same time. At the end of the day you will be equipped with a powerful tool for increasing connection and reducing conflict in moments of change or important decisions. 

Speakers
avatar for Karen Gimnig

Karen Gimnig

CohoUS Staff, Cohousing Facilitator
Karen Gimnig supports communities in building richer relationships as the foundation for effective process and collaborative living.  Connected communities need safe spaces, strong relationship skills and authentic communication. Karen guides communities to: Engage conflict productively... Read More →



Friday May 31, 2019 9:00am - 5:00pm
Forum

9:00am

ALL DAY - Moving Through Hard Times
Every group faces plenty of conflicts and other challenges. Sustaining community for the long haul calls for skills in maintaining resilience and connection through tough times. This session will offer a variety of tools for getting unstuck, building mutual respect, moving from complaint to collaboration, and conflict resolution.

Speakers
avatar for Tree Bressen

Tree Bressen

Tree Bressen has been blessed with a calling to help groups function well.  For the past two decades she has served a wide variety of organizations, including many cohousing communities at all stages of development.  She is also the founder of the nonprofit collective that produced... Read More →
avatar for Tasha Harmon

Tasha Harmon

New Perspectives Coaching, Training and Facilitation
Tasha Harmon has spent over 30 years facilitating change. She works as a coach with individuals, relationships, and teams of all sizes, helping them identify and shift out of old and unproductive patterns, and into more creative and nurturing choices.  She is also a facilitator of... Read More →



Friday May 31, 2019 9:00am - 5:00pm
Directors

9:00am

ALL DAY - Senior Cohousing 101 Part 2
Learn about what senior cohousing is, why it is important, and how you can start one in your community.

Speakers
avatar for Charles Durrett

Charles Durrett

Architect, Author, McCamant & Durrett Architects
Architect and author Charles Durrett brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. He pioneered the cohousing movement in North America, and teaches architects and community leaders how to start successful cohousing communities around the globe. Durrett authored The Senior... Read More →


Friday May 31, 2019 9:00am - 5:00pm
Galleria III

9:00am

ALL DAY - The Cohousing Development Process - Lessons from 30 years in the trenches
This workshop will introduce participants to roles and responsibilities of various players during the development process: Who does what and when do we need them. How long will it take (walking thru a typical development timeline). Do we need a developer? How to get the highest value out of your consultants. What is the groups most valuable work during each phase. How do we raise the money?

Speakers
avatar for Jim Leach

Jim Leach

CohoUS Board VP, Wonderland Hill Development Company
Jim Leach is president of Wonderland Hill Development Company and has lead the company in developing over 20 cohousing communities in the Colorado, California, Arizona, and Washington. He is a builder with over 50 years of experience in the design, construction and development of... Read More →
avatar for Katie McCamant

Katie McCamant

Architect, Author, CoHousing Solutions
Katie McCamant brings the depth and diversity of her 30+ years of experience as an architect, developer, and cohousing resident to her clients. She is coauthor of Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, the authoritative book which introduced cohousing to the English... Read More →



Friday May 31, 2019 9:00am - 5:00pm
Galleria I

1:30pm

Creating A Comprehensive And Engaging New Member Orientation
Effectively welcoming and integrating new members is a critical function of thriving communities. Yet, too often it’s done in a haphazard or incomplete manner, resulting in confusion and frustration for new and old members alike. We will address length, format and content issues and support you in creating a draft New Member Orientation that’s just right for your community. Join us for what we hope will be a lively presentation and discussion.

Speakers
avatar for We Can Work it Out

We Can Work it Out

Facilitators, Sarah Ross & Mary King
Mary & Sarah first met when they moved into Great Oak Cohousing, Ann Arbor, MI in 2003. Since then they have been learning from, and building on, each others' strengths as both community members and as professional collaborators.Mary & Sarah developed a passion for sharing the skills... Read More →



Friday May 31, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm
Studio

1:30pm

Guerilla Consensus
The core of consensus is the belief that everyone has a piece of the truth. Nice theory, right? But putting that into practice and creating a culture that supports consensus going well is not a simple thing. This workshop focuses on the attitudes and cultural frameworks that make consensus—or any participatory decision-making—a positive experience instead of a gauntlet.

Speakers
avatar for Yana Ludwig

Yana Ludwig

Yana Ludwig Training and Consulting
Yana Ludwig is a cooperative culture pioneer, intentional communities advocate and anti-oppression activist. She serves on the board of the Fellowship for Intentional Community and works as a local chapter coach for Showing Up for Racial Justice. Her latest book, Together Resilient... Read More →



Friday May 31, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm
Council

1:30pm

Managing Big Construction Remediation Projects
OMG!   The Sky is FALLING!?!?!?!?  (OR the roof, or the siding, or the door sills,...)

Construction defects and materials malfunctions can cause tremendous and widespread damage to our buildings. What can you do when they show up during the first year of occupancy?  What about the first 10 years?  What can you do after the builder liability reaches the Statute of Limitations?  What can you do when you are building to help avoid them later?  
How do you manage the remediation project? What professional resources do you need?  How can you help your community hang together during the monumental stress of such a project?  These questions are crucial to structuring and managing for a large, disruptive (re)construction project. 
How can you avoid or minimize the risk associated with these projects? The roles of repair, maintenance and reserves.

Why attend this intensive:    Come to this program to hear lessons learned from The Big Projects in several communities and share your own experiences as well.
  • The technical side:  resources to know about for new, forming groups, for settling in and sustaining communities;  tips for avoiding problems in new communities and down the road.
  • The community side:  How to help your community manage the disruption and stress; tips about structuring the project to support decision-making and transparency; Tools and approaches for strengthening community cohesion in the face of huge challenges.
  • What happens once the project is over--taking maintenance and reserves seriously. 
Those designing new structures and those living in communities with aging structures will hear stories about communities who planned, managed and paid for major remediation construction project, and survived.

Speakers
avatar for Helen Spector

Helen Spector

member, Trillium Hollow
Helen Spector has just completed managing a large defect remediation project at her home community of Trillium Hollow. As an organization development consultant she has worked with clients in a wide variety of industries for 40+ years, in engagements including:•    Strategic... Read More →



Friday May 31, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm
Executive