Enacting Purpose

I am so grateful that NICA President Syd Fredrickson, hosted a Board retreat in February… Although my stomach turned when she urged the Board to look NICA’s purposes square in the face, and assess NICA’s integrity.

As small as the Board currently is, and as new as I am to it, I was afraid: what might we find? What might it mean — and what will we do — if we find NICA’s board too small or unable to fulfill our purpose?

Be affirmed, or be relieved with me, as you read what emerged.

Your many hands have somehow nevertheless made light work of beautiful & concrete actions that do carry forth & build momentum. In the list of off-the-cuff recollections below, you’ll find recent examples of each of NICA’s five purposes.

From NICA’s Articles of Incorporation

Article III. Purposes

[NICA aims to improve] our region’s natural, social and economic environments through sustainable communities. The specific and primary purposes are to:

1) Ascertain and promote intentional community aims and values that contribute most to community sustainability…

  • NICA members tabled at the Sustainable Ballard Festival
  • NICA members, some of whom are board members, have attended meetings of/join in “the Seattle Co-op Housing Movement”
  • NICA continues to co-sponsor workshops on good governance, social permaculture, and permaculture.

2) Facilitate communication and networking between local, regional and national intentional community organizations…

  • see above, and…
  • Executive Director of Fellowship of Intentional Communities (FIC), Sky Blue, was a guest at this NICA board retreat.
  • NICA’s list of people are regularly informed of courses put on by FIC.

3) Foster and assist the study of and education on all major elements of intentional communities…

  • NICA website (NWCommunities.com)
  • NICA newsletter
  • NICA trifold/brochure redesign (2017) & distribution
  • NICA book sales
  • NICA gatherings, panels
  • Interaction and education with cities’ & counties’ officials
  • Sponsorships & mentoring

4) Assist organizing and financing efforts of and for sustainable communities…

  • NICA offers Fiscal Sponsorship (past: Ravenna Kibbutz, present: Just Garden, future: one in process)
  • NICA encouraging a Fall Gathering offshoot from “Industry & Community” breakout group
  • NICA refers vetted, experienced service providers, including community based facilitators & event organizers, and has an informal Speakers’ Bureau.

5) To coordinate the exchange of resources between communities and others…

  • People & our needs as resources: Housemate/Community member ads
  • Welcoming newbies/non-members to NICA gatherings
  • Ideal: living documentation of existing intentional communities and fostering ‘association — supportive relationships between each.

WOW! 

and…

Welcome to something purposeful!   

I am humbled by – and grateful to – all of the people & resources that came together to make these things possible. Reflecting on NICA’s purpose TOGETHER turned out to be uplifting 🙂  I was amazed to see such a very long list of beautiful actions so easily recalled from living memory!

Given the confidence and enthusiasm we gained by evaluating what had been accomplished recently, those present decided to collaborate with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities (FIC) and other networks to cosponsor, plan, and publicize the West Coast Communities Conference! This is exciting for many reasons. One is that it will be held in Washington State for the first time. Another is that you may like to participate actively 😉

We also committed to more active recruitment (you’re looking at it!) to keep NICA active. If you would like to hear about NICA’s new Committee Structure, suggest improvements, or explore what board membership could be like for someone with your skills and interests —

Please let us hear you,

see you,

and help you

help NICA

help us all 🙂

by Briana Barrett-Squirrel

Dynamic Governance Workshop

Jerry Koch-Gonzalez will be doing a one-day Sociocracy workshop on Sunday, January 25th in Seattle – 2100 24th Avenue South. (His workshop is called “Dynamic Governance.” a different name for Sociocracy.) The price is $120-$40 sliding scale, $75 as median price

Summary Notes from Diana Leaf Christian’s August 2013 Presentation at East West Bookshop

Thanks to the 25 folks who joined members of the NICA Board at East West Bookshop on August 21  for a presentation and discussion with Diana Leaf Christian on “Three Aspects of a Healthy, Thriving Community.”

The three aspects are:

  1. Community Glue: taking time to do shared enjoyable activities that tend to generate feelings of gratitude and trust
  2. Good Process and Communication Skills: the ways members gather together specifically to get to know each other better, consider ideas, understand each others’ emotions or upsets, or discuss and resolve conflicts and the ways people talk with each other, both in groups and meetings and one on one
  3. Effective Project Management: the ways a community creates and maintains its legal entity(s); the ways it finances, purchases, and physically develops its property; organizes and tracks its internal community finances and member labor requirements; attracts, processes, and orients new members; and maintains the community’s documents, policies, and decisions

Effective community governance, according to Diana, is at the center of all three aspects of healthy community — and benefits and enhances all three.

