The Foundation for Intentional Communities has launched a new podcast called “Inside Community” and invited OAEC Executive Director and Sowing Circle Co-Founder Dave Henson to be the guest on one of their first episodes. Host Rebecca Mesritz interviews Dave on the topic of Mission, Vision, and Values in community.
Guiding principles and founding documents help communities determine who they are and what they do. In many ways, this is the “intention” part of intentional community. In this episode, Dave shares the 25+ year process of creating and living a collective vision with his land mates in the Sowing Circle intentional community and its co-evolution with OAEC, as well as how that “North Star” vision meets the beautiful, messy, everyday details of building a life together. He shares his breadth of knowledge in having facilitated strategic planning meetings for hundreds of other social movement groups, campaigns, and land-based projects through a process of articulating a set of shared values, governance structures, and ‘non-negotiables’ that can serve as an anchor when the going gets rough.
As time goes by, a group may need to occasionally refresh their guiding principals. He advises, “For groups that start out with a particular vision, I think the elements that are cause for re-envisioning are that people change, people come and go, people fall in love, people break up, people die, etc. And for all the good and sad reasons, change is inevitable. So we have tried to create a model of governance and economy and decision making that expects change. In fact, if things don’t change then that’s actually a problem.”
Have a listen to this entertaining, light-hearted discussion ranging from legal structures and ‘consensus process’ to food, guns, pets and more. Listen at the Foundation for Intentional Communities website or wherever you get your podcasts.