Canadian Senior Cohousing Society helped to bring a tried and true method of decision making from the past into the present in Sooke, BC, in the hope that this can change local “business as usual” for the better. Consensus-based decision making once prevailed in Europeans parliaments and remains the norm for cohousing communities in North America and Europe. It can take longer than majority rule to reach a decision by consensus, but the process is much more inclusive, and leads to decisions that are effective and quickly implemented. CSCS sponsored a consensus training workshop on May 19, 2012 at Sooke Harbour House, whose owners generously donated space for the workshop. The session was primarily for the West Coast Senior Cohousing group that is forming in Sooke. But members of the larger community also were invited, including Sooke Transition Town Society and a Non-violent Communication discussion group. In all, twenty people attended the day-long event in the Potlatch Room of Sooke Harbour House. Excellent facilitators were Sharon Haave from Creekside Commons Cohousing (Courtenay) and Kathy McGrenera from Quayside Village (North Vancouver). By the end of the day, participants had reached consensus on a “hot button” issue: pets. Our senior cohousing community will permit pets and the conditions will be determined in the future.
CSCS looks forward to sponsoring future sessions on facilitation training as well as more consensus training workshops for cohousers and the larger community. Let us know if you are interested!