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Facilitation Training Series

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Community Facilitator Intensive Series


April 2009: Creekside Commons (big community-Island)

July 2009: Windsong

Nov 2009: Roberts Creek

January 2010: Quayside

Apr 2010: Cranberry Commons

July 2010: EcoReality (camping only)

Nov 2010: Pacific Gardens (Island-will have been "moved in" for 1 yr)

For the Project page that describes EcoReality hosting this weekend see: Facilitation Training Weekend July 2010


  • 7 communities in British Columbia agree to host 8 workshops (3 days each, 1 every 4 months for two years)
  • Teacher coaches and guides students in facilitation and group process skills
  • students practice by facilitating real meetings of the host community
  • opportunity to significantly deepen facilitation and process skills


  • community members in facilitator roles within cohousing and other intentional communities built or forming
  • the host community for each workshop will receive priority registration for 5 spots in the training (need not be filled)

Program Series Information

Enrollment: Members of 7 communities in this region have priority enrollment for the Series. Workshop registration can be either a single registration for a spot in all workshops for the whole series or it can be on an ad hoc basis for each workshop separately. There will be approximately 3 spots available for the non-host communities per workshop, but this is flexible depending on enrollment. There will be a regional registrar who handles the enrollment and registration.

Payment Structure Here is the way the expenses will be shared.

  • Host community offers food & accommodations to students + teacher, host community receives outside facilitation on tough issues + networking opportunity
  • Students offer money to Tree and facilitation to host cmty, they receive facilitation training, food & accommodations
  • Tree offers facilitation training & support to students + host cmty, receives money, food & accommodations in return

For individuals (students) in the workshop, payment is by gift economy directly to teacher.

Reminder: the 5 students from the host community who participate as student trainees do still pay an amount of their choice to Tree in order to attend the workshop. The advantage they get is that if enrollment is running high, they have privileged access.

The Schedule of topics is subject to change as the Series progresses, notably near the completion where particular topics become most relevant to participants and may not fit with pre-scheduled content.

Multiple weekends: if you enroll for more than one, Teacher is willing to offer additional mentorship via phone and email (or in person during breaks in the weekends) to help you focus on your development as a facilitator and how you want to grow in the work. However, you can also sign up for just one workshop, or take one and then decide about others later.

'A Typical Workshop Weekend looks like: Thursday evening: participants arrive at host community (20 + Teacher) Friday: Training day, plus prep for first plenary Saturday & Sunday: Combination of plenaries, debrief, and prep sessions for next plenary(s) Plenary sessions are where the host community holds a meeting and trainees have opportunity to facilitate. The format is 'fishbowl' where other trainees are arranged in outer circle seating with the host community members in the inner circle (including any trainees taking the workshop from the host community). Departure: Sunday after dinner

see Community Facilitator Workshop Weekend Schedule for draft schedule in depth

Note Ecoreality will be expected to host 5 to 8 hours of meetings during the weekend for the trainees to observe and practice facilitating.


Q: Can different EcoReality members attend different workshops in the Series?

A: Yes. In California, students had the option to attend the weekends of their choice, without restriction. When enrollment ran high, we gave preference to students who had attended one or more previous weekends over newcomers.

Q: How many EcoReality members may enroll per workshop in other host communities?

A: It's not necessarily the case that Eco-Reality would be limited to 3 participants per weekend. It depends on how many other people want to come. If things are really tight, then 3 might be the upper limit of non-host participants.

Q: Can any student attend a workshops out of sequential order?

A: Students can attend or not attend the weekends of their choice. Because a knowledge base naturally builds over time for those who attend multiple weekends and Teacher is committed to not repeating a bunch of material for newcomers, if someone in a later weekend asks a question that was covered in an earlier weekend, Teacher may choose: (1) to have students answer it instead of Tree (as a knowledge review), (2) to request the person to ask Tree at a break instead; or (3) not to fully address that question.

Q: How much time will be avail. for registration?

Typically 6 weeks ahead for something like this, so that people can plan their schedules. In California, they often accepted registrations for weekend #2 at weekend #1 and so on.

Q: What number of participants does EcoReality imagine being able to comfortably accommodate, in terms of sleeping, eating, and meetings?

A: Shannon Cowan answered this question.

    • 15 (if no outdoor kitchen yet avail.),
    • 30 (if outdoor kitchen and toilet avail. – and we are committed to achieving this by July 2010).

Teacher stated in reply that '15 may be too low, so if the kitchen & toilet aren't available, the facilities there may not be a match for the need.' If EcoReality agrees to host, we will need to ensure that we can accommodate 21 people in addition to our membership.

Q: Is EcoReality absorbing the cost of feeding and accommodating all non-member participants (potentially 21) for the weekend that EcoReality is hosting?

A: Yes. The cost of feeding yourselves plus up to 21 people for 3 days (that's 20 students plus me) should be a lot less than the cost of hiring me for a weekend, so the idea here is that you get a bunch of outside facilitation support at a rate that is not free but is extremely low cost. $4/person/day is a typical food expenditure in the communities i've lived in, which have all done shared food.

Q: How will childcare be arranged?

A: Based on EcoReality's agreements, we would hire 1-2 caregivers 8.5 hours a day (with two breaks when workshop is on break) each for Friday, Saturday and Sunday (MORE IF OVER 10 CHILDREN -we have three children in the community who would need childcare anyway). Childcare steward James Cowan would get feedback from parents to determine a set rate of payment to the childcaregiver(s) per family for the 3 days. To simplify, the option for childcare would be either yes or no, without special arrangements for selected hours or differential treatment per family as per payments. Teacher suggests that some of the childcaregiver payment might potentially come from the workshop fees if ageed in advance between Tree and the host community childcare steward. (Tree adds: Not having offered childcare at workshops before, i don't really know how it will work. I imagine that we'll refine a system over time so that we know what we're doing by the time Eco-Reality hosts, which is late in the series. Of course how we handle this will also depend on the host community's resources and needs.)

Q: When will the schedule of workshop content be posted and finalized?

A: The Schedule of topics was updated Nov 2009, part way through. In the California series, occasionally students served as guest teachers for an hour or two on a topic where they had expertise and this is happening in the B.C. series also.

Shan 10:42, 8 September 2008 (PDT)

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