Rocky Corner is a cohousing community being built on 33 acres of land in Bethany, Connecticut in the USA. Its first members started meeting in 2006 and now they are open to receiving new associates. The community has 4 primary intentions: to create the first cohousing community in Connecticut, to live sustainably and affordably, to know our neighbors, balancing private space and community resources, and to balance urban amenities with rural advantages.
They use sociocracy on Committees/Circles and have clear guidelines about their work. All circles are
connected to other circles and that allows for feedback and cooperation. They follow the steps for
proposal forming and decision-making which often leads to better proposals and better decisions. They
also run meetings that are organized and fair with agendas and good facilitations
Switching To Sociocracy
Marie, an original rock corner member, explains that they decided to use sociocracy because their old way of deciding things wasn’t working anymore. They used to use consensus but were having problems in organizing the work and creating community. She states that “formal consensus was a difficult process to make decisions,
especially with the number of people that Rocky Corner had”. They didn’t have much resistance in adopting sociocracy because the entire group notice they needed something else in order to
evolve. Marie says that before using sociocracy she didn’t think they had clear definitions of what
different people were doing for the co-housing project. It took several training meetings until all members fully understood the decision-making process and the roles and leadership. They have not had training in Non-violent communication (NVC) but understand that they should to improve the level of conversations and effectively solve conflicts.
Rocky corner now benefits from a robust sociocracy circle structure. Members interviewed highlighted how sociocracy helps them ensure that:
- Everybody gets a voice at the table
- Members feel safe and respected in meetings
- Individuals can rely on each person doing their part
- The people doing the work are given clear authority
- Work is organized so tasks are not overlapped and people are not doing double work, reducing conflict.
Read the full case study to learn more about Rocky Corner’s structure, how they have used Sociocracy, and lessons they have learned along the way!