Team Inclusion: getting started

Hello Team @reef-inclusion!

Here’s a couple of thoughts ahead of the first meeting.

1. What are the deliverables?

1.1. Finding consensus on how to approach the inclusive units (urgent)

To deliver on this task I think we should answer the following questions:

  1. Which options exist?
  2. What is the carrying capacity of The Reef?
  3. What are the legal and financial aspects that we should take into account?
1. Which options exist?

This is a research question. The way I picture it we would develop technical fiches that would gather all the useful information that we can find.

Questions to be answered could include the following:

  • Which target groups could we include?
  • Which potential partner organisations are active in Brussels?
  • Which possible benefits? (e.g. youngsters do the grocery shopping for elderly people, elderly people can babysit, …)
  • What are the risks?
  • What can we learn from other cohousings?
  • …?
2. What is the carrying capacity of The Reef?

In the Blueprint 1.0 it says somewhere that out of the 20-30 units, we could have 5 inclusive units. Any further specifics have yet to be filled in.

This question is about people’s range of tolerance and should ideally build on the research results regarding risks and other cohousings’ experiences.

A fictional example may illustrate this better. Say that in the list of options there would be the option of an inclusive unit that would be a home for people who are released from prison and who don’t feel ready to live by themselves yet. It’s an extreme example mostly to illustrate the fact that we’ll need to talk about what we think we can manage as a community.

3. What are the legal and financial aspects that we should take into account?

This is where the headaches start, and where we need to collaborate with Team @reef-finance.

Two fictional examples should make it easier to structure our thoughts and make sure we know what we are doing before we do it:

  • Example 1: Someone would like to do a social investment by bying one unit and renting it out at a social tariff to one household (e.g. a youngster or a family)
  • Example 2: We team up with an organisation who would like to provide a home for 4-8 individuals (e.g. elderly people, children, people with a disability, …)

Questions that we need to answer I believe include the following:

  • Who is going to front the money?
  • How will we deal with the owners of the unit? Will they get equal rights to “regular” Reeflings? Probably not, but then how do we go about defining their rights? (here we can probably learn a lot from other cohousings)
  • How can we protect The Reef from a change of ownership of those units? Made more concrete: how can we make sure that if an owner of an inclusive unit wants to sell their property, we’re not stuck with one or the other capitalistic idiot?
  • How will we deal with the inhabitants of the inclusive units in terms of decision-making? This is far into the future and it has been dealt with by other cohousings, but it’s still something we should have on our radar.

1.2. How can we make The Reef more inclusive in the near future? (a bit less urgent)

I am writing it up as "less urgent’, but that’s only because point 1.1 stands in the way of purchasing a site, while point 1.2 doesn’t. And as we are still a bit stretched thin when it comes to the things we need to get done and the number of people who are available to do it, I would prefer to prioritise point 1.1.

That being said I think it’s important to walk the talk about what we said that inclusion goes beyond just including a couple of units for vulnerable people. In my view it’s a very thin line between diversity and inclusion.

A real example: at the Salon de l’Habitat Groupé I talked to an older lady who would have been interested to join The Reef. The only limitation was that she was not digitally connected: no computer, no smartphone and not willing to learn. Including a person like this would be great in my view and can’t be so difficult after all: all we need is a buddy who is willing to call up this lady every once and a while, print some documents for her and put them in the mail.

Are we ready for that at this stage? I’m pretty sure we are not, but I am confident that we’ll get there in the near future. In practical terms that means that for the next recruitment round in October my personal range of tolerance is rather conservative, i.e. I would like to recruit a couple more people who can help us to develop a sociocratic culture and put their shoulders under the project, so we can purchase a site ASAP. After that I think Team Recruitment and Team Inclusion should join forces and see how we can increase diversity other than the inclusive unit.

2. By when do we need the results?

Compared to Team Building and Team Finance + Legal we have a bit more leeway, but not much. To be able to purchase a site, we need to know more or less how many square meters we want to build, and so ideally this number would already include a realistic estimate of what we want for the inclusive units.

Can we say that we strive to have a serious discussion with Team Reef about point 1.1 on 20 November (our full day reflection / plenary meeting day)?

3. Reading up

Reading up is a bit less straightforward compared to the other Teams and will depend a bit more on internet searches.

Here are some suggestions:

  • L’Echappée manual: 15 pages of interesting knowledge about building a cohousing. I find it very insightful to learn a bit more about how to build a cohousing.
  • The “Kenniscentrum Wonen Welzijn Zorg” (NL only, translation: “Knowledge Centre Living Wellbeing Care”) has a collaborator who specialises in “alternative ways of living” in Brussels (we have met him several times and have his contact details). They offer help with construction projects and their website seems like an incredible wealth of knowledge.
  • Habitat & Partication have a page in French on cohousings with a focus on solidarity (habitat groupé solidaire)
  • Cohousing Projects’ financial model as a cooperative includes pre-financing of sites and units (see also their investment brochure) (both in NL)
  • Hubbie seems to be an important player in Brussels. Available in Dutch only though?
  • Cohousing Eikenberg: a cohousing in Bruges that does inclusion. I attended a workshop with one of the founding members, so I’m adding this here mostly as a note to myself.

