Prince. Okay, hello, thanks for joining us in this volunteer visioning circles. So for our empathy center that we're setting up in Santa Barbara. You know, we've been holding these visioning circles. So we've had people from Santa Barbara and sort of all over the world and from our empathy community take part in that. But that's more and more for just generating ideas for developing the center, and are to start this group, the volunteers group, which is specifically for people interested in working on specific projects or developing specific projects for the empathy center. And so I thought we'd do today is I'm just going to show you a quick Google Earth, you know, view of the center, just so we're on the same page for that, then have everyone introduce themselves, and then use the empathy circle process to start with, for discussing ideas about how you'd like to volunteer, or sort of projects you'd like to do for the center. And like I said, this is our first one. So we're just kind of, you know, kind of ramping ramping up here, and want to hold these every Friday as a way of sort of bringing people into getting more specifically involved into different projects for the center. And then we also have the link which I've put in for the agenda. So put that in once more, if anybody came a little bit later. And here, you can write in your some ideas, you have some initial ideas, as well as, as we go along, you know, take notes of any sort of ideas that pop up for you, during the during the time we have here. So it's gonna go for two hours. So with that, maybe we can just get started with some introductions, your name, your location, and why you're interested in volunteering on this project. And I'll start Edwin Rutsch, from the San Francisco Bay Area, my brother bought this property, and I kind of like, all of a sudden, called me up and said, Hey, I've got a I just bought a monastery, do you want to manage it? So I said, Okay, let me check that out. So that's why I'm interested in this project is my brother wants me to manage it. And I think this is like an amazing opportunity to move the empathy movement forward, because we're setting it up as a nonprofit empathy center. And I think this can really do a lot, you know, really promote the whole value of empathy in society. So that's me, Kara, do you want to do a little intro?
Hi, I'm Kara, I want to be a part of this because I believe that there's a way to advance the space and on create a launching spot. I don't know what kind of involvement I am prepared for. But I'm excited to be involved in the conversation so I can figure that out.
Yeah, my name is Zach ware. And I'm the founder and developer of a car called Pollack action. Were taking a lot of the lessons we're learning from reflective listening practice, and building a video conference web applications, these practices can be operated natively in a kind of a zoom like environment. And very excited about this opportunity. Everyone's family has developed, I think there's a lot of lessons to be learned in terms of kind of like the real world applications. And, you know, I think even this group around like volunteers, right volunteers, and it's such a core to our society, in terms of developing all kinds of different ventures, and so on, even especially interested in how like, volunteerism within this group will continue to mature and change over time, because I think that's going to say a lot about the use cases for the methods that we have here.
Okay, thanks, Lou.
So I'm newswire. I've been with Edwin for a long time, and helped develop the empathy circle facilitated training and I've been consulting with him about the retreat center for a while since latter part of last year. You know, I think, what else are we supposed to include in our interests?
Yeah, well, I like to volunteer on it. Just sort of a basic introduction for
Yeah, I mean, I think the main reason I have contributed my time both to the empathy circle work and to the retreats. senators cuz trying to create a more, you know, compassionate understanding world where people understand themselves better and they understand with others better. That's kind of what my main things we're working on that in some form most of my life. And so I this is a good a good place to put energy. And I also love the people that I've met here and I love the work that we've done together. And I do think I do think volunteering is an interesting topic. And in the time that I've been with that whenever I've seen people come and go people who want to contribute in some way. And I think I think that using volunteers effectively, is probably something that, you know, there are people that know a lot about that, because there are organizations that use a lot of volunteer work. And so I think that probably developing some expertise and some skill in that would be would probably be a good idea. It's one of the things that I think probably needs to happen if it volunteer effort is going to be a big part of the center, you know, it needs to be well organized and well run and well managed in order for it to contribute something significant.
Thanks. And Kathleen, is it you want to go by cat or how, like your emails are signed?
When I Kathleen or cat either one is completely fine. Nothing in between is acceptable, though. I just won't respond.
The same way? If not, and don't do, Edwin?
Yeah. Yeah. So hi, everyone, I'm Kathleen. Now we can also go by cat, and I am a professional facilitator, mediator educator. And I host a weekly 30 minute podcast called co creating peace, on which Edwin has been one of my guests and CO creating pieces all about conscious communication and conflict and conflict transformation. And because my all of my energy, my devotion, everything is in that arena, the idea of a retreat center that has its focus around these kinds of things, is just is very inspiring to me. And when Edwin first mentioned it to me, I got one of those flashes that this is divine order with a capital D and a capital Oh, that Edwin and that this is happening and that there's ways that I can be of good service to this project. And so so that's my interest. And among those things, and Edwin are going to talk about this on another day. But I because of my facilitation skills, I've done a lot of work on strategic planning, and board development and things like that. So those are among the initial ways that I can see of being of service. And I've listed others on the forum. And my final comment is that I do have to leave at the top of the hour because I have a class to teach. But I wanted to be here as long as I could. Thank you.
And where are you Kat?
I am in Springfield, Oregon at the moment, but I I'm feeling part of the maybe going nomadic at the end of the year, just because I'm traveling more than staying home. So that's what I need to
do. Thanks. Thank you.
Yeah, thanks, Linda.
Yes, Linda bears North Texas. I'm a mediator. And I'm willing to volunteer to get some CPE credits for some of the training. And I'm doing this because I think this whole concept is great. The initiative is great. And I just want to help help where I can to move it forward.
Thanks. So Linda and Melanie.
Yeah, my name is Melanie Sears. And I'm just kind of hooked on empathy. So this this project sounds like a lot of fun to me. There are some questions that I think we need to answer to before we create something like how much money does the retreat center need to make to survive and things like that, because that will affect how what how we develop it. I live probably closer to the retreat center than any of you I live in Orange County, which is probably maybe a two hour drive to Santa Barbara. So I can see going up to the retreat center on a weekend or something and do some training. I've been nonviolent communication trainers for more than 30 years. And I've written three books one's called human eye He's in health care. And then I have two workbooks. They're both called choose your words. So I think Did I answer all your questions? Yeah,
so good start. Okay. We continued in the discussion. Yep. Sally
I grew up in Galena, and Santa Barbara County, and lived there till I was 18 went to Santa Barbara City College. I pretty much am acquainted with everything. It's kind of my, well, I just got kicked out because of the non affordability of living in even just I live it stuff. But I pretty much know a lot of stuff that people are acquainted with. And I'm fully prepared to do whatever is needed. My brother lives there. I have a lot of my you know, friends from high school and all that. So I'm here and willing,
and you're living now in Kathy's Valley in near Yosemite sat, right?
Yeah, I'm pretty close to UC Merced. So I would describe it. But it's a six hour drive.
There to Santa Barbara. Yeah. Okay. Thanks, Sally. Larry.
Hi, I'm Larry, I'm a retired occupational therapist. I live in Florida, sometimes called the east coast of California. And loving living the empathy lifestyle. I'm relatively new to the empathy circles, and I just love it. And I'm just gonna keep spreading the word holding zoom online empathy circles, and spreading the word of the new center. I don't have immediate plans to pack my bags and drive out there, but you never know. So hang in there. Thank you. Okay.
So before we start the circle, I thought I would just screen share what the space. So for anyone, hopefully, you've seen this all if you go to connotes center.com. That's just the working title for the for the space right now. We're trying to get credit Turman the name of the space, my brother likes Valinor. And then subtitled the empathy center. And Valinor is from Lord of the Rings, the nonprofit we set up is going to be empathy center, hopefully. So working on that. And if you go to the tour, you can see the photo tour of the space, there was a bunch of photographs of the different buildings inside and out. So it's really good to take that there is a really cool Google Earth tour, I highlighted the area of the property in yellow, which I'll just show and then there's some video tours of when my brother and I went up there and, and kind of walked around the property so you can really get a sense of the property. And this is the Google Earth tour, which I think is kind of nice. This three dimensional aspect, you can see the property kind of backs up to the back. These are things to the back of the hill. So it's sort of the the behind is all National Forest. And it's only 10 minutes to downtown Santa Barbara. So it's got a pretty amazing location to it. And then if we go into the centers, space itself, you can see the different buildings. Currently, there's 55,000 square foot of buildings with 35 acres, you know, on top of a hill, it's about 250 feet from the bottom of the hill to the top. So it's right on top of this hill. There's a gym. There's rooms here at the end that had been renovated, there's seven rooms, there's industrial sort of kitchen, and then two big meeting rooms or dining rooms and then a staff quarter with another seven renovated rooms so this side has been fairly renovated. There's a big chapel here. area with an area underneath that chapel can hold 200 people in the area underneath is sort of a recreation room that we're working on renovating and maybe putting in a wood floor. So it could be like a dance room for dance different types of workshops with wood floor. And then this was a dormitory that houses over 40 people. And that's the word we need to renovate that. And then there's sort of a classroom area with multiple classrooms. And so these two buildings still need to be renovated. So that's just a quick tour of the property. And you can go in and you know, take a look at it and go into depth kind of at your leisure. So I thought we would just start off with doing an empathy circle process is sort of a it's a foundational practice, I think, for the center, you know, that we can build on? So I thought we'd do four minute turns. And if someone could keep time, and I can just start to anybody willing, keep time?
