Category: In Civic Life

Applying the principles and practices of  sociocratic democracy in civic life is where it may be most comfortable. Democracy is probably valued even when not practiced very well. Majority vote means majority rule, and it promotes competition rather than cooperation. It is in our neighborhood associations, community services, and local governments that we most need to use the sociocratic principles and practices that deepen our democracy.

Consensus, Compromise, or Pay Off?

Payoffs and Other Slimy Deals The board of a wildlife federation reaches consensus on a plan to save a threatened wild bird’s habitat. Then they delete the budget for legal action. A Senate committee unanimously recommends legislation after adding amendments for unrelated items. They gave each Senator something they wanted. A bike trail organization stops protesting a new parking lot when it was promised a wider bike path. Is this the same kind of push and pull that is required… Read More . . . “Consensus, Compromise, or Pay Off?”

Full-Circle Meetings

Russian nested dolls as a symbol of all circle meetings Sociocracy’s structure is based on delegating decision-making to a hierarchy of semi-autonomous subgroups called circles or teams. This structure gives sociocratic organizationsThe Delibrative Democracy Consortium (DDC)u is an alliance o... More the ability to (1) delegate decisions effectively and efficiently, (2) extend policy decision-making throughout the organization to the shop floor, and (3) reduce the number of meetings. Cohousing and other community groups are attracted to the values of sociocracy and its ability to support… Read More . . . “Full-Circle Meetings”

Strong Towns and a Way Forward

Strong Towns Website Logo …a good example of how sociocracy consultants and advocates can work within an organization to incorporate sociocratic principles and practices using the language and current objectives of the organization. What prompted me to write today was the discovery of Strong Towns, a non-profit organization devoted to local civic development.  In despair over the state of American governance, I was clicking through the far too many news sources I read every morning and saw a link… Read More . . . “Strong Towns and a Way Forward”

Sociocracy’s Achilles Heel

Painting of infant Achilles being dipped in the river Trump, Trumpism, and Trumpist In the winter, I promised to write more about Donald Trump as a democratic leader (already a difficult leap) and how things would differ in a government based on the Sociocratic Circle Method (SCM) of organization. A series of compare-and-contrast analyses that would illustrate the ways in which a sociocratic democracy would prevent or disable a Trumpist government. The  24/7 television news channels have been and still are a daily deluge… Read More . . . “Sociocracy’s Achilles Heel”

Using Majority Vote to Create Autocracies

Arial view of the Women's March on Washington with hundreds of pink hats. The state of American politics under Donald Trump and his privy Councillor Stephen “Steve” Bannon is a perfect example of using majority vote to create autocracies. Majority vote lends itself to being  divisive. The decisions are always made with yes or no answers. A bill is voted up or down. There are no other options. And once a group is divided into yes’s and no’s, people begin to manipulate others to form a majority so… Read More . . . “Using Majority Vote to Create Autocracies”

Carbon Neutral: How to Clean Up Your Patch

Ashton Hayes Welcome Sign In the last ten years, the village of Ashton Hayes in Cheshire, England with a population of 936+ has taken on climate change by becoming carbon neutral. So far it has reduced its carbon emissions by 24%. To accomplish this, it adopted apolitical, voluntary self-governance—and combined it with a bit of fun. “We just think everyone should try to clean up their patch. And rather than going out and shouting about it, we just do… Read More . . . “Carbon Neutral: How to Clean Up Your Patch”