4. The first meeting

Malaz volunteered to find a time slot for the first meeting (thanks!).

At the first meeting my suggestion would be that we look at 1) how we can work together, and 2) how we can distribute the work to gather knowledge as discussed in point 1.1 above.


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Hi Team @reef-inclusion ! I’m a bit lost: I thought I had sent a message a few days ago, saying when I’d be available for a meeting, but I cannot see it here. Did you get it? Are there any tentative dates for a meeting yet?

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Hey Céline, The discussion is on the “chat (i.e.“Talk”)” of Nextcloud (I only discovered it yesterday). For now, three people are available on the 25th of July, let’s see.

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@reef-inclusion it seems like Monday 25/07 at 8 pm works for everybody. Shall we make it an online meeting?

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Good idea. Does anyone have a Zoom account? Otherwise Skype should work?

Thank you Lie for this detailed synthesis <3
I am back tomorrow finally in my place so will be more reactive.
Works for me next Monday 8pm!
Since Zoom is usable on the navigator, it can be Zoom or Skype!


Ok, so the 25th it is.

I’m currently functioning at a rather low energy and brain power level due to an unexpected event in my personal circle, but I’ll try to prepare a draft agenda and some Powerpoint so we can structure the discussion.

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Hello all !

  1. Did anyone already meet Luc Van Campenhoudt ? Or is it Luc Lampaert their name ? I am confused.
  2. Does this person already know about the Reef (and should I introduced the project and indicate the link of the website) ?
  3. I created a document here to write down the questions we want to ask :
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Hi @Laurianne!

Right name of the contact person

Apologies for the confusion I created. I meant to say Luc Lampaert. He knows The Reef (mostly Alberto and myself), but I’m not sure he’s aware of the latest evolutions, so it may be a good idea to send him a link to the website.

Questions: some suggestions on how to approach this

My suggestions would be twofold:

  1. To keep the questions here on the forum, so it’s more transparent
  2. To keep it simple for the moment and just ask him whether he would be willing to meet online for a quick introduction
Questions: some suggestions for a first online meeting
  1. Could you give us a general introduction to inclusion in cohousings / habitats groupés solidaires?

    • Which examples exist? (cohousings, target groups, …)
    • What are the issues that we have to consider as a group?
  2. Getting more specific: say we would want to create the opportunity for a unit with 6-8 rooms for foster care children, people with a disability, elderly people, …

    • What are the financial issues we need to prepare for? (who will own this unit, who will pre-finance it, …)
    • What are the legal issues we need to prepare for? (how do the owners of these units participate in decision-making etc)
    • How can we make this work? What are the first steps to take? Mistakes not to be made? …?
    • Any suggestions for potential partners?
  3. Getting more specific: say we would want to include one or more units to be rented out to socially vulnerable people …

    • Can you elaborate a little on how the arrangement with the social housing company works?

Thank you @Lee for your answer !

Mail sent. And as a copy to the Reef also. Nevertheless, Luc is not going to be available before the 8th (authomatic email). Just so we know.

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And I then deleted the file I created on NextCloud so we keep all the questions here.

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Hello Team @reef-inclusion,

If I’m not mistaken we have another meeting scheduled next week, but I’m not sure we have enough agenda points (if any?) to make it worthwhile to actually meet up at this moment.

I see the following options:

  1. Someone does see something that we need to discuss, so we keep the meeting
  2. We cancel the meeting and wait for the meeting with Luc to schedule another one (and we currently focus our energy on our other Teams)
  3. We keep the meeting and we go through the online sociocracy / facilitation training together (free)

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Laurianne ! :+1:
Next time, could you please mention the deadline by which you would like our input on the questions? That would help me prioritize.

Thank you for the questions and for bringing up our next scheduled meeting. I’d be happy to go through the sociocracy training together (also as a way to stay in touch with (part of) the group until September) but if people are busy, I’m also happy to wait for the meeting with Luc :slight_smile:

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Luc answered and is up to meet during the next weeks. He didn’t propose any date so should we agree on that tonight?

(And up for the facilitation training)

Meeting tonight to go through the online training is fine with me.
Would it be at 8 pm like our first meeting?

Ok, so let’s meet at 8 pm then (I just sent out a Nextcloud calendar invitation).

I looked at the training, and I’m not sure it will work logistically (we will all need to stream it on our computer simultaneously) but it’s worth a try.

See you tonight!

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Just realising this is the training recording I have already watched (if it’s the one with Ted) but I’ll join you at 8pm to decide on the meeting with Luc. See you later :slight_smile:

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P.S.: An occasion to already meet Luc next Wednesday: Ontdek de 7 waarden van de wooncoöperatie | Samenhuizen