Co-Op Village
Free plans for sustainable intentional communities.

Consensus Phase-In


It is suggested that a small core leadership group be selected to be responsible for the start-up of the Village with that group operating under consensus among themselves. Then, after the Village has been constructed, the physical Village would be turned over to the residents and operated under consensus by all the consensus members and at that time the core group would be disbanded.



1. Consensus decision making can be dysfunctional unless all the people involved have had consensus training and have been screened for the consciousness and ability to use consensus. At the time the Village is being planned and built, not all the base of people involved will have had an opportunity to have had this experience. Meanwhile, the core group can proceed with starting to make the decisions to begin creating the community. 

 2. Private investors will invest ten million dollars upon taking collateral on a shared vision of the physical Village to be built. The Village is financially designed to be constructed in twelve months. If disagreements about the physical Village get out of hand drastically changing the vision or the construction is interfered with placing the completion date in jeopardy, the investors will probably back out.

 3. The construction of the physical Village will require a lot of specialized skill sets, such as that possessed by architects, engineers, contractors, developers, financiers, all construction trades, certain business trades, legal, etc. A huge amount of decisions will have to be made quickly by these professionals, under the direction of the core group, in order to meet the construction deadline. Until residents have been trained and screened in consensus and become “members”, consensus cannot be used to reach timely decisions where a majority of the members do not have the technical expertise to understand the ramifications of their decisions.

 4. The natural inclination of most new residents is to go back over the physical aspects of the Village, especially housing. This sidetracks the foundation as it must stop all work to go back over the same plowed ground again and again. A good review is needed occasionally but there comes a time when it no longer serves a purpose. The project is a matrix in which some parts must be set in stone so that they will not change other parts of the matrix.

 5. When a Village begins to seek investors to start-up the Village there may be as few as ten members. Once construction begins an average of seven residents will join per week. In the meantime the work must progress.

6. What we are dealing with here is when and how do three guys in ‘Frisco transcend from majority rule to consensus & focus groups successfully? You cannot get consensus training until you have enough committed members to warrant paying for the training, training your own permanent trainers and then offering classes every other week to new arrivals. In the meantime you are in a world of hurt. You cannot get the required minimum number of committed members until you have pushed your project far enough along to attract those members. In the meantime you are in a world of hurt. During all of this time a special breed of people will have to devote themselves full time to the start-up. Other members will still be holding full time outside jobs and will not be able to keep up with all the decisions being made. How do we transition from one method to another?



 Therefore, it is proposed that prior to construction a Phase-In plan be decided by the consensus members. This plan might have the following characteristics:


I) Core Leadership

 A. A small core leadership that has the skills needed to cause the erection of the Village will be created. The size of the core group might be between 3 and 5 persons. This core group would be the Board of Directors and would be expected to secure the financing and secure the experts needed.

 B. The core leaders would act using consensus. The group may decide by consensus that one or more of the core group make decisions for the area of their expertise and empower that person(s) with the authority to do so. Consensus does not mean that every decision is made by the entire group.

 C. Areas of responsibility would be clearly defined for this core group, such as design, financing, construction, timelines, division of labor, work schedules, supply etc.

 D. Areas of responsibility not to be under this Core Leadership would be clearly defined, such as the focus groups “How Do We Bring Forth Inner Wisdom?” or “How Do We Enjoy Ourselves?”.

 E. The Core Leadership will have the responsibility to transfer duty areas over to the consensus groups as soon as it feels the consensus groups are prepared to take that responsibility. This should occur as soon as that physical part of the Village is completed. 

F. A definite phase out date of the Core Leadership will be in place. This would probably be no more than eighteen months after construction begins. Again keep in mind that by this time most of its areas of responsibility will have been turned over to the Focus groups. It should only be working on a few construction projects remaining.

G. This Core Leadership would report to the Main Hub on a monthly basis.

H. The Core Leadership will have the authority to make necessary adjustments and changes to the rough Village plan.

 I. All members of the Core Leadership would be required to file Non-Profit Taking Affidavits monthly to insure that they are indeed representing all of the residents equally. 

 J. The Core Leadership will operate and report all activity under the Village Transparency policy.

II) Definitions:

 1. "Consensus Members" are defined as people who have been screened for the consciousness and ability to use consensus decision-making. As part of the consensus training, they will be required to be screened and approved (to participate in the consensus decisions of the Village) by the "How Do We Expand Our Community?" Focus Hub.

2. Residents: The Village may have "Residents" who live in the Village but have not, as yet, been accepted as Consensus Members by the "How Do We Expand Our Community?" Focus Hub.

III) Plan Ratification

 All residents will accept and ratify the rough plan as laid out by the Foundation. This consists of all areas of the plan. 

 This will give a working plan, although not complete, for the construction and running of the Village. The members can then come back and make changes to it later by consensus only. For example, menus are in place now for the construction period. Changes can be made to it later, but in the meantime a plan is in motion.


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Untitled Document

Created 2007, Co-Op Village Foundation, Inc. | 1-850-623-8753 | HOME | FAQ |
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