Monday Program – Community Clinic

The Communities Conference is about movement building. We want more communities. We want more cooperatives and collectives making a difference in the world. That’s why this year’s Monday program, the Community Clinic, is designed for groups trying to make something happen, and groups that want to grow or need help.

rotator pic meet the cmtiesBring your whole group! If you’re coming with 3 or more people you get a 15% discount. Use the promotional code GROUP when registering. It will work whether you each registering individually or all together.

Is your community or organization forming, new, growing, redeveloping, considering any of these things or having a crisis or existential dilemma? Even if not, if you’re part of a cooperative or collective you will get something out of the Community Clinic. The day will be a platform for groups to consult with experienced community builders, connect with resources, and troubleshoot with other groups.

Note: This is a draft program and is subject to change, but it will almost certainly be something along these lines.

Announcements, Logistics, and Introduction: 9:00 – 10:00am, Pavilion

After housekeeping and introduction co-faciliators Alyson Ewald and Paxus Calta will explain the format for the day and describe their role.

Consultations: 10:00am – Noon, Pavilion and Main Circle

A list of topics (below) will be described and locations around the Pavilion and Main Circle identified for each. Consultants will go around and describe their experience and skills. Consultants will position themselves at the topic they are the best at, with the facilitators shuffling them as needed to cover all the topics. Participants go to the topic they want the most help with or the consultant they think can most help them. Consultants may have the participants form a queue or talk with multiple participants simultaneously. If a participant gets what they need they can move on to another consultant or topic.Facilitators can help people figure out where they should be and who they should be talking to.

Lunch: Noon – 1:00pm

Open Space: Organizing from 1:00 – 1:45pm, Pavilion

Open Space Session 1: 2:00 – 2:45pm

Open Space Session 2: 3:00 – 3:45pm

Open Space Session 3: 4:00 – 4:45pm

Participants will have 1 minute to present a topic they are most interested in discussing with others or getting more help on, followed by a multi-voting and organizing process to arrange as many conversations as possible. Participants will go where they think they can get the most benefit and consultants will go where they think they’ll be most helpful.

Closing: 5:00 – 5:30pm, Pavillion


Dinner: 5:30 – 7:00pm


Community Clinic Topics:

  • Financing and development
  • Ownership and legal structures
  • Recruiting and outreach
  • Relationships and conflict resolution
  • Decision-making
  • Local relations/involvement
  • Businesses and other income engines
  • Membership options and processes
  • Resource sharing (income, expenses, tangibles, etc.)
  • Culture creation

Here’s a few of our confirmed community consultants:

LAIRDPIC fr SusanLaird Schaub of Sandhill Farm: “For 25+ years I’ve been a community networker & group process consultant. I believe that people today are starved for community—for a greater sense of belonging and connection—and I’ve dedicated my life to making available as widely as possible the tools and inspiration of cooperative living. I’m on the road half the time teaching groups consensus, meeting facilitation, and how to work with conflict.”

Alyson Ewald has spent over twenty years leading environmental and educational programs both within the US and abroad. Currently, she is the Capital Campaigns Coordinator for Dancing Rabbit, Inc. She is an advisor to The Altai Project, a nonprofit she launched in 2004 to support environmental efforts and indigenous groups in Siberia. She also serves on the boards of the Scotland County Farmers’ Market and the Fellowship for Intentional Community. She co-founded Red Earth Farms, a homesteading community near Dancing Rabbit.

pic of iraIra Wallace has been a founding member of several communities and a long-term member of both Twin Oaks and Acorn Communities. She’s been a driving force behind Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and founded the Heritage Harvest Festival. She’s a published author, writes for a column for Mother Earth News, and speaks at numerous fairs and conferences on gardening, seed preservation, and community.