Yana often jokes that community would be a fabulous thing if it wasn't for all the damn people.

The truth is that living together, working together and attempting to cooperate is HARD, largely because our culture teaches us how to compete much more than it teaches us how to get along and deeply honor the truth of others. Yana's work in this area is to guide groups in a combination of unlearning and learning, unmaking and remaking.

"We had a couple of thorny issues that needed attention.  With her compassionate understanding but clarity of insight, a long standing painful issue was finally spoken. Yana supported the “outlier” while attending to the pain of the entire group. It was as though a boil had been lanced.... Her work was so well received, that our Board and our committee that works with interpersonal conflict brought her back for two more days.  Her work is stellar. We have been invaluably helped."

Anna Fussel, Bellingham Cohousing  

Group Process is a blanket term referring to how a group functions. Our standards for group process in our culture are, frankly, dismal. Meetings have a bad rap, and do does the word "process". Fortunately, a lot of work has been done to pioneer better approaches. Yana's work is based in tools, methods and insights that move us from competitive, individualistic and oppressive ways of being toward what she broadly styles as Cooperative Culture.

The center column of the chart below is an overview of what she means by Cooperative Culture.

Under this heading, Yana does a lot of types of work, including:

  • Functional Consensus Decision-making training, and what she calls "Guerilla Consensus" bringing the benefits of deep inclusion into any decision-making process
  • Facilitation (both as an outside facilitator for tricky meetings and training facilitators)
  • Conflict Resolution (again, both coming in to help and training groups in managing tensions better)
  • Cooperative Leadership development
  • Design of cooperative systems and organizational structure that matches a group's purpose
  • Training and consulting on social sustainability
  • (See also the page for Strategic Planning services.)

Yana's clients for this work include intentional communities, nonprofits, social change groups, cooperatives and businesses with aligned values and purposes.

Here's a few windows into Yana's approach. See also the Philosophy of Work page on this website.

An interview on the Kosmos Journal podcast, focusing on culture and community.

This 30-minute teaching piece of systems for conflict resolution. (Passcode to access it is reflectivelistening01)

cooperative culture chart.jpg
Maintaining a sense of humor helps make group process a lot easier. Meetings and learning can be fun!

Maintaining a sense of humor helps make group process a lot easier. Meetings and learning can be fun!