She was also kind enough to provide a printed summary of her talk (excerpted above), which can be downloaded from the following  link:

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Diana is writing a series of articles in Communities Magazine on sociocracy and will be returning to British Columbia in February. Watch for future updates; we may be able to catch her on her way through again.

Ananda Community Open House & Solstice Celebration: 1 – 7 pm. Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Ananda Community of Lynnwood welcomes everyone to an Open House and Solstice celebration from 1pm to 7pm on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

There will be tours, presentations, and opportunities to ask questions about this thriving intentional spiritual community. There will be booths of various Ananda projects, food and entertainment, and tours of the community. The afternoon concludes with a Solstice Celebration gathering from 6 to 7 pm, featuring speakers from other Intentional communities, and a spaghetti dinner.

DETAILS:

  • Event: Open House and Solstice Celebration
  • Date: Saturday, June 22, 2013
  • Time: 1 to 7 pm
  • Venue: Ananda Community of Lynnwood (20715 Larch Way, Lynnwood WA 98036, (425) 778-4628)
  • Cost: Free

MAP AND DIRECTIONS

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Clearwater Commons Featured Site on 2012 Green Home Tour – April 21 & 22

Just received this exciting message from our colleagues at Clearwater Commons. If you are available, you may want to stop by.

Clearwater Commons, the most comprehensive low impact development project in the Puget Sound, is being featured on the 2012 Green Home Tour April 21 & 22, from 10am – 4pm.

The only site in Snohomish County on the tour, Clearwater Commons provides a unique blend of low impact features, energy efficiencies and the latest in green home building techniques. Situated on seven acres in a suburban environment alongside North Creek, the site includes raingardens in the right of way, pervious pavements, wetland mitigation and homes on pin-pile foundations.

Deck and Trellis

With five of 16 homes in the final stages of completion, the Green Home Tour will showcase an affordable blend of features that maximize energy efficiency and integrate low impact development, with such elements as advanced framing, heat recovery ventilation systems, zero VOC finishes and ample insulation. The Commons is also the home of the Mini B, one of the first certified “Passive Houses” in Washington. At 300 sq ft, the Mini B uses only $100 per year in heating costs, the returns of building tight and ventilating right.

Clearwater Reach of North Creek

The model development took six years from conception to occupancy, due to its original approaches and green commitment. The story of the Common’s long road through permitting and financing hurdles is featured in the article “The Clearwater Commons Story: Turning Low Impact Development into Positive Impact Development”.

An intentional co-housing community, Clearwater Commons is a designed as a pedestrian friendly village with common garden, shop, storage shed, guesthouse and creekside acreage. Commons members will be on site during the two day tour, as will sponsors, partners and suppliers of featured building materials.

For further information, call Tom Campbell 206.919.7449 or email commons@clearwatercommons.com

Clearwater Commons Featured Site on 2012 Green Home Tour – April 21 & 22

Clearwater Commons, the most comprehensive low impact development project in the Puget Sound, is being featured on the 2012 Green Home Tour April 21 & 22, from 10am – 4pm.

The only site in Snohomish County on the tour, Clearwater Commons provides a unique blend of low impact features, energy efficiencies and the latest in green home building techniques. Situated on seven acres in a suburban environment alongside North Creek, the site includes raingardens in the right of way, pervious pavements, wetland mitigation and homes on pin-pile foundations.

Deck and Trellis

With five of 16 homes in the final stages of completion, the Green Home Tour will showcase an affordable blend of features that maximize energy efficiency and integrate low impact development, with such elements as advanced framing, heat recovery ventilation systems, zero VOC finishes and ample insulation. The Commons is also the home of the Mini B, one of the first certified “Passive Houses” in Washington.  At 300 sq ft, the Mini B uses only $100 per year in heating costs, the returns of building tight and ventilating right.

Clearwater Reach of North Creek

The model development took six years from conception to occupancy, due to its original approaches and green commitment. The story of the Common’s long road through permitting and financing hurdles is featured in the article “The Clearwater Commons Story: Turning Low Impact Development into Positive Impact Development”.
An intentional co-housing community, Clearwater Commons is a designed as a pedestrian friendly village with common garden, shop, storage shed, guesthouse and creekside acreage. Commons members will be on site during the two day tour, as will sponsors, partners and suppliers of featured building materials.

For further information, call Tom Campbell 206.919.7449 or email commons@clearwatercommons.com