From https://supernuclear.substack.com/p/case-study-the-story-of-ski-cult, an article about a community run during the pandemic:
The biggest lesson was the challenge and necessity of shifting people from a consumptive mindset to a participatory one. I initially took on a lot of the burden of organizing (bringing people together, presiding over discussions about rules and norms, making decisions when consensus was impossible or infeasible) but quickly found myself burning out. It was only when one of the members, Molly Lobsinger, stepped up and sent out a pair of questionnaires, without any prompting or input from me, that I realized that I had been needing other people to be more involved and collaborative the whole time. Over the course of the experience, I continually pushed the other members to take more of a leadership role in everything from organizing events to directing group norms.
In hindsight, I should have set clearer expectations and pushed for this type of participatory mindset from the get-go. Our society has numerous patterns for consumptive experiences: music festivals, conferences, pre-planned international trips… But very few people have experienced being a collaborative creator of an experience. This is a key component to the success of any kind of communal living arrangement: it can’t be one person’s passion project, it has to be everyone’s co-created experience.
On reflection, this is why I’ve always been so drawn to the Burning Man community and Burner-style events. Being given the invitation to not just be a consumer but a creator of experiences is both magical and gratifying. For people who have only ever experienced the consumptive model, co-creating an experience requires a major mindset change. I hope to continue to find people who share this mindset and who are able to grow into it.
I could not agree more.