I will. I'm very good at this.
You got got it that? All right, four minute turn. So whoever wants to start that? So the question is, what do we have for the question was?
anyone has a question here? Let's see. Yeah, just like how would you like to volunteer? Any thoughts about volunteering, setting up a volunteer process for the retreat center? How would you like to volunteer any projects, or any questions, or whatever is alive for you. So whoever liked to start, you know, select your first listener, and let's get started here. And also take notes, if you can take notes in the in the document should be good. And we're going to need to eventually kind of organize those notes so that they're in sort of an aggregated, useful format. Okay, take it away, opening it up.
I'd be willing to start. And I'm
gonna start with Kathleen, since she only has about half an hour. Oh, if you want to speak to her, for example, if you want to speak to Kathleen Sally. Okay.
Kathleen. My vision is to connect the dots of things in Santa Barbara, that are lacking in connectability.
Okay, so it sounds like you see yourself as sort of a weaver bringing in the different threads of what's of the resources in Santa Barbara, and connecting them all into one. One unified connection, is that right? Sort of, uh,
yeah. So when they have the art shows, or let me know art shows, and the well, aren't shows that the mission and I'm at the beach, and, but everything is kind of scattered. And I like to add, art chose to connote us with like a bus, and you could go from one place to another on your Sunday. And I think that would be a wonderful way to fundraise. Um, and that's just one idea. Another idea. Oh, God, I'm sorry.
That's okay. I think I retained everything. Thank you. So part of that connecting that you're looking for is, is geographical connection where, where there might be a bus or shuttle that could go from event to event that's happening in the same day in the same area and people could experience more than one of them? Did I get that right?
And that applies to the ps3 and the ps4 activities. Because the PSP is like that, but there's just so many activities So nobody ever knows where everything is, maybe my brother does.
All right, so part of the resource, that experience that you would be providing is letting people know what's happening. And then how they can get from one happening to another.
Yeah, kinda like a little menu or something, and then popping on to the. Okay, but that's just another idea. Then, I also like to connect the music academy of the West, to the chamber, or where the music in the church and high ceiling and unbelievable music because, well, I go there as a child. And we were all crammed in this tiny little room for the lessons and for the recitals and racing. And I'm thinking it really needs to have a wonderful place for performing.
Okay, so among the weaving that you want to do is to connect, I didn't retain the name, but that that musical organization with with the church so that the church gets the benefit of the music, and the music gets the benefit of the acoustics of the church. And
yeah, thank you very much. I know.
They Thank you. All right. I will go next. And I will ask, Larry, would you be my recipient, please? Ready? Thank you, Larry. So among the things that I see myself, being in service to the center, among the ways is to, to offer information I know about resources for helping set up and nonprofit organizations, if that is needed. Organizations like score, which is the service corps of retired executives, that coaches people on setting up businesses and nonprofits.
So Kathleen, one of the ways that you see yourself, being of service to the new center is through offering how to set up nonprofits through an organization called score, I believe,
yes, that's correct. And they, they would be the ones who would provide the information, I would just provide the information about score. And also, because of my experience in facilitation, I can help facilitate the strategic planning processes, volunteer meetings, other kinds of meetings, if that facilitation would be useful.
And you could also offer facilitation skills and strategic planning, I believe, who said,
Yes, exactly. And then I would love to be a part of creating an educational center, where we would provide a wide variety of peacemaking skills, including all the ones that those of us here in the room have talked about, and so many others.
And you're also envisioning setting up an educational center that teaches teachers peacemaking skills.
Yes. And then any other kind of on site support that I can provide. I had a vision the other night, I pictured myself there as sort of being a hostess or a greeter, from time to time when needed to just help people feel welcome at the center.
And you recently had a vision of yourself as service and serves as a hostess as greeting people as they arrive to the center.
Yes, with with the focus of helping people feel welcome and safe to be who they are and how they are in that space.
And this vision as a hostess and welcoming people to feel safe in this space of the empathy center
Yes, thank you. I feel fully heard.
Thank you casting. Linda, will you be my listener?
I'm here for you, Larry.
Thank you, Linda. I'm just so inspired by what I've been hearing shares, just as I close my eyes for a second. I can see it too. I can see Kathleen, you know, in the front door, saying come on in.
You say you can you can envision Kathleen at the front door saying come on in, you can see her as a greeter.
Yeah, and I love the idea of an educational center that's promoting peace. Wow.
And you support her idea of an educational center that focuses on supporting peace.
And I have this vision of an organic garden in all of the green spaces that supports everyone by growing healthy food.
Your vision includes an organic garden, where food can be grown and provided to those that wanted or needed. Yeah, good food.
Yeah. And I love the idea of empathy as being the foundation of intentional community that that empathy would be a lifestyle, lived by everyone. Okay, and
you really liked the idea of empathy being the foundation or the on which a lifestyle is built? Yeah, for everyone.
And I think that Carl Rogers would be proud of us doing this.
And you think Paul Rogers would be proud of us? The pat on the back?
I think Carl Jung would be proud of us to.
Okay, along with Carl Jung.
I think Marshall Rosenberg would be proud of us, too.
And then we add Marshall Rosenberg,
and all of the other great sages throughout all of human history.
In all the great sages throughout human history.
Thank you, then they feel fully heard.
Thank you, Larry. Okay, how about Melanie, did I say that right?
You can call me Mel, if you want mail,
okay. Thank you mail. I like lose idea about the volunteer effort, and do agree that it needs to be organized. And that at one time when I was helping to train mediators, I also coordinated the activities of the volunteers that we used as mediators, and that was the job that sell, because I believe people want to volunteer, but at the same time, I believe they will stay on if they match with the skills and abilities that they have to offer. So they really feel like they're giving Oh, I'm just sorry, go ahead.
Well, what I learned, I picked up and I didn't get it all. But you're really on with this idea of training the volunteers and matching them with their skills? Because what keeps a volunteer interested is being able to contribute with dear and near to them.
Yes, you got it. I thought about a name, the pinnacle? Or, you know, that's the top of everything, the best of everything.
Hmm, so the name for the center would be the pinnacle. So that's like the top of everything in the best of everything.
Yes. And my focus is mediation and peace building. And I read a lot of articles on mediation sometimes look like they just come to me. I actually saw an article earlier this week was the guy was promoting pre conflict mediation.
So you're really interested in mediation and peace building, and you read a lot of articles on them and and you attract them, the universe knows that you're searching and they send you these articles. And so the last one was about peace building mediation before conflict is that
yes, which I thought was really interesting. So I can see as part of the educational program, the training that goes on there. You can include mitigation there are various methods of mediation types of mediation, and it helps Not only in communication but with the communities to when they because when you have more than two people in the room, you're going to have an issue.
So an important part of the training that will be offered at the center will be about mediation. And to you it's such an essential skill. Yes. When there are more than two people in the room, there's going to be conflict. Yes.
That one person I'm sorry? Yes, well, sometimes just one person in the room can be in conflict with them. So as far as generating income, professional organizations have conferences all the time. And so, you know, I would suggest that we identify some professional organizations this nearby, couple hours, drive, whatever that and get on the calendar, get on their calendar to see when they have conferences. Many of them will ask for presenters. And so you don't necessarily have to be a part a member of that organization, but they want presenters. Again, I'm going back to mediation because that's what I know. And that's what we do. So, and the other organization is called Nicole, National Association of Community. Law enforcement, community oversight, law enforcement, it's calling a co CIO. And no, they're active in California, just because I'm not familiar with California, I don't know where they are. But I went to a conference and it was a guy there talking about it was one of the presenters at that conference. So I would suggest that we identify some conferences in the area and try to encourage them to use the facility.
To other there are many facilities that are no not facilities, organizations that offer trainings, and they're always looking for facilitators. And we need to identify organizations that are kind of nearby Santa Barbara, and start getting them to come to the center for their trainings.
Yes, training and conferences, which a lot of them include Trent. Yeah. And, you know, charge them a reasonable fee. Make it comparable to what other locations are charging, so.
So that'd be kind of like a captive audience that we can charge reasonable fee. We don't want to get them and and that are comparable to other what other organizations would charge. So that would be one strategy that you can think of that would be a good way to use the Conference Center.
Yes. And I don't have anything else to say. Right now. Thank you. Oh, I do have to leave at 130 though. I do I need to put that out there. Okay. So now, mail you get to pick someone.
I guess. You add when am I can you? I'm listening. Okay. Excuse me? D there are just so many possibilities. I don't even know where to begin.
Yeah, it's not sure where to begin, because there's just so many different possibilities to go down.
I love it what everybody has said so far. Linda had a lot of good ideas. Kathleen had great ideas. I don't see anyway. So yeah, I guess I need some questions answered before I figure out the structure or anything. I have many skills. Empathy is probably my favorite, you know, so. But also, I was a nurse for 35 years. So talk about bringing organizations into the retreat center. I think it'd be great to to get some healthcare organizations and bring them have some conferences for him.
