Category: History and Philosophy

Understanding the history and theory of both democracy and sociocracy provides a deeper understanding of the principles and practices of what a sociocracy or sociocratic democracy might be, and why. Knowing the intention and development of an idea supports the meaningful application of its principles and practices in everyday life.

Frustration with Sociocracy at the DMOZ

The DMOZ is not the Division of Motor Vehicles nor the Demilitarized Zone but it was certainly a land mine for the better part of my afternoon. The DMOZ is the Open Directory Project (ODP) founded in 1998 to build a directory of the World Wide Web—all the websites in the world. Update: As of 17 March 2017, DMOZ is no longer active. That means this post is now history but the question is still… Read More . . . “Frustration with Sociocracy at the DMOZ”

My Pivotal Consensus Experience

In 1972 with a group of parents forming a cooperative school, predominantly young Yale faculty members who had moved to town to join a new college. We were committed to diversity and having a hard time recruiting people of color and from a different socio-economic class. We were having an equally hard time finding appropriate space that we could afford. This was long before charter schools so we were funding the whole thing ourselves. We… Read More . . . “My Pivotal Consensus Experience”

Consent & Responsibility

In dynamic governance there is no option to stand aside — the only options are consent or object. If you don’t have tangible objections, ones that can be teased out and addressed, then you consent. It maybe a passive consent, “I don’t see any reason not to do this”, or an active consent, “I really think this is a good idea.” Both are consent. We have members who insist on having a stand aside option,… Read More . . . “Consent & Responsibility”

What Is Power?

The purpose of leadership and decision-making structures in sociocracy is to build the maximum power for everyone. And to balance that power with harmony and fairness. It is the responsibility of each person in a sociocratic organization to develop their own power and to use it to optimize the work of the organization. In physics, power is the rate at which work is performed or energy converted. As people, we have personal power, the ability… Read More . . . “What Is Power?”

Positive Power Over

Power over is not always about forcing, coercing, pressuring, manipulating etc. It can be as engaging as power with. In terms lazy subordination and undeveloped personal power, power over can be an engaged relationship between the autocrat and the subordinate. Some people want to be dominated and to do so is engaging them, even if it is codependence. With the possible exception of physical force, as in terrorists on a plane, power over is a… Read More . . . “Positive Power Over”

How We Decide and Why It Matters

A wonderfully readable update on brain research is Jonah Lehrer’s How We Decide that looks at how our emotions affect decisions and what the brain tells us about it. Lehrer worked in the lab of Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel, is editor-at-large for Seed Magazine, and  publishes regularly in major magazines and newspapers. He has both the education to interpret brain research and the ability to write about it clearly — welcome ability. And the… Read More . . . “How We Decide and Why It Matters”