Community is Yana's comfort zone. Her work on social dynamics and resilience have both come into maturity in the over two decades she has lived, grown and worked within the intentional communities movement.
“Yana is a superb facilitator, trainer and consultant for communities who want to live together collaboratively. She facilitated a retreat for Bellcohousing last year, and we participants had the most honest and compassionate interactions I had experienced as a group. She sees clearly, she is very aware of the group, and she had a relatively low key approach, while at the same time effectively keeping a group on target. She understands the dynamics of living together as a group over time as a community.”
--Ann Fussel, Bellingham Cohousing
A main focus of her work is helping intentional communities form, and helping groups in the 15-20 year old range to do a creative reboot. Her Starting an Intentional Community workshops are practical, memorable and fun, and here more than anywhere else is the place where her no BS approach is particularly helpful.
Yana says, "One of my core beliefs in this work is that all intentional communities are doing culture change work. Any time we attempt deep cooperation with others, we are bucking our mainstream culture's trends, and that means we can very quickly find ourselves in over our heads. Drawing on the lessons learned from a whole movement of people who have been doing this work for many decades is a way to cut through the fog. I'm blessed to have gotten to work with some of the movement's most savvy leaders."
Yana has branched out in the past 5 years to start taking what has been learned in the communities movement and finding ways to export those lessons to broader contexts. Residential community is like a small social experimentation bubble for developing thinking, techniques and skills, and Yana is one of the best translators of that work. Any organization that has community building as a core tenant of their work can benefit from these lessons. Her book, Together Resilient, is one of the offerings that helps bridge to the wider culture.