Creating Conscious Community with Carolyn Shaffer & Kristin Anundsen

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The subtitle of their book says it all! The co-authors of Creating Community Anywhere: Finding Support and Connection in a Fragmented World discuss how modern times have created new needs as well as opportunities for creating effective community of many kinds. Our human need for connection is as strong as ever, and here are creative, encouraging ways to fulfill our connection in the context of today's world. "You can start wherever you are living and working," says Shaffer. Community consists of ways of relating to others, and "they're actually learnable skills.... Don't wait for the ideal or the perfect; just start with whomever you're relating to right now." (hosted by Michael Toms)


Carolyn Shaffer is a founder of the Shenoa retreat center in Northern California, and co-founder of Growing Community Associates in Berkeley.
She is the co-author of:
  • City Safaris
Kristin Anundsen is former editor of Innovation magazine and a professional writer about community.
Shaffer and Amundsen are coauthors of:
  • Creating Community Anywhere: Finding Support and Connection in a Fragmented World (Tarcher/Perigee 1993)

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What "community" means for the modern lifestyle
  • The power of storytelling to bond a group into community
  • How to disagree without disconnecting
  • One example of an intentional "retirement community" alternative
  • Co-housing developments and how they work
  • Honoring children and others who are less strong and articulate
  • The difference between healthy community and cults
  • Techniques for skillful group decision-making
  • Communities based on electronic networks
Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 2/4/1994        Program Number: 2438