Diana Leafe Christian knows a thing or two about community, and in her wealth of experience there are four key ingredients that make a community thrive:
- A good governance method
- Effective project management
- Good process and communication skills
- Community glue
Here at Sussex Cohousing we're proactively working, and hopefully developing in all three of these areas, and our past workshops on sociocracy and non-violent communication, among other things we focus on, serve the first two of these key ingredients.
We also work to cultivate community glue. Diana describes community glue as the times when people come together to do enjoyable things, having shared fun or learning or relaxing, and generally sharing enjoyable activities. Eating together as a community is just one example of that, which we try and do each time we meet to work on the project. Our socials are also an attempt to continue cultivating community glue and seem to not only let people meet like-minded people and find out more about the project, but they are also a chance to come together to do interesting, fun or relaxing activities (be it have a film night, go for a walk together or try out a creative sociocratic process).
Our forthcoming social is going to focussed on this thing of community glue, as we try and find out what that means to people, what the considerations are and what their ideas or hopes are for community glue activities in a cohousing community.
So join us at Moksha Cafe (4-5 York Pl, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN1 4GU) at 14:30 - 16:30 (we have some tables reserved under the name Richard Taylor) on Sunday 2nd April and we'll hopefully have fun considering and plotting how we may have even more fun in the future! Who knows, your idea may inspire a social of ours, or even become an important part in the life of our community.
We'll see those of you that can make it there, then.
Over the autumn, as our tasks became more complex and demanding and our energies flagged, we prepared ourselves for newness and growth in Sussex Cohousing's Development Team: we planted seeds of opportunity in the form of a recruitment drive. Over the Winter those seeds were hibernating, being watered, surround by workshops of nourishment and the like, and we're now thrilled to announce that those seeds - or new Development Team members - finally emerged into the light on Sunday!
Previously a dedicated team of 6 (below) worked week in, week out on the project and together we made some really great progress. Our 'What we've done' and 'Where we are now' web pages cover a fair bit of that recent work, if you're interested. But as the project became increasingly developed and increasingly detailed it felt important to bring some new skills, energy, commitment and perspectives into the project. And of course, we're in the process of building our community and it's the coming together with others that's at the heart of what we're trying to do.
(Pictured above, from the left: Rich, Ros, Wendy, Marci, Julian and Jenny)
So, after a thorough staged recruitment process we managed to welcome aboard 5 new members whom we're instantly really grateful for - both for what they bring but also for who they are and how they relate. Our first meeting all together on Sunday was a pleasure all round, based on our end of meeting evaluation 'go round'.
So, without further ado, here's a celebratory snap of 10 of the 11 members of Sussex Cohousing's newly expanded Development Team! Welcome aboard (clockwise from top left) Doran, Adam, Mike, Lisa and Tricia (who's not in this pic)!
We'll be sharing more about the Hopes, Fears and Motivations exercise we did as a group on Sunday (that you can see on the wall in the background) but for now lets'enjoy the mixture (in terms of gender, age, and income at least) of a team that we hope will get even more mixed and diverse going forward.
It's shaping up to be a really interesting 2017 to come...