The membership process
is like getting married and starting a new business venture.
Both at the same time.
With several people, at once.
A small village like ours has a number of advantages and risks
that are unique in comparison to the larger cohousing complexes.
On the one hand,
a small collection of kindred spirits will afford a greater potential
for deep intimate connections, coming to know and trust
each and every member like family.
On the other hand,
having such a compact social structure
means that if one person becomes unhappy or has a significant problem,
everyone else will become aware of it, and is likely to be affected by it
in some way, pretty quickly.
It is because of this that we take great care in getting to know each other
in several different ways, on several different levels,
before making a full commitment to join together.
Some of the ways that we do this are through becoming involved
in increasingly progressive stages:
The first can be thought of as an
Attending a tour
enables you to ask any questions that arise and learn about details of the project
in a comprehensive way from the start.
Joining a "Virtual Tea Party" lets us share more about our likes, dislikes, and personal experiences, and get to know each other in deeper way.
Through joining our Meetup Group and sharing in experiences like
attending meetings, pot-lucks, game and talent nights,
holiday celebrations, work parties and regional excursions
we interact together in various different ways,
and get to see each other in different lights.
Join our interactive FaceBook group
to see and post pictures, videos, questions, comments and updates.
The residents at Ingenium have been actively training and practicing
NVC/Compassionate Communication since our very first days here.
Completing the NVC introductory video series
enables newcomers to learn what that's all about and begin the training process.
Once folks decide to actively pursue residency, they may enter an
Purchasing and reading the "Creating A Life Together" book by Diana Leafe Christian
shows a willingness to understand, and eventually share,
certain responsibilities of creating a venture like Ingenium.
This is optional for renters but required
for seasoned members who are pursuing Land Partnership.
During the exploration stage you will be invited to resident's meetings,
cooperative processing sessions, and begin to participate in group decision making.
It is at this stage where you will start to arrange Ingenium group events and leisure time activities.
An exciting part of this stage is exploring your prospective living space by arranging for
a weekend overnight visit.
At this time you would be expected to begin completion of
ten hours volunteer service on the land.
Once some time and experience is formed between us at this level, interested folks can enter a
A first step at this stage would be to complete the 30 day NVC/Compassionate Communication course at this link: NVC Training or another significant NVC training modality.
You would also arrange for a week-long visit.
This offers the prospective member an Ingenium "immersion",
and we can each experience what it will be like to
communicate, work and play together on a day-to-day basis.
At this time we would also check for canine compatibility if you have a dog.
Next, you can ask for a formal application.
Questions about your personal history, lifestyle, long-term aspirations,
and how you can contribute will be clarified;
certain financial information will need to be disclosed;
and a list of references, which will be checked, would need to be supplied.
The application process is intended to be "reciprocal",
meaning that once an application is approved, the incoming resident will have a chance
to view all other established members information.
Then, a month-to-month tenant contract is signed, a rental deposit will be collected,
and you can begin a preliminary, or "trial" residential period on the land.
is then established after an interpersonal assessment,
usually after six months.
Tenancy can then continue for as long as is mutually desired.
Seasoned residents who desire a long-term lease
or to become partners in owning the land and in the project as a whole
may be invited to do so when they carry out the following:
- Consistently fulfills their routine obligations with ease.
- Reading the book, "Creating A Life Together" by Diana Leafe Christian
- Habitually checking the land for maintenance issues and converging with the owners
and often the caretakers/residents on how to attend to them.
- Regularly initiating creative projects and group events or gatherings.
- Making participation at group meetings a priority, and joining in on other activities often.
- Routinely visiting and checking in with current landowners, and are helpful in
working out decisions, issues and/or any changes desired.
Actively finding ways to collaborate together.
- Being instrumental in leadership, group cohesiveness and conflict resolution.
- Being sensitive to any divisive group dynamics and easily sets boundaries to curtail them.
- Consistently demonstrating generosity of spirit and a mutually supportive mindset.
- Has increasing investment and authority the more one establishes themselves in this role.
- Typically, lives at Ingenium for at least 18 months as a rental tenant.
- Makes a financial investment proportionate to Land Partnership percentage.
- Shares liabilities and responsibilities.
So there you have it!
Here are the steps to integrate
into the Ingenium Expressive Arts Village project.
In these ways we create together the chance to form
a solid assurance that each of us is an optimal fit together,
and begin growing mutually deep and fulfilling connections.
Come! Visit! See what it's all about.
We look forward to a uniquely rewarding process
of interpersonal discovery!