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Notes from Nyland Retreats

2020 Retreat with Yana Ludwig (February 20-23, 2020)

Click the icon below to view a PDF of the follow up overview report of our process and Yana's suggestions for our community.

All flip charts and other photos available here.

Friday PM 

Yana’s intro of herself and then the 4 quadrant perspective of Nyland (social, economic, worldview, and ecological). She has us answer some questions in dyads, write on small sticky notes, and put them on one of the quadrants.

Homework for the evening is to think about individualism and collectivism.



Saturday AM - VIDEO HERE

Cooperative Culture - 1hr, 20 minutes Yana goes through the “Comparing Cultural Worldviews” chart.

1hr. 24 minutes Yana has 3 of the “Comparing Cultural Worldviews” chart line items cutup for group exercises. Groups of 3 or 4 people to talk about several at a time - “Where do you see Nyland showing up on this chart?”


1hr. 27 minutes is the debrief of above exercise.


Saturday PM (part a) - VIDEO HERE

Photos: of flip chart “Hard Convos,” 3 roles in exercise and roles of each person


Hard Conversations 1:1 - guided meditation: the compassion exercise w/ 5 steps to do for anyone you’d like to have more compassion with. . . . Just like me this person:

  • is seeking some happiness in their life

  • is trying to avoid suffering in their life 

  • has known sadness, loneliness and despair

  • is trying to get their needs met

  • is learning about life


Leverage points to have hard conversations: attitude, energy, and skills we bring.

Attitudes: compassion and curiosity.

Skills: hearing, understanding, bridging.


At 14:30, Yana describes the exercise.


Saturday PM (part b) - VIDEO HERE

Photos: flip chart of Bubbles and Boxes, sequencing of the BB process, bubble gathering specific to parking and the powerpoint of BB, 4 homework questions


Hard Conversations in group decision making processes - Yana’s intro into Bubbles and Boxes process. 


At 17: 50, Yana transitions from the Bubbles and Boxes diagram to a sequence she recommends. At 50 minutes and 50 seconds, Yana transitions from sequence in decision making to applying the theory to a specific example: the parking problem at Nyland.


Homework is to consider which of the 4 questions we are most drawn to:

  • Nice neighborhood w/ HOA or more. What do you want?

  • Trying to build a different culture than mainstream. In what ways?

  • What kind of support do we want to provide each other?

  • How is our current level of support for families and elders?




Yana introduces the agenda for Sunday. Then shows the 4 quadrant perspective of Nyland and how she’s integrated the colored stickies from group process Friday night into the chart (social, economic, worldview, and ecological). 



At 10 minutes, Yana transitions to naming a next step of Bubbles and Boxes with the data from yesterday’s parking lot conversation (or Bubbles step 1). She has each comment (bubble) cutup and put onto the floor and asks people to arrange them. (Yana models the card storming process, a variation on brainstorming). 


At 23:50, Yana goes back to the chart sequencing the Bubbles and Boxes process and shows what we’ve done and where we’re at in the sequence. She presents some general and specific suggestions before a proposal. 


At 27 minutes, Yana goes back to the wall chart with quadrants (social, economic, worldview, and ecological) and takes off facilitation hat and puts on consultant hat, suggesting these aspects can be used as lens to consider in the problem solving stage before a proposal in decision making.


At 29:45, Yana shows highest priority items (orange stickies Nylander’s suggested on Friday night as potential changes to Nyland).


At 31 minutes, Yana shows levels of what she calls organizing units (Lafayette, Nyland, Subgroups, to the household level in the center of concentric circles), and again compares this to the chart with quadrants to show how some of our needs are being met.


At 33 minutes, Yana makes the point that communities can easily miss the subgroup level and have the expectation that all proposals require buy-in from the larger group (subgroup being like the carshare). Further discussion and ideas about applying the concept of subgroups to Nylander’s ideas.


At 45 minutes, Yana acknowledges that being part of a subgroup doesn’t mean you’re no longer a part of Nyland and explores ideas about how subgroups can strengthen Nyland.


At 46:10, Yana provides an example of overlapping subgroups and how this deepens connections. 


At 53:45, Yana shows the 4 questions from last night’s homework, asks which questions people were most focused on. Then breaks the lager group into smaller groups to allow people to share their answer to the question that most inspired them. 4 questions are:

  • Nice neighborhood w/ HOA or more. What do you want?

  • Trying to build a different culture than mainstream. In what ways?

  • What kind of support do we want to provide each other?

  • How is our current level of support for families and elders?


From each small group discussion, main points are written onto large colored sticky notes. Each group is asked to put those sticky notes onto the large wall quadrant chart (social, economic, worldview, and ecological).




Yana reads the colored sticky notes in each of the 4 categories, then discussion with the group. 


At 17 minutes, Yana introduces a flip chart with community systems, asks for others, then describes an exercise with each person writing what systems at Nyland work and which ones can be improved. Individuals do this, then Yana asks each person 3 times what works and doesn’t. She records this on a flip chart, divides each comment, and asks people to put a colored dot by the 5 that are most important.


At 1:15, Yana starts to summarize the weekend. 

In March, Yana provided us with an overview report of our process and her suggestions. Click the icon below to view a PDF of the report.

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