So let me just correct that. So you have a lot of questions. And you have been in the health care as a as a nurse. So the idea of bringing health care organizations and have conferences, there is something that resonates with you. Yeah.
And I'm not you showed us a layout of this center. But what I think would be interesting is to develop an onsite community, if there's enough space in rooms for people to do that, and that community would be in charge of running the conference. running the whole facility, the center. And then then you'd have a larger global community and for and those volunteers would help. But I think the the onsite community would do the majority of the work on site.
Yes, you're saying you're just, hey, guess question about how many people can stay there. And the idea is to have like an on site community that does the majority of the work, and then he have volunteers or beyond that.
Yeah. And like Larry said, about the on site. He said something about the on site, I just flew out of my head. But anyway, Larry said something that was along those lines, oh, the organic garden, I really like that. You know, I used to go down to this place in San Diego called Optimal Health Institute. And it was kind of like a community in itself, and it had an organic garden. And we, you know, drank wheatgrass juice. And, you know, we, we did healthy things, you know, so we could do help make make this Senator into, you know, a healthy program to, or there could be one aspect of it, people could go there to heal. And I, you know, I'm really interested in that I, I do a process with empathy around healing, physical healing. And, and I haven't found anyone else that does that. And I wish I did, because I would I need to, I need that.
Yeah. So you liked what you were saying about the gardening there. And there's a senator that you've been to that they have that kind of a program, and they have you found there, and it's about healing, and you have some healing processes that you do, too, that's you find unique?
Yeah. Yeah, there's so many fun things to do. And I'm just curious to hear more about what it's about for you, Edwin, and what your brother would expect from you about managing it. And in all those kinds of details. Yeah, just
like more of the details about what my brother sort of expects from the management and sort of maybe the overall vision, idea ideas around the center. Just want any more information about it.
Yeah, I think I'm completing for now. Thank you.
Okay. I'll speak to Kara, and my Wow, there's just yeah, all these things need to be organized. So we can people can just kind of check them out, you know, to sort of prepare would be, yeah,
I'm hearing you say, yes, everything that has been said, but you would really like for it to be laid out and for people to pick what they're gonna do.
Yeah. And I did see that. I just didn't want to be this. We have these visioning circles, which are just for generating ideas. So here, we want to sort of focus on what do we want to do, like what are sort of ideas that we would like to take and run with and, and sometimes it takes some times to kind of generate those ideas to find the energy. But the idea is to, to, you know, kind of grab a hold of something to work on.
Here, there's a shift happening, and you've been doing all of these visioning circles, and all the ideas have kind of been coming out. And so the movement that is happening now is you're really looking for people to utilize that energy and claim ownership on pieces of it.
Yeah, and we've we've had a lot of, we have a lot of volunteers that have been working, you know, we've been working with for the trainings, and people come and go, and one thing is, is there hasn't been, you know, there's been a volunteer sort of a space, we offer the trainings, you know, virtually for free, you know, a few people donate. So there's not really a lot of sort of, you know, money sort of involved. But I think that's one thing is people need an income. So I see this as a possibility to create processes where people can volunteer, but there's also opportunity to kind of make a living, to have an income and to take on a program that's supported by others, that you can actually make, you know, make an income because I think that's really what we need for an empathy movement. It can't just all be volunteers.
So we're hearing that there is volunteer things happening already. And in that space, they kind of come and go and one of the roadblocks or opportunities you saw was that there is income is kind of pivotal for life and being able to find a way to blend that Add.
Yeah, so I see that, like, was talking about a community that lives there, because it's, there's 14 rooms right now that are available for people to stay in. And so we do want to form sort of a core group that is sort of managing the space putting on programs. And the others, it's sort of a live work, you know, type of situation, to
hear that there are currently 14 rooms available so that we
add rooms, yeah, just start building
a core group of live work, folks who are both creating the space but also gaining from the space.
And I think because we have this space, that it's an opportunity to not only, you know, have generated income from, from like workshops, and so forth, but through donors, that if we have programs like, Hey, we're going to create a mediation center, right, we're going to be developing curriculum, we're going to be bringing in the community that take part in these workshops, and doing mediations, and you know, reaching out, you know, doing trainings in person and online, that, and all kinds of different, you know, projects like that, that then there can be donors that say, Hey, I want to put in, you know, 100,000, or something to, you know, support this project.
So, I hear that, on top of just having events happening that generate income, there is since there's a giant site, there is an opportunity to bring in big donors, corporate donors, Grant donors, big contributors.
Yeah, I think that's my time. Was that my time? Yes. Okay. I feel so much more to say. That's my time. I'll accept that, will you be my listener?
Going? Yeah. So what I, what I've sort of started to visualize, I don't know that I came in with a plan. But what I've started to visualize as hearing this as is there as a whole, how to create an entire city on top of this hill.
Right, so you didn't necessarily come into this with the with the plan, but you're thinking of this project as kind of sitting on the Hill project, integrated entity.
It sounds like we're gonna need a dance hall and a hotel and a bakery and a cafe and work thoughts and a hotel.
Yeah, so you're naming a bunch of examples of like, you're like a bunch of like assets that a city would have basically like food residency, temporary residency, as well as physical activities.
And I met, I mean, the other side of that is yes. So in a more practical way, on things that we can take on, one of the things that I do, I do leadership, coaching, and development and training, and I've been working with eco villages. I'll pause there.
Alright, so you are professionally, you professionally work on leadership, development and training. In particular, you've been involved in Eco village projects.
And I think that I would like to volunteer, I'm saying, and now I'm just saying that y'all, I'm gonna volunteer to work within that arena. I know that they work a lot with volunteers, they work with Palmer culture, they work on how to gain grants to do the things that you need to do. So they have a space where that is already all of this is stuff that they're locking in on.
Yeah, so you just want to like, just clearly boldly fairly, like, say, like, I'm ready to volunteer, like I'm ready to be involved in helping to develop leadership in these systems.
In fact, I am meeting with Washington State eco village on Sunday, so I will get some information and then I will get to Edwin with what I learned in that space.
Okay, so I'm in this part of that. So you say you're gonna meet with Washington eco village folks, shortly that there's something you're bringing back from from meeting them.
I don't know what it'll be, but I'll bring something of value back.
Okay. Okay. All right. So you will bring some potentially something of value from conversations about organization.
And I'm, I'm super into creating a whole little I guess this could be our foray into what an entire city living on empathy would look like.
You're naming this project like, you know, it's like you If we're building a city or a model city of empathy culture, and what that looks like, then this is this is basically where it's starting was where we're building that community.
I will I don't know where I need to be. But I will start with eco villages. And this is a space that I am heavily invested in my life. And I would love to share that energy through.
Yeah, so you saying yeah, like I'm in I'm vested as a as a stakeholder here. And you're motivated, like, you've got to hear it as like, kind of like developing the cross pollination between this group and this project set of projects that can be eco build projects.
And I foresee I could even become an onsite contributor. mid summer, potentially.
Yeah. And so you're naming that you could be a human need on site contributor, potentially this year, the middle of the summer?
That's all I have that Billy heard. Thank you so much. Sure.
Absolutely. So the pool has not gone yet. Blue. Okay. Down to do it live. Yes. To All right. So, all right, I took a number of notes. I'm gonna like, try not to be repetitive the notes that I took, but I'll do it a little bit anyway, why not? So so so basically, like, you know, I think the most effective volunteer organizations or volunteer pastes, or volunteer center organizations, really focus on recruitment, training, and retention, right? super basic, not basic workflow can be a very complicated set of workflows. But staying focused on those outcomes, is, is really the key like that, that makes things work really well.
Yeah, so your experiences that the organizations that are most successful and using volunteers focus on recruitment, training and retention. And so you really think that that's those things are important, and that they should be focused on?
Yeah, absolutely. And so like one, like practice that I put into notes, I think is really important, is that whenever we're working with volunteers, and this is like, whether like, you know, if one person is a board member, or one person, as a staff member, one person as a leading volunteer is leading a project of some kind, or has some kind of authority responsibility, that whenever they're interacting with stakeholders and volunteers, that they're always just like, warmly inviting them to do things.
Yeah, so you think a really important thing is for people in the organization who are working with volunteers, to learn to approach volunteers with warmth, and, and, and, and an invitation and a, kind of a is the idea of inviting people in.
Yeah, totally. And as long as you're reliably inviting people like that, like a does a really good job for inclusion, making sure people feel included. And be it really makes people feel like their time is being used really effectively. And it's being respected.
Yeah, and you're saying that the reason that it's important to kind of approach people warmly and invite them into doing things is because it really helps people feel included, and it helps them feel like their time is being utilized effectively. And that those are two really important things to do with volunteers.
