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?”

Pacem School, Montpelier VT

Pacem School, Montpelier VT “Celebrating Curiosity — Igniting Passion” Founded in 2005, Pacem School is an independent 6th-12th grade school on the Vermont College of Fine Arts campus in Montpelier VT. It is state-approved and uses sociocratic decision-making to govern the school. Pacem offers coursework for full-time students and extra-curricular support to homeschoolers age 10-18. From their website: Pacem’s deep sense of community and its size both allow and are supported by its distinct form of decision-making, the sociocratic… Read More . . . “Pacem School, Montpelier VT”

Ted J. Rau

Ted Rau, co-founder of Sociocracy for All (Sofa) and author of Many Voices, One Song. Ted J. Rau is a linguist, videographer, and singer-songwriter. He learned about sociocracy when he moved into a sociocratically run cohousing community. Seeing how effective decision-making was there, and enjoying the flow in sociocratic meetings, he realized, “I am leaving the meeting even more refreshed and energized than I came.” Ted understood that sociocracy, particularly in combination with NVC, was big and potentially world-changing. Ted started paying attention to the suffering that ineffective meetings bring… Read More . . . “Ted J. Rau”

Ostrom’s Eight Rules for Successfully Governing a Commons

Elinor Ostrom, 2009 Elinor Ostrom’s Governing the Commons published in 1990 reports decades of research on community sharing. It is not a book, however, that can be recommended to everyone, perhaps not anyone who isn’t interested in a tenured position in a university. I do have it on my bookshelf and I did read it, so I speak from experience. I also had tenure at a University so I recognize the genre. As a presentation of data from… Read More . . . “Ostrom’s Eight Rules for Successfully Governing a Commons”

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 organizations 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 consensus decision-making. But they are wary of delegating decisions.… 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”