Intentional Community Building
When: October 30, 2005 1-4pm
Where: 3181 King Edward Ave, Vancouver, Shannon, James, Tara, Jesse and Elsa’s house
Welcome and Thanks to those present: Shannon & James, Stacy Friedman, Jill Lance, Jeremy Binns, Natasha, Jan and Carol
- James and Shannon Share about the process so far
- We talked about experiences we have all had with ecovillages
- We talked about a quicker plan where land is acquired in 2-6 months
- Many comments and questions
- Brainstorming on membership, shares, voting rights, governing.
- next meeting date was set for: Saturday November 5th, 3181 King Edward Ave., starting at 3pm.
The idea is proposed that we form a core group of people this month, seek consensus facilitation training, create a vision, create the foundation for bylaws and community guidelines, develop budget, look for land and be up and running in the spring.
Everyone agrees that they want a fair voting system that is inclusive of members, yet has a small enough voting group that decisions can be made quickly. It is also imperative that there be an equal high level of commitment (financially, written agreements etc) of members able to make final decisions.
Shareholders have a financial “risk” or consideration that may not be there for other member who have not contributed to the same level financially.
This is a delicate balance, there are some ideas below.
“The more people in consensus voting, the harder/slower it is to do” This is a common comment from people practicing consensus.
There is an idea of a soft Hierarchy, a 3 tier system that looks like:
- Tribal Council
- General Members
The stakeholders would have the final vote on all operational and budgetary items. Tribal council could be people living on the land but not in a stakeholder position. General members could be part time members of the community, or friends/family that support the community in one way or another.
How this works and what votes are made by who is an ongoing discussion. The idea is to create membership criteria at this weekend’s meeting in order to get a decision making body in the vision and creation process.
There is an idea of stewardship where one person or a small group takes on a proposed project and makes a proposal back to the group for ratification. That way the whole group do not have to become experts on that topic and the research/voting process can be quicker.
The group will get trained in consensus facilitation as soon as the decision making body is formed. The goal is to have all of the group come out of the training where we will access knowledge of how to facilitate the group and introduce others to consensus. The other option is getting 1-2 people trained on how to train others and then come back to train the group.
Our next steps:
- Create outline for governing process
- Create a membership agreement process for the different levels of membership
- Establish guidelines for transparency level of financial status
- Get facilitation training
- Establish legal identity
- Vision documents
- Outline for bylaws
- Budget for buying land
- Land criteria
Check out the SEEDS wiki. Read as much as you can, see what you like and have suggestions for. A lot of work has been done there and we plan to borrow a lot of the material. That particular site was set up for that purpose and borrowing is encouraged.
Look at other ecovillage sites for membership criteria.
Specifically, trial periods and exit plans.
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