Totally. And I think this organization, this project is so exciting. And also the the the medium of which we conduct our empathy circles is just like so stimulating that I think we've gotten by a lot in the past on just having fun doing empathy circles. You instead of necessarily having like really, you know, structured decision making oriented meetings, not saying those don't happen, those do happen. But we can kind of have a lot of fun and not necessarily get to action, a fair amount.
Yeah, you're saying that, you know, because the work of this group and Edwin's work has been around empathy circles, which is such a kind of juicy, warm, inviting thing, that he's actually had a fair amount of success without having a lot of structure and without Delaval shipping a lot of expertise in dealing with volunteers. And you think that for this next phase, you know, of the work or to really be successful in what he's trying to do now is that it's going to take more than what has been done in the past. In terms of structure,
yeah, um, and so in so I'm very excited if we get there, even in this meeting, yeah, got the action items, action steps, I would be super excited by that. And if not, I'd be excited by engaging with Edwin or others in the group, you know, a one about, like those concrete next steps. And you know, and I think there are a few different strategies that can be employed, right, and I'm not attached to any particular strategy. But, you know, we could potentially make a decision to have it as part of our culture, that we do have action items, you know, structured as part of our meetings. And in that action item can be just here's an opportunity, or something, here's a task or project that needs to be done. And something I make note in the notes, I think, is also really important, is I think, with this kind of project, it's the kind of thing where we could very well run into some nice competition for roles and responsibilities. And that's not a bad thing. Right? You know, we live in a, we live science based democracy, I've always wanted space democracy. And so, you know, we can have competitive application processes, we can, competitive applications can be really good for diversity inclusion, right? You know, it can empower a lot of people. And it can also make a lot of people feel a lot more confident, and interested in plugging in if they are formally applying, depending on the situation. Right. You know, let's say this is like a volunteer leadership position for committee.
Yeah, so the two main points, I think, that you're making in this last piece are that, you know, empathy circles, and the process that we are doing here don't really include an explicit, you know, problem solving, action oriented, you know, let's come out with things that we're doing and that you think that that's actually needed. And you'd love to see that happening. And you don't have a specific way of going about it. But you would like to see that happen somehow that we get specific action items and that people take those on. And then the second was, you were saying that you think that the the process of building the center and organization and doing all the different things that need to be done, that there are lots of people who've been involved in the circle community who could bring skills to that. And so it's likely that there would be competition among people about who would play what role, and you think that's a healthy thing. And yeah, and there should be some process for people applying for jobs and, and an evaluation happening. And then you think that would be helpful.
Yep. And in just to clarify, like, I could definitely, like get into specifics of like ideas I have on how to structure action items, how to structure kind of some of these workloads into SAM not attached to be particular solution. Right, and definitely are immutable to logical ways in which these things can be done. And that all Sir,
sir, yeah, so you have some ideas about how to create a structure for action items and, and getting things done. You're not attached to what you know, you're open to other ideas. But you you do have some ideas, and you're
happy to share those. Yes, my time. Yeah. No problem. Thank you.
Yeah. So I'm sorry, we lost cat. I was gonna go back to her because it was really good and great to have an opportunity for her to speak a second time. So I'm feeling some regret that that didn't happen. Okay, I'm all good, Melanie. That's right. We do Melanie. Sure. Okay. Yeah, so in a rich conversation. So I know that Zach has he? Yeah. So I when I met Zach, he was involved in political organizing and campaign running. And I'm guessing Zach had a lot of experience with volunteers doing that. So I really trust the things that he has said about volunteers and volunteering. So I just wanted to say that
you, you acknowledge Zach and his expertise and experience with volunteering because of his dad. grounded in background.
Yeah, and I have some experience with volunteers working with volunteers, not it, probably not as much as that. But I also think that the things he was talking about organizing their work, and, you know, having a structure is a good thing. And so the things that I wrote down was, you know, having having a coordinator, someone whose job it is to coordinate the volunteers, to having an onboarding process for volunteers. So a way to orient them and let them know what's expected. Let them know what the processes for matching up hope there's their expertise with the things that need to be done. And that there's a project management process for volunteers. So a way of identifying projects, and what skills are needed for those projects. And a way of assigning volunteers and getting their commitment to work on those things, and then follow through, you know, producing the results and evaluating I'll stop there.
Yeah, I don't know if I can repeat a lot of that. But you've worked with volunteers, yourself. And I and you believe in organization, organizing them and building the structure. And you need, they need to have an on board process and project management, and other things.
And there should be someone to coordinate, there should be a coordinator, someone who's
in charge. Yeah, that was that word I couldn't read.
The other thing I think would be good would be a volunteer application form. So that would be if someone's interested in volunteering, something that they fill out, that says a little bit about their background, why they want to volunteer and what their expertise is, you know, what area, you know, so that we have some idea about how to match them up to what their, what their capacities are.
So one of the strategies that you can perceive is that we would have a volunteer application form, so that we could understand what the volunteers are able to do, and we can match them up with something that works for everyone.
Yeah. And then maybe a volunteer project, database, you know, or something where you define projects and what the requirements are, and what the project is, what the deliverables are, and, you know, as a way of tracking projects, who's assigned to what.
So you can see, foresee and building a database to house all the information that we obtained about the volunteers.
And the projects that they ended projects, projects that work. The other thing, the other thing that I was really came up for me, was when people started to talk about their visions, you know, and what they what they envisioned for the center, when I thought about that, what came up for me most strongly was community, which you mentioned to Melanie. And I do think that there because of the residential nature of the center, that there could be people living there, I do think that one of the most powerful things would be to build a community there. And that way, the people that move through the center that have contact with it, they come and do a workshop there, or they come and do a meeting there. Or they come and do a some kind of a longer thing where they're staying there. They're actually affected by that community. And they start to participate in the norms and the culture of that community. And I think as a way of influencing people's understanding of what it means to build a culture of empathy, and live in a culture of empathy, and to take a piece of that away with them, either consciously or just experientially to take that away with them, and how that would influence wherever they go back to. I think that's a really powerful opportunity. I'll stop there.
So you're kind of excited about this idea of having a core community that has that Liz, by the culture of empathy has core values. And you can see that those values, and the ways of being would affect everybody that comes through that center, and that it affects them on some internal level and they're able to take that concept back out into the world. So it's kind of like a way of creating world peace. Yeah,
thanks. Thanks for helping hear me so fully. Yeah. And I also want to say that doing that is a non trivial task. So community is really hard. And I'm aware of lots of groups that went off to create a community You know, some ideally saying, and of course, you know, people bring their personalities and their histories and their wherever. And building community is hard. And I don't know of any community that I've had exposure to that hasn't had conflict and hasn't had actually break down, you know, like the ideal of what it was going to be, didn't actually happen, or there was a lot of stuff happening underneath the surface, you know. And so, building something like that is very exciting. And it's also really non trivial. It's, it's like really hard to do.
Yeah, you're really aware of the pitfalls of trying to build a community, because you've experienced a lot of different groups that tried and, and conflict happens and things in the community would break down. So you're really wanting to I don't know, express express that it's not an easy task to build community. And yet, it's really exciting to try to develop that.
Yeah. Thank you. I feel fully heard.
You're up, Melanie.
Oh, me again. Oh, okay. We're going around again.
Let's do one more round or so. And then what happened the last 20 minutes just for open discussion.
Okay. Okay, Larry, would you be my listener? Yes. Thank you.
Want to talk about so many good ideas? I appreciate everybody's perspective on this.
Yeah, you know what, I don't have much to say maybe I'll just give the rest of my time away.
So millenia, who's saying that there's just so many good ideas have been presented. And you've come to that point where just don't have much more to say? Everything's been said something like that. Yeah, I
need a little more structure. It's, it's, you know, just so many different ideas coming from different places. And now I just like, going well, we'll see what happens but and I do agree with with Lou about how hard it is to build community, I lived in a cohousing community for 19 years. I don't know that I want to do that again.
I'm hearing you lived in a cohousing facility for 19 years. And you agree with Lou that, you know, it's not always so easy as it sounds? Kind of? And you're not quite sure if you'd want to do that again.
Yeah, cuz I think a lot of people have tried it and not very successfully. So. I mean, even if we have the values that we're going to live with and structures and for communication. Yeah, what Lou says it's that people show up and they bring, you know, their baggage with them and, and their personalities. And it's just not easy to get along with everyone.
So I'm hearing that, yeah, it's even though we have our values, and structure and communication skills. We also have our baggage. It brings a real challenge to the situation.
Yeah. And I think for the facility or the, the community to be successful, there needs to be a process for healing trauma, because trauma, I think it's at the root of a lot of dysfunction. And I guess that would go in with my desire to bring to build a healing community. And so not only would the participants benefit from the healing technology that we bring, but they'd also benefit. The staff would benefit the core staff would benefit from the healing technology.
