Deciding how we want to live
Showcases: Sociocracy Implementation in Westwood Cohousing and Cathedral Park Cohousing
Linda Giltz and Abby Braithwaite | 19:00 UTC
Westwood Cohousing community decided to try a change in our governance structure and decision-making process, from a consensus-based model to a Sociocratic model. After a few years of study and planning, we made the change in 2018 (our community was developed in the late 1990s, with construction completed in 1998). We were deliberate in having educational sessions and community discussions leading up to and during the transition. We have had more extensive evaluations about every two years and continue to evaluate and tweak our structure and training. Our presentation will share some of the background and transition, challenges we have faced during the past five years, benefits of Sociocracy to our community, our current circle structure (and how it has evolved) and other lessons learned.
Cathedral Park Cohousing is a forming community in Portland, OR, with about a third of our membership gathered. We decided early that Sociocracy is a great fit for our community, and we are learning as we go. So far we have implemented a basic circle structure and sociocratic meeting norms and decision-making processes. I’ll share why sociocracy is a great fit, how we are learning together, and some of the difficulties we have faced as a community with a growing membership.
I am a community-oriented person, lived in a shared home for a few years and in a cohousing community for 18 years, and have worked as a community and regional planner for most of my working life. I’ve facilitated a lot of groups/meetings and worked with small intentional communities, small to large towns/cities, counties and multi-county regions on a variety of planning issues and policies. I am very interested in sustainable development, environmental issues, affordable and accessible housing and community options and in creating walking and biking facilities and networks.
Abby Braithwaite and her family are founding members of Cathedral Park Cohousing, in Portland, OR. A disability rights advocate, parent, community-nerd and writer, Abby is a Vermonter at heart, even after two decades on the west coast.
The Sociocracy in Intentional Communities Conference 2023 is organized sociocratically by SoFA’s Intentional Communities Circle
Visit our Sociocracy in Intentional community website to find out more about what we do.