As part of CoHo’s long-range planning process, community members developed a purpose statement as an inspiration to guide our future as a community.
Our Purpose Statement highlights four themes from Appreciative Inquiry, a tool we used in Step 1 in our long-range planning process to identify “what is working well and how we can create more of it”:
1) social sustainability – living/playing together
2) task focus – working together
3) ecological sustainability, and
4 ) modeling for others
The guiding thoughts, feelings, and needs behind each phrase in our Purpose Statement reinforce its significance to our community.
We partner as ecovillage neighbors to…
The first phrase is “arching over” the other statements because it is the “overarching” core of our purpose and provides the context for the rest of the statement.
We are neighbors in an ecovillage, partnering together by consciously choosing to collaborate in a new way of living. The dual meaning of “partner” also captures two of the themes–social sustainability and task focus. In a social context, we have a deep connection and commitment to our “life partners.” In a work context, a “partnership” is created by individuals who collectively share their talents to create a successful joint venture.
The next statements flow from this starting premise. We connect and form community. We work as a community to face common challenges. We share how community leads to sustainability and connects us with a broader circle of community. And the cycle continues.
…enrich our lives and refresh our spirits through connection and cooperation
Social sustainability is the foundation of community. Through everyday connection and cooperation, we have deeper, fuller lives. We look to CoHo for joy, satisfaction, intersections (on the path and elsewhere). CoHo is home.
…meet economic and environmental challenges with creativity and resilience
Significant challenges impact our world. We band together as a community to create positive responses and generate the resilience to address change.
…share the power of community to cultivate social and ecological sustainability within CoHo, the broader community, and the world
Community is the key to living sustainably. We are energized and empowered within our own community and openly share our learning with ever-widening circles.