So I'm hearing that trauma, healing needs to be at the root of everything, not just for the staff, with their very expensive baggage, but for everyone, even if they're carrying, you know, just knapsacks we all have this historical history based on trauma, and it needs to be addressed, not swept under the carpet, but the healing is to be an essential root of this center. The whole process is founded on healing trauma, something like I think
you got it here. I don't know if you've heard of the Zig community in Germany. And I think they're successful. They have a, they do what's called the forum every day where people in the community will walk around in a circle. And they are talking about what's current for them. But I think that community has been in existence for many years. And they're more successful than others, because they don't sweep things under the rug. They really address what's current.
And you're mentioning a community in Germany, I think you said that zag guy may have gotten that word wrong, right? Gee, sounds like z EG, eg ZGG like egg with a Z, like a theory. And they practice a community circle. I think you said every day, where it sounds like they really speak what's alive in them to have it communicated into a circle. And then that is an essential part of a healing community to actually kind of live that. Like it's a lifestyle. Not just an idea on a plaque on the wall. But a real lived experience every day, something like that.
Something like that. You hit it. You brought in a few of your own ideas, or you were agreeing with me. But I appreciate your feedback. I'm sure my time is up.
Thank you, Melanie. Are we okay on time?
Yeah, let's do one more if you just want to speak and then we'll just open it up maybe to general discussion.
Carol, will you be my listener? Okay, thank you. Yeah, I was just really inspired by the, the, the, the, whatever you call the, the declaration. Yeah, the declaration that this needs to be a lived reality, not a plaque on the wall.
Here that you are inspired by the idea that this is going to be needs to be a lived experience and not just a plaque on the wall.
Thank you, Kara. I feel fully heard.
Okay, so shall we just open it up to non empathic? I mean, just open loose discussion. You can use if if you feel like people aren't really understanding me or whatever do you can ask for reflection or something by just kind of open it the general discussion? Yeah, Linda, you're muted.
I would like to go first, on the open discussion. All these ideas are great. I'm into structure and organizing. Behind I'm the behind the scenes person, I really think we could benefit. Well, this group could benefit from having recruiting someone that could develop a computer software system. And I'm sure some software out there, but something that can grow as as this organization grows, that you can add to and, and collect and retain all this information. And because there's a lot I think we need bylaws. Right down, again, back to organization, and assignments, rather, we keep having these sessions where we're talking, but somebody brought up blue, the volunteers if my volunteer effort will be CES, I'm trying to get CES, I'm working on getting some groups to agree to provide CPE credits for what the training even if it's for the cafe. So that's what I'm going to volunteer to do. But you know, if everyone had an assignment right now, like the space, the place is huge, which I think I'll say you're working on cleaning out the chapel. Yeah, everything. Okay, well, let that be the beginning and just focus on building out the chapel and then whatever activities we do that could just start in the chapel and as they grow, you know, you you're making it ready in the other parts of the building. And it would be helpful if someone was there in the community and I'm not because I'm in Texas when When I think of volunteers, I don't necessarily think of one person, but a group. Like, here, they have welding classes, for vocational classes for high school students, or for people that are dropped out of high school. And so you know, projects like that they already have a grant for the money. And you can just say, we need some welders, or we need carpenters, or we need painters or whatever, in this place, can you, you know, bring your group up, and they can get the experience while at the same time taking care of our needs. So you know, it's a win win situation. But you would need somebody to actually work with the community go out in the community and identify these groups and say, Can you do this, can you do that and you can, on the college campuses, or even in high school, just put a sign out, have you advertise there, that you're recruiting for someone that can create a computer system, or a software system, whatever you want to call it, that can start gathering and retaining information, and have it such that it's, it can grow, as we grow and not be so complicated that nobody has can handle it or work on it. If this person or persons decide to, you know, go off and do something else. So that's my whole deal is just just, I'm all about, okay, we've talked about let's pull the trigger. So let's focus on getting the building that one building ready. And, you know, just little by little, and you can have a temporary report, you know, this person is gone, I will do this, I'm gonna be there. And here's a timeline, you will get it done by this time, or we're gonna meet once a month and or every two weeks and follow up and see what the progress is. And it just, it's got to be a seed that's planted so it can grow. And I think we planted to see we can eat, just just start spouting roots and let it
grow. Yeah, well, American, give a little bit of an update on where we are. I am working on a nonprofit. So I'm in going through all the no low books on setting up a nonprofit probably need some kind of support from some kind of org, you know, people who are familiar with nonprofits, there's companies that help but I wanted to get a really good sense of all the issues around nonprofit I sort of regret not having created earlier when it would have been a lot easier could have done the page and a half short form. Easy for him. But now because of the more complicated situation after this 26 page applications anyway, working on on the on the nonprofit would be a great resource for your Score. Score. Oh, yeah. So when
she mentioned about the return executives, and they do
yes, they do. Yeah. Score
is Corp senior something, something I had
checked with them once before on a different project. So yeah, really with that. So in terms of the property, we are looking at architects now for the renovation. So we've talked with architects, I'm really excited by Kara what you're saying about the Eco village because we're we're having there are some companies who do permaculture process. So they have a process of, of evaluating the property, there's 35 acres, you know, you need an evaluation of the water flow and soil and all that kind of stuff. So I actually have a meeting today with another local person who does that permaculture. And as we've kind of gone into, into that. It's gonna mute you, Sally getting kind of echo there. I'm just talking here. So I lost my train. It's obviously ego to ego. I'm sort of starting to envision it having a permaculture, you know, we do sort of permaculture design, that eco village. So I'd really love to talk with those people there, Kara about setting that up so we can get a design, evaluation of the site and assessment. So we're looking for finding people to do that. And we've got two different groups that we're talking with now. Then, they created design of how to design the space for in for sort of permaculture regenerative agriculture. And then the third part is actually find someone who has a background would like to live there, do kind of a live work. And then we actually create sort of a training for permaculture training workshops. Right so it sounds like exactly like your eco village. I see you're excited. So it's a whole process. So we have that in place. And then we're working at the architects, you know, to find architects to renovate the current buildings, there is one person that lives on the property, his family, he's the groundskeeper. So he's been, you know, throwing stuff into a big dumpster, you know, we got this lot of old mattresses, so forth to kind of get rid of old furniture, we've been sorting all that. And so we need to kind of clean up the property, get it down to sort of the bare bones, see what furniture to keep what to get rid of. So that's sort of in the process, and then we've got those 14 rooms, that are bedrooms, as some have shared bathrooms, but they're available, we just need to have someone that can kind of help with, with furnishing them, you know, someone has a bit of a taste, you know, or if they need everything, they need curtains, you know, they need shower curtains that it's like, it's totally bare, the room is just totally bare. So we need to get folks to somebody that kind of helped with with that. So those are some sort of that's some of where we are. The other thing is, is how do we take the empathy circle and get in to have a process for, you know, for sort of harvesting all these insights. So I've been getting better at that, like everybody taking notes here, take notes, so we can go back and review that. But we do kind of need a volunteer coordinator that can kind of help run this in an efficient way. So if somebody wants to volunteer to be the volunteer coordinator, maybe even, you know, kind of develop a more efficient, you know, process here that, you know, we need that one person that has those skills. That's one thing. So that's a few things that come to mind. So I guess the other thing is, is what is it any to do assignments? What do you want to take on? It's sort of a project to or if you want to take on anything between now and next week? Yeah, Kara? Well,
I will happily reach out I'm since I'm already in communication with the local eco villages. I will expand that to the whole Pacific Northwest and get a conversation going Washington, Oregon, California, just to get a community there started.
kind of to something Melanie was talking about earlier, one of the things that has come up often in the Eco village that kind of separates it from a cohousing situation, is one of the struggles in a cohousing space is having not your own space. So while having those 14 rooms is I think pivotal and foundational being able to have their own space that they can, you know, mess up and make a mess and paint the walls purple, if they want or blue fuchsia or neon green stripes. Being able to have that individualized space allows you to have your own space so that you can come and be part of community. I just know that that's something that's been a huge discussion with me. So something to bear in mind. If, but I will absolutely reach out and start gathering people who want to be part of the discussion.
Yeah, just any insights on the land assessment that he's I'm imagining. Right now, there's not a whole lot of space for gardening. I mean, there's a fair amount I guess it depends on how you how we use it. But I'm imagining a long term 10 Year 15 year plan to terrace, the that hill to put gardens in there. So anyway, that's all around this permaculture eco village and doing workshops. I think that's exactly where we've been sort of just been addressing so that that would be a great connection. Yeah. So Zack,
yeah, totally. So it sounds like the Eco village project is already at a critical mass and also as a critical, like level of expertise, you know, already involved with it with Keira and Edwin showing interest. So it sounds like you already like at a sufficient scale to go ahead and subcommittee out from this committee. And when there are resources and whatnot, you need to bring to the attention to like the volunteer organization as a whole. First come back. In terms of like the volunteer coordinator role, here's just a couple of things to consider. So if there are multiple people who are volunteering to step up to it, that's okay. Because there are ways to manage that. It one one person could actually be identified as that volunteer coordinator, but say we have two people, right. One way to consider that position right now is that that volunteer coordinators job Have in large part is to just be supportive, it'd be inclusive, do that volunteer, you know, recruitment, training, retention and kind of workflow. And as committees become mature, they're then just helping supporting volunteers getting into those committees. Right? You know, so it doesn't that all the load does not necessarily have to rest on that coordinator, they just get to function as as a shop where like, new people are coming in, and they may need orientation of various kinds, or maybe they're trying to get plugged into some kind of project that doesn't really exist yet, potentially. And they can just help, you know, administratively support them and kind of getting in that position. So concretely, I am very much willing to put in notes. I mean, you and I met previously about kind of like project management software, I think you're talking about clickup? Or maybe it was something else.
