Good governance is vital for any community. Common Ground Ecovillage adopted Sociocracy as our governance model in March of 2013.
SOCIOCRACY means “governance by peers, or colleagues.” It is a complete system which includes a
Governance structure… Organize projects and tasks by circle groups sharing a specific purpose (aim)
…with consent decision-making…Consent exists when there are no remaining objections to a proposal; objections must relate to a circle’s aim and provide valuable information used to improve a proposal
…and feedback loops…Policies have a time frames and measurement/evaluation criteria built into them.
SOCIOCRACY is based on the principles of
Equivalence: All circle members function as peers and have equivalent voice in the circles that they participate in.
Effectiveness: Meeting processes are designed for coordinated movement towards accomplishing aims; feedback loops are built in for continuous self-improvement.
Transparency: Members have direct access to all policy decisions through linked-circle governance and community documents.
WHY IS SOCIOCRACY A GOOD FIT FOR COMMON GROUND?
Shared power: It is a “power with” rather than “power over” model where leadership is shared. Every voice matters, encouraging personal engagement and responsibility.
Alignment with Purpose: Circles are focused on achieving aims in alignment with the community’s vision and mission.
Communication & connection: Double-linked circles ensure good communication and cross-pollination across all levels of the community. The circle method promotes interpersonal connection.
Efficiency: Meetings tend to be fast paced and very productive while also being maximally inclusive. Meeting content dictates process.
Scalable: Sociocracy can be used in large and small scale meetings. It’s useful across a variety of organizations from families and intentional communities to non-profits and large corporations.
We are grateful to author and governance maven, Diana Leafe Christian, for her expert training, resources, and guidance as we continue to apply the principles and practices of Sociocracy to our evolving ecovillage.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Read Diana Leafe Christian’s more complete description of sociocracy here. For more information, visit • DianaLeafeChristian.org • EcovillageNews.org • Diana@ic.org • 828-669-9702