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”
We are 3 months into starting a cohousing community in western MA. We will soon be discussing how we will make group decisions. Consensus and sociocracy seem to be common strategies in cohousing and other intentional communities. Which do you recommend?
“Consensus or Sociocracy?” Is the Wrong Question
(But there are no dumb questions. This one is a very good question and one we hear frequently.)
Sociocracy and consensus are not opposite things. Consensus is… Read More . . . “Consensus or Sociocracy?”
Some successful cohousing meal programs require participation by either cooking, preparing, or cleaning once every few weeks. (No one is required to eat.) But other communities that require participation in meal support still have meals infrequently.
A successful program averages 3-4 meals a week and their success is often attributed to organization and leadership. This statement is typical of those programs:
We have a “meals boss” role, the Scheduler. Meals usually a major reason for… Read More . . . “Cohousing Meal Programs and Leadership”
I highly recommend Donnella Meadow‘s little book, Thinking in Systems: A Primer (Chelsea Green 2008). It’s short, fun, and to the point. No math or physics required. Recommended for everyone, literally.
In clear, humorous, commonplace situations, Meadows explains the use of systems analysis and how it can be applied in both large-scale and individual problem solving. She moves from simple to more complex examples ultimately explaining the complex ways that feedback loops are used to… Read More . . . “Thinking in Systems by Donnella Meadows”
As is true with all governance changes, it is easier to begin with sociocracy than to switch midstream. Communities tend to stick with “the devil they know” rather than take a chance on a new one, but more and more and more communities are switching full scale or adopting some of the principles and practices.
Except for those who have switched to sociocracy, cohousing communities use full group consensus as their primary method of… Read More . . . “Switching to Sociocracy in Cohousing Communities”
Jerry Koch-Gonzalez is a certified sociocracy consultant who lives in Amherst MA. He was one of the founding partners of the Sociocracy Consulting Group. Then with Ted J. Rau, he became a co- founder of Sociocracy for All (SOFA) and the Sociocracy Academy. His focus is individual and organizational development in governance, decision-making, communication skills, and conflict resolution. His whole career has been in organizing, educating, and consulting for social justice in one forum or… Read More . . . “Jerry Koch-Gonzalez, Massachusetts, US”
Sociocracy is a governance method based on collaboration, self-organization, and distributed authority. It is designed for transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability. Democracy values freedom and equality but doesn’t have a governance structure guaranteed to ensure them. A Sociocratic Democracy uses the methods of sociocracy to achieve the values of democracy creating a practical and effective way to organize. This site is about sociocracy and the ways in which it can help democracy achieve its highest goal: freedom and equality for all, finally.
What you will find here
This site is a resource on sociocracy and democracy and the ways they support each other. It examines the principles and practices and the ways in which together they could better achieve their objectives. How would things get done in a sociocratic democracy?
New Edition of We the People
Updated and expanded second edition is now available in paper and digital versions—and in Spanish and Portuguese translations.
The sociocracy email discussion list was started in 2002. The list language is English, but members speak many languages if you have translation questions. We discuss anything related to sociocracy, democracy, and collaborative governance.