I'm learning.com. Oh, morning, or Monday, Monday, Monday, yeah. Sweet. I just mentioned that for project management monday.com gives you, if you're a nonprofit, they give you 10 seats for free. And then it's like 70% discount of their price. And so it seems to be one of the two big ones monday.com and click up. I think we're the other one.
So Edwin, if it's okay with you, I'm done. volunteers helped build out the volunteer database CRM situation, it will unnecessarily take, you know, a huge, huge amount of work. And I'd be happy to work with people who are interested in that volunteer coordinator position. And it makes sure that you know, when I'm building is going to be in alignment with strong practices, and he's also going to be usable for them. Cool. It's good for them. Is that
on? monday.com? Oh, that'd be great. Yeah, that'd be that'd be hugely helpful. Yeah. Let's do it. And you can get everybody. There's a project management software. So if you go to monday.com, you can get a free license in two people. You can have two people on your license, you can start getting familiar with it. And then once we get the nonprofit, we can really sort of scale that up. I think.
In lieu, nope. Pressure. Were you saying you were interested in doing the volunteer coordinator trip? No. Okay. You just you wanted to bring it up? You want to discuss it? For
sure. Yeah, actually, I that's not really my strength. Either you need someone who's a connector. And that's not me.
If nothing else, just to compliment you. You're so good at being inclusive and warm, right. Great job of being affirming to people skills. And that's really great.
Thank you. And I think and for me, it's also a bandwidth thing. I just have too many other things. Like take that on. Yeah, thanks.
Yeah, Melanie? You're muted.
Okay, I'm just responding quickly to Kara and she's about the structure of cohousing, which there are different kinds of cohousing. There's Co Op co housing. The one I lived in was a condo structure. So I owned my own house on I owned a portion of common buildings. And so there are there are a lot of structures out there just for your information.
I'd be interested in hearing more from you, Melanie, about what the challenges were in that community and why why you thought it didn't work. Well, if you're willing to talk about that, people want to hear about
I mean, given given the interest in building a community, I'd be, it'd be great to hear your thoughts about that.
Okay. Yeah. Are there any objections to me talking a little bit about this? Okay. Well, the the cohousing community involved a lot of different different families and, and people in different stages of their life. We have young people, we had some old people, we had some middle aged people. And what tended to happen were that people that were like the ones that had families, they kind of stuck together, they formed a little clique. So they're all these little cliques formed. People wouldn't were not interested in personal growth. And I was the only one that facilitated the group for many, many years because no one wanted to develop the skills to facilitate and you know, they're needed I think for success there needed to be people willing to change their paradigm. And the the predominant paradigm in our culture is very strong strongly in drenched in people, and even though they had an idea that they wanted to live in cohousing, they didn't realize that they might have to give up some of their precious cultural conditioning in order to do so. And, and some of that cultural conditioning was like, when you're mad at someone, smile at their face, and then gossip about them behind their back, you know, just little things like that, but little voice in the community. And so, I guess the community didn't work for me because people weren't into personal growth and and I'm into personal growth and, and they're not into communication, particularly. They thought that
was Melanie was the community formed with an intention, was it an intentional cohousing community, it was
an intentional cohousing community, but it was it had problems from the get go. The land was bought by a couple who had money and then people would buy either buy it from them buy their little household from them or, you know, make they would anyway there. Anyway, it was just problematic from the get go. And then we had a big construction defect that was just horrible and expensive. And so there was a lot of problems like that. Trying to have a cohousing community in a mainstream society, which is what it was we lived in a neighborhood and a neighborhood they they weren't particularly our neighbors weren't too excited about a bunch of hippies moving in that they considered cohousing hippie, but then after we'd been there a while and they found that we were really helpful to the neighborhood, they they liked us a lot better. But still, there's some bad feelings about that among our neighbors. But you know, mostly for me, it's just that people didn't want to address the problems. They didn't particularly get along, there was a lot of conflict, but they didn't want to admit that there was conflict. So
it was the original intention in the formation.
I think the intention was to have a cohousing community where the neighbors could help each other.
So there wasn't a particular philosophy,
there wasn't a particular philosophy in that project. I wasn't I wasn't one of the founders.
I'll add to the you know, the structure is that this is a nonprofit. So it's not a, you know, intentional community in that sense. But it can, it seems it can be a community of practice with a clear vision of fostering, you know, building a culture of empathy. And having those practices be core like, you know, there's, you know, here in the Bay Area, there's sort of these Buddhist centers, green Gulch Spirit Rock, and they're a community of practice, where it's about Buddhism, right to have kind of core teachers, they have students there, and then they have outside workshops, you know, people coming in doing different workshops. So I see it is more of a, with the intention, the intention is to build a culture of empathy to raise the level of empathy and society. So how do we how do we do? How do we do this organizing in an empathic way? What are the empathic, you know, empathy building processes and practices that we do here? though? That's, yeah.
Thanks for sharing. Melanie, I do think my you know, my own experience is that some, well, I think often people who form a community with an intention to have it be something, you know, ideal luck or some, you know, following a certain principle, you know, if it if things aren't, that's one of the reasons for kind of sweeping things under the rug is because you want to believe that that's happening, that's possible. And so, way to, uh, the way to make it so is to ignore the, the signals that are contradictory to that, you know, but I agree that I think that the, the only way to have a healthy community is to acknowledge conflict and differences and to have a process for cope for dealing with it that everybody agrees to and that they're willing to participate in.
We did have a process for dealing with conflict, of course, I create I made it up because I was the only one interested in that. And people did agree that that was a good process, but they didn't really know much about processes. And no one used it, but we had it
but that's why we're starting with the empathy circle is kind of the core process. So even with talking with If the neighbors were reaching out, all the neighbors have been coming taking part in empathy circles is sort of our core foundational practice. So Zach, and then I think Sally had her hand up, too.
Yeah. So you want to go first? Family?
Well, of course, my brother and community who was fighting to get this land was trying to put a mental health facility for people who are now. Well, I guess maybe they just are dumped in prisons outright, instead of getting any mental health, which I think, I don't know, if he did it work into a full, structured vision of the future where mental illness was not. I mean, that people grew out of mental illness. That, I mean, maybe it wouldn't be outright harder as a beginning. But a vision for the village itself that Kara is talking about.
Recap for hence, mental disabilities have a right to housing. And so just building on a kind of conversation like I, you know, it could, it could be a lot for someone to literally live at this retreat center. As a resident, it can be kind of an overstimulating thing, right? Even if it's like a pretty peaceful place, and all that, right. But just throwing out there is like, you know, the fact that, you know, supporting Edwin's brother, the fact that he's already building apartment buildings basically. And so it's like that skill set, you know, doing exploring things like foundation housing, you know, or something like that, where, you know, whether it's, you know, purchasing commercial apartment buildings, or building apartment buildings on site or on a separate site. So people were, you know, connected with the movement or working even after retreat center, they can commute there, if they don't want to live there, or if they have families, or things that there's no qualms about Santa Barbara, this one was expensive places in the United States. Right. But, but that foundation, housing, you know, in the future holds for, like, if we're scaling up to that point, you know, financing the construction of housing is actually a pretty reasonable thing to do financially, as long as you have that downpayment, you have the skills to execute on the project, basically. And the rents have probably not necessarily be astronomically high either, even on on new construction, right? It's like, you know, those new construction units are like two or 3000 or $4,000 a month, because they're for profit, right. But you know, if you build those same, you know, you know, affordable units and, and leasing them at a very low profit model or at a nonprofit model basis, and, you know, using federal tax credits, then then those those rent prices crash, and you
can address address those two things when Sally I think was talking about how that the, the space had been used as a seminary previously until about 2015 or so. And then it was purchased by some company that wanted to make it into a drug treatment center. It didn't that project didn't fly, and then some group tried to make it into a homeless, sort of a reentry shelter kind of thing. The neighbors were totally against that. And then it was sort of sitting, you know, pretty much for the past eight years sort of empty, there was some renovations done to it. So there was community tension, you know, some of these projects, I think what we're doing now with these empathy visioning circles is we're connecting with the community. People are saying over and over again, this is the right way to do it. You know, it's like you're accessible to the community. So I have been developing, you know, good process for connecting with the community. That's sort of one aspect the other what you're saying, Zack, is there's there's really no space there per se to build anything else. There's a, what they call a conditional use permit. It is what says how the property can be used, and it's sort of like maxed out there's a certain amount of pee But we can have there. And there's sort of a limited amount of any type of construction, I think the grid have like 1000 square feet of more property, you know, more buildings built. But then it becomes very difficult. Plus, there's all kinds of conditional use permit. So it's not really going to be expanding much unless it was subdivided and sold into into housing individually. So I don't know if that is sort of addressing what you were trying to address on that. Oh, yeah. Clear?
