John Schinnerer lives in Hawaii and works all over the Pacific and Western States, as well as online. He is a whole systems design consultant, teacher, and facilitator who develops cultural and ecological systems for a variety of public, private, and nonprofit clients. He is a partner at the Sociocracy Consulting Group.
Since 1996, he has studied, worked, taught, and published in the realms of human relatings, governance, and decision-making systems, appropriate technology and ecological design. He applies his wide-ranging observations of and experience with cultural and ecological systems to all aspects of his practice.
Awareness and integration of existing cultural patterns is key to his inclusive approach to Dynamic Governance design and facilitation.
His emphasis is on maximizing clarity, honesty, and integrity while enhancing individual and group efficiency and effectiveness – in other words, to get things done and have more fun! He helps organizations recognize that success for people who want to accomplish something together is determined by how well they work, play, and make decisions together.
Education and Credentials
Master’s Degree in Whole Systems Design, with a focus on cultural and ecological design
Training, mentoring and certification preparation in Dynamic Governance through GovernanceAlive.
Gregory Rouillard, M.S., M.Div., is a Boulder native who grew up in a small town in western Colorado before attending the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Following graduation, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served for twenty years as an AV-8B Harrier pilot and in numerous other roles. He earned a Master of Science in Operations Research at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 2003 and retired in 2008.
Near the end of his career as a Marine, Gregory met John Buck and began to study and practice the Sociocratic Circle-Organization Method under his mentorship. At about the same time he began to study and practice Compassionate Communication (NVC) with Capital NVC, an organization in the Washington, D.C. area which became his first Sociocratic consulting client.
Since moving back home to Colorado in 2009, Rouillard continued to develop the Circle Sigma System and refine his understanding and presentation of Sociocracy and Compassionate Communication. He has consulting clients around the U.S., including NVC organizations in Denver and Madison, Wisconsin, the Boulder Valley School District and cohousing communities in Colorado and Oklahoma.
He is the Executive Director of Family HEART Camp, a series of summer camps for all ages based in the principles and practice of Compassionate Communication. Family HEART Camp and its parent non-profit both use the Circle Sigma System.
Storm Integrated Solutions provides organizational governance solutions to communities, voluntary organizations, government agencies, non-profits, and small businesses. The principal is Gregory Rouillard who developed the Circle Sigma System. Based on Boulder, Colorado, they work with clients in other locations.
Our primary transformational framework is The Circle Sigma System, an integrated application of the Sociocratic Circle-Organization Method, Compassionate Communication, and Restorative Circles. We offer the following services:
Public workshops and training events
Telephonic and web-based trainings
On-site trainings tailored to your organization
Ongoing consultation and support in implementing transformational practices in your organization
Professional facilitation of any group meeting or process
Jerry Koch-Gonzalez is a certified sociocracy consultant and partner in the Sociocracy Consulting Group. His focus is individual and organizational development in governance, decision-making, communication skills, and conflict resolution. His career has been in organizing, educating, and consulting for social justice.
The approaches he uses are sociocracy/dynamic governance, Non-Violent Communication and Mediation, Restorative Circles, and Transformational Mediation. The organizations with which he has worked include Movement for a New Society, the National Coalition Building Institute, DiversityWorks, Cambridge Youth Peace & Justice Corps, Lesley College Center for Peaceable Schools, Boston College Center for Social Justice, Spirit in Action, United for a Fair Economy and Class Action.
Teaching and implementing sociocracy in intentional community is one of Jerry’s areas of focus. The cohousing communities and community leaders with whom he has worked include Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community (where he has lived since its founding in 1994), Green Haven (CT), Champlain Valley (VT), Burlington (VT), Pathways (MA), Jamaica Plain (MA), Cambridge (MA), and Cornerstone (MA). He is also active in New England Non-Violent Communication.
A video has been posted on YouTube that talks about using sociocracy at Lost Valley Intentional Community. This is a nice video for residential communities — cohousing, cooperatives, condominium, and intentional — because it talks about the values and benefits of creating a sociocracy without the corporate/business vocabulary and concerns. It is also set on the community grounds rather than in an office.
The Lost Valley Intentional Community is associated with Lost Valley Educational Center, a long-established and relatively well-known North American permaculture education and intentional community near Eugene, OR. It has been a model for many similar entities and work exchangers, interns and students flow through on a regular basis.
Implementation of sociocracy at Lost Valley was initiated in part by a contact at a workshop given by John Schinnerer and attended by Melanie Rios at the 2010 Northwest Permaculture Convergence in Seattle, WA.
The School of Media, Culture, and Design, Woodbury University in Burbank, California, a few miles from Los Angeles, consists of five departments that are well-integrated with the large media industry in the area. After the accreditation auditors expressed concern over the governance and cooperation between the five departments of the School of Media in 2007, the dean suggested they adopt sociocracy/dynamic governance. Enrollment was declining, there were no cross-disciplinary degrees, and management styles varied significantly. The department heads began working with sociocracy consultant John Buck.
A year later, the accreditation auditors praised the School’s governance as “unconventional and successful… worthy of study by other schools.” By 2010, the tuition revenue was up 10% when the University enrollment had fallen 1%. In 2012, it was 26% above 2011. The school was also able to attract $3.5 million in grants.
According to Dean Eddie Clift, [sociocracy] creates a culture of respect and provides a new way to look at problems:
[Sociocracy] allowed people to focus on the reasons they came to work here in the first place—education and innovation. We saw improved quality of life for the faculty, including better work/life balance. We know—through increasing student enrollment, and increasing student placements in the industry thanks to a clearer connection with the industry—that we are providing a valuable education for our students. And best of all for me, my faculty and chairs are so effective now; they’re confident and satisfied with their work. The School basically runs itself. That makes my job a pleasure!
Based on a case history by the Sociocracy Consulting Group, “Collaboration and Trust Among Departments: Woodbury University, School of Media, Culture, and Design.”
Living Well Community Care Home is an award winning elder care facility in Bristol, VT. It was transitioning to sociocracy (dynamic governance) before 2005, working with John Buck.
In 2012, Sheella Mierson, sociocracy consultant, and Alana Kann, author, wrote a case study of Living Well’s use of sociocracy/dynamic governance and how it has changed their organization. The article is available online:
Got DG? Healthy Transformation in an Elder Care Community
(Living Well Community Care Home is now a part of Ethan Allen Residence in Burlington, VT.)