Membership: questions you should have asked before joining

Laird Schaub

Workshop description:

This workshop will present a set of basic questions that all groups must face in defining who they are and what it means to be a member: how to handle feedback among members, level of engagement in each other’s lives, rights and responsibilities, grounds for losing one’s membership, and the process by which someone joins the group and is asked to leave. We’ll discuss why it’s a potential disaster to delay answering these questions until they come up, and why most groups do it anyway.


Laird has lived over 40 years in community, most of it at Sandhill Farm (MO), an income-sharing rural community that he helped found in 1974. He is also the administrator of the Fellowship for Intentional Community—a clearinghouse for information about North American communities of all stripes. In addition to being an author and public speaker, he’s also a meeting junkie and has parlayed his passion for good process into a consulting business on group dynamics and sustainability education. His specialty is up-tempo meetings that engage the full range of human input, teaching groups to work creatively with conflict, and at the same time being ruthless about capturing as much product as possible.