Oh, it absolutely does. Yeah, and I don't even think that's, that's, I wouldn't even necessarily even suggest or recommend that strategy of like trying to build it out like a college campus or something like that. Like, it's more like a if we have like, say, there's like a teacher's program, right. And there are like 30, or 40 instructors. And those 30 and 40 structures have kids, they have families, they needed two or three or four bedroom apartment, things like that, it'd be probably it'd be more like down the road, like looking at purchasing an off site property, and developing nonprofit housing and seeking tax credits and stuff like that, that would be a really great way to scaling up. And then those people who are involved in our programs can commute to the center. And, you know, because very small number of people can live in dorms sustainably. And it'll also be a really heavy lift for like those teachers instructors to go lease market rate apartments in the area and commute on. So.
Yeah, it's very expensive. In fact, that's one thing people are saying that it's dense, we have a space where people can stay it's a very advantageous because, you know, teachers, firefighters, police are being market priced out of the living in Santa Barbara, because it's so expensive to live there. But I do want to get to, you know, before we go, so what do you think is a good process for getting it like a to do list like, Cara, we were clear on what you're doing, we're going to connect with the Eco village, Zach, you're going to be email@example.com and sort of that whole project management software. And I guess let me know what you come up with, maybe create an account, and then sort of test it out. And, you know, it's, there's a whole field of project management software, and ours Trello. And I've been sort of looking into all these there's a whole spectrum, but there's sort of a new generation of project management software, and monday.com seems to be one of the top ones. Because it does all that not just project management, but CRM, customer relationship management software, all this stuff gets kind of built into that. So there's two things we need is one is that project management. And the other is, you know, sort of a bookkeeping, software, and for those two to kind of relate. So what is a good you know, retreat center software, sort of a package, you know, like QuickBooks, plus, there's layers you can add to QuickBooks, for example, that's another thing we're needing to look at.
I can definitely look at QuickBooks integration with with Monday. I'm sure it exists, because even if they don't have direct integration, it'll happen over Zapier. They probably I wouldn't be surprised if they do have a quick integration. But I agree probably should be using QuickBooks for bookkeeping.
As a foundation, so I don't know, Lou, any ideas for you?
Yeah, I mean, my experience with project management software is that, you know, you can wind up spending as much time managing the software as you do the projects if you're not careful.
So I think there's a certain level of project complex complexity. That is good for project management software, you have to kind of raise to that level. And I think probably creating the center is a level of project complexity that would benefit from having a project management software. And then the other thing I'll say about software is a tendency to integrate functions into the software, where you have software that does everything. That can be a liability, because you have different people who are playing different roles within that everything. And that people like the person that does the accounting, maybe they like QuickBooks, and they want to use QuickBooks, and if the accounting software is inside the project management software, and it's something new that they want to learn, it's like, I don't want to learn a new software. I know this software and I like it and I know how to do it. So the That's where having having a system that's very complex that integrates everything can be a liability. And I don't know Monday at all. So I don't know, I don't have an opinion about whether it's good or not. There are always people inventing new systems and saying that they're better than everything else. My experience is that it's the best thing is to find the people you want to do the work and let them use the tools that they are used to working. That is usually the best thing to do. And if you know, Zach's going to investigate Monday, and he thinks it's good, and even if you just use the project management part of it, and you don't need that use the seven other things it does, that's okay to you in a piece of software, you also don't have to use every function that it does. So those are my, those are my thoughts about software.
Yeah. And and that I had thought I was going to say that you're the project management, like right now, just to do lists is sort of fine. But I see when we get to, you know, more people, it can to do lists kind of break down in terms of keeping track of all that. But there is a learning curve. Yeah, definitely.
Yeah, I think it's really important that when you're, when you're using project management software, that if it is starting to become more work, than you're getting out of it, to have a strategy for how you temporarily abandon its use. That That makes sense. So it's like, okay, if we have a committee and they have a project, and like, Okay, we think this is sufficiently complex, we want to use the software, but then they're in the middle of and they're like, Okay, no, it's getting in the way. So as long as there's a strategy in place for like, kind of bailing out of it, like, No, we're just going to go back to like, our docs, or whatever. And just like how the basic lists there are, like, you know, as long as you know how you switch those contexts, then it's not going to feel like it's black and white, or you're getting jerked around too much. And it loop fairpoint in terms of like, QuickBooks, like, it's very possible, like in integration with QuickBooks is completely unnecessary. At the end of the day, if like, we take, for example, like the, like the board, like the board's like businesses, okay, we need to review the financials. Right? Okay, well, maybe that just the fact that that needs to happen is calendered, inside of project management software, but it's still the bookkeeper shop, to go ahead and compile the financials and submit it to the board. And then they get posted inside the project management software. So you don't literally need to have the data piped in directly. It's just the bookkeeper emails, and then the appropriate financial documents get posted.
I also think we were you just said, Zach reminded me that I also think that the most important attributes of a software system is how does it import data? And how does it Export Data? Because there will always be a time when you want to move on to something else. And if you have a system that does not export data, you're you've invested all that energy in the system, and then you can't get your information out. So systems that will not export data I wouldn't use and systems that don't import data. You know, like, yeah, I have a spreadsheet that I built that is like, Oh, whatever. And I can't if I can upload that and have it be part of the system. You know, that's what's so great about Google's tools, is that they, you know, it imports documents, and you could start something with a tool that you know, and then you know, you make it part of the Google system, and that's great. And it exports, it exports in all these different formats, you know, that our you get are more universal. So that's one of the reason Google tools are so good.
Yeah, those are all great things. The other thing is to want to keep it on to the volunteers like this is getting pretty. I mean, for managing volunteers, it'll be sort of an issue too. So the idea of getting a volunteer coordinator that has the skills and then having subcommittees you know, like the Eco village, the Eco permaculture project as a subcommittee, I think was really good project. Yeah, Kara.
to that. I would love to know where or if a list of all of the things that are currently happening and all of the things you see as next steps currently exists. My husband and I call it the soccer proach. If you list out all of the things that have to happen, somebody is going to love doing that one thing that somebody else hates to do. For me, it's socks, I hate folding socks, my husband loves doing it. So when it comes to chores, he's like, I'll do that I was like, thank God because I don't want to. So having a list like that makes it much easier to stay coordinate, who does want to do like I love it?
Yeah, we don't have a clear set of that, that takes it that itself takes a lot of coordination and planning and documentation. So I've been sort of overwhelmed to kind of put that together, we have a private website, you know, for internal, where we're trying to keep everything documentaries that can notice.com website, which is sort of the minimal public facing temporary site. And then there's the internal site where we're putting different projects, you know, all the documents, we have, you know, creating pages for all the facilities, you know, just a huge amount of stuff to document. So that's sort of an internal site, but something that's sort of the volunteer that maybe we need that volunteer coordinator that would, you know, put that list together. I just haven't had the resources to, to do that. But yeah, go ahead, Melanie, just jump in. And you're muted.
You're muted, Melanie,
I was just kind of thinking about the remodeling that you're doing up there before we really before you really get clear on how you're going to utilize the space. Like if we're gonna have workshops and people coming in there, you probably wouldn't want to just build another remodel the barracks and two barracks, you'd probably want to have separate rooms, you know? So I don't. So I don't know about remodeling before you get clear about what the mission of the whole place. Yeah.
Because that's because right now the berries she can was like 42 beds, right. But they were just like curtains between the different beds. And we're looking at turning that into 20 Separate rooms. But then that's exactly you're saying we're, we're kind of trying, we're doing a lot at the same time. But having a clear vision, we don't quite yet know how to renovate that we have, it seems like it first we thought all separate rooms. And then it was like, well, some separate rooms, some little dormitory, you know, little pods that people get sleep in. So that is sort of we're sort of balancing, you know, trying to get ideas of how to use the space as well as, then there's another factor, which is the conditional use permit, like what is the maximum amount of people that can stay there. So we do want to have enough space, enough rooms to fill whatever the conditional use permit allows us to have. Because if we don't use it, we might lose it sort of thing. So there's all these complicated formulas to work out. And you know, we're sort of in the middle of trying to untangle that sausage, that that tangle Yeah. Do you
have funding to pay like for a few key positions like volunteer coordinator? Or is it all going to be volunteer?
I'm not sure with so the current situation is, you know, my brother bought the property for seven and a half million dollars, he's going to put it in another you know, several million dollars for the renovations. The nonprofit is which is we're setting up will be the organization that manages the space and leases it from his LLC. And I'm not quite sure if it would take core funding. And see a carer will hear from you about the Eco village. The how much funding that would be to set up the nonprofit is sort of the haven't kind of worked that out yet, you know, the core valley to take a grant from him to fund that. The part that's going as the renovations his LLC is doing the renovations. So anything that's you know, if anybody wants to work on the renovations type stuff and for that eco village project of people creating a assessment of the property, you know, he would pay for that even creating maybe like the initial plan. So yeah, so that's still kind of trying to work out some of those issues. Thought I don't know how much money the initially the nonprofit will have accessible for. For the volunteering right now. It's volunteering, but with the intention of you know, creating kind of paid positions, eventually
Hmm, yeah, that sounds like a lot of work for somebody to do for free so that somebody might do it. If they think they're gonna get a paid position out of right?
Yeah, yeah, I mean, I think everyone, if you decide you want to pay for that volunteer coordinator position, I think we can get an insane amount of value from the honestly, and I would be pretty juiced to like help, you know, potentially with search process to go find that, you know, professional organizer, basically, or a lot of different kinds of volunteer coordinators, right, you know, lots of different kinds of projects of different kinds of volunteers, let's touch on nonprofits. But it's like, you know, that's like a live in position where housing is provided, you know, it could probably be done for 50 $60,000 a year as a salary benefits combination. So, you know, but I think I think it, but that said, I think a lot of is contingent in terms of like, you know, what, what concretely those volunteers are gonna be doing, and how do we value that work, basically, because that one coordinator could end up, you know, retaining a pretty large networking turned into hundreds of people who are then actively involved in their their work output is going to be hugely valuable. No doubt, but not not that we should necessarily be doing that right now. But I think it's pretty good.
That we're kind of at this stage, there's a lot of unknowns, there's a lot of stuff that in the works, you know, this is weekly meeting for the volunteers who want to, you know, take on whatever project you feel interested in, especially like a sub project, like the Eco village, kind of a project and see that as a permaculture is a real clear project does also, like with cat, the mediation, setting up a mediation center, right that we in developing that. And, you know, an empathy in the schools project. And an empathy and business project, if somebody wants to volunteer to organize those different type projects, committees, and with what I'm seeing, hearing from reading from these books is with the nonprofit is having different project groups, that people who are interested in funding one of these can fund it. So it's a pretty wealthy, you know, community there in Santa Barbara, are there people who are interested in funding sort of an empathy movement, say, I really want empathy in the schools, right, and, and I'm willing to put some money into that runner program. And then there's somebody that sort of runs that program. But I do want to keep us on time here. So to be continued, next week, we'll start off with an empathy circle, you know, share any kind of ideas, and we'll have so contagious this sort of brainstorming, taking on projects, report back on anything that you did during the week to have a section for that.
I was just gonna say you might want to consider starting a spreadsheet bedwin, a projects spreadsheet that, you know, where you have a list, your list of projects, maybe you have a category, and you have I'm not sure what other pieces of information, you could record about a project, how many hours you think it's going to be, or if it's, or if it requires special skills. But it you know, if you were going to hire a project coordinator, even or even if you were just going to have people sign up to be volunteers, it'd be good to have a list somewhere where you're gathering whatever ideas there are for projects. Yeah, but you should categorize them so that you could sort them, you know, it's not just one giant list.
I volunteered to do is run over whelmed. Maybe he wants to
basically have the basic list like right on that on the page there. I did create a different, I probably should get that kind of organized. I've been talking with Dave about that, too. And I think that's what Kara was mentioning. To to have that sort of public. It's going to take some time to get all that together. Just there's so many different things happening that Well, I wasn't saying it
had to be public. I just think you should keep track.
Yeah, well, that's what the documentation Yeah, okay, well, we'll see y'all then. I will not over a couple of minutes here.
All right, Edwin's super quick Do you want you said you want me to create the Monday account? Where do you Oh, I
already have a Monday. Good. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. But the thing is what The Monday is you can create an account who you know, test it out. The free, I'm just using the free version right now. And that allows for two users. So my brother and I have have that, but it's more just using it to kind of check it out, see what you think about it. As if we once we get the nonprofit, we can have 10 licenses for free. And then as I was saying, that gives me like a 70% discount on future users. But we can, so
would it be a lot sooner, just like temporarily painful frayed, put me on his third? And then I could start building things out? Or I could log in as you if you're comfortable with?
Yeah, yeah, we could do that. That's a good idea.
And I'll look at what's going on with the free tier. And I'm just gonna go right to the CRM, basically, you know that that's what I care about at the moment. And so hopefully, the CRM is fully enabled at that tier
at all, yeah, they have a lot of limitations on the free version, I'm not sure what are the limitations, but if you create an account, kind of poke around, get familiar, you maybe create some projects of your own. And then you know, we can drill over and see how we can either give you my account, password and stuff to
good point, I will look at Blue, made a great reminder around importing or exporting data in so I'll look at what that reality is from one day I agree with you have different options that you talked about, we talked about late I agree, they looked like the best fit. So if the Import Export, or migration is, is not too much of a headache, I'll just go ahead and create a free one on my side. And, but if it is going to be a problem, then I'll email you to
it. It'll give you a free two week or something for the full use. And then it cuts back down to your to user, Max. And so
and so you get like two weeks with full features, I think that drops to free.
Yeah, the three. So you can have as many people as you want for those two weeks, and then it drops to the free version for just two users in an account. And it's free for, you know, ongoing at that level. And if need be, if we really found that helpful, we could pay for it too, to get a in the interim until we would get a free license. So right now, just to do lists has been enough, you know, but it because there's a whole learning curve, right to use it and how to schedule projects, it needs someone almost to just be using that to manage everything, right? It's like, yeah, it's like almost like a full time coordinator. You're just living in that space, you know, for, but it is I was saying currently, it's just too late to do list. I use some of it, but then I'm just kind of using to do lists, you know, because it's a lot. We're not quite there where to take full advantage. You know, it's Yeah, but And
that's okay. Yeah, it totally is going to depend on specific committees and specific people in terms of how they want to use it, as long as we're flexible about it. And we say, okay, here, this committee is super about Monday, okay. And well, they can use Monday, you know, really fully, and maybe there's another committee where like, we just want to keep their resume or Google Docs, we're happy with that. Just let them do that. And I it, you know, when it comes to the board's like, like formal board business, that's a bit different, right, then you probably are going to want to have structure and standardized ways of how things are going to be organized. But like, if for nothing else, like, you know, things like Monday, I'm always a big fan of Basecamp Basecamp. So expensive. Now, it's like, it's whatever. But it's like, it's a few $100 a month, which is crazy. But like what was so great about that was like you can set up like a private space for committee. And even if they just use it as a chat room, and nothing else. It's pretty nice, free than that. And I imagine one day as a similar kind of deal where like if all you're doing is just giving like an internal homepage to a project group, basically. And that's all they're getting. They don't even necessarily need to be licensed users. Like those. Those pages can basically be like dashboards where they just go there and they can see okay, here's our calendar, like almost like almost using like Google Sites, to a certain degree.
Yeah, they have all that security. Built in different levels of security, you can have guests. So if you're working with certain groups that they can see it, but they can't, you know, it's all the security flow
into the guests not necessarily count against the license in the seat. Can I
be less? Sure, I think they will guess to count, but I'm okay there. Maybe there's a certain amount of guests they they have. They have the core functionality, then they have these add on pieces. That's what some people have complained about that. These add on pieces they charge for that. But yeah, I did a lot of research. And it seems to be that click up and this are sort of the you know, and I know Luke has been in technology a long time. So he's seen that, you know, people started back in the days of DOS, and then how did you get you're stuck in that world, you couldn't upgrade to new or things that are filled with way back? And I know what he's talking about. But I think that that's not an issue at this stage anymore.
Yeah, software is getting a lot easier to use. Yeah. So it's less and less friction. So like, Okay, well, this thing was just like the following. I used a bunch of times, so whatever, you know. Yeah. Is suggestions for right on.
Okay. All right. Great.
Um, yep. And thank you. Yeah, I'm jumping right on this right now, moving started my workday. But, you know, probably next couple of days. I'll get on there. And
yeah, it's a good program, I think to kind of learn about too. It's, it's this kind of new generation, I think of, it's always new generations, but this seems to be they got they got a lot of money. They went public, they've got, you know, half a billion dollars or whatever in funding, you know, the big turning into big companies. Yeah,
yeah. Yeah. It's all down to design decisions. Like every app is always different. Like there's no such thing as building like one app for everybody. Like, yeah, looks like a bad design like that, too. And it's more like, how, how are we designed this in such a way to support like the plurality of people in the world who find this really useful for how they're trained to use it.
I found that monday.com was the easiest starting, it was easy to get started. They made it really simple to get started other programs like clickup Go into real, they give you more layers, more depth, but it's much more complicated. So I was kind of going with ease of use, but they both are kind of in the same category. But anyway, we could talk for hours about this was so Okay, Sally, Larry talks to you about this. We shall see you tomorrow too.
Willing to help with weather.
Okay. So see you tomorrow. Larry. We will meet a little bit earlier to for the preparation with Kathy so if you want to come 30 minutes early or what have you.