Our membership organization uses the principles of Sociocracy to govern ourselves.
Sociocracy is a dynamic system of self-governance, using consent-based decision
making among equal individuals.
The word sociocracy is derived form the Latin and Greek words socios (companion)
and kratein (to govern). Sociocracy means the rule by the “socios”, people who have
a social relationship with one another, (as opposed to democracy: rule by the “demos”,
the general mass of people).
It is a form of governance or management that presumes equality of individuals and is based on consent. This equality is not expressed with “one person, one vote” law of democracy, but rather by a group of individuals (the circle) reasoning together until a decision is reached that is satisfactory to each one of them.
All decisions start in a well-facilitated circle of people in which each voice is heard and proposals are consented to based on an agreed time frame and method of evaluation. A sociocratic organization is based on leadership from the general to the more specific, and representation from the specific to the more general. For example, a Board of Directors would be made up of the "leaders" of functions and projects and the representatives from those functions and projects.
Decisions are made when there are no remaining “paramount objections”, that is, when there is informed consent from all participants. Objections must be reasoned and argued and based on the ability of the objector to work productively toward the goals of the organization.
Sociocracy is based on the human being's ability to communicate using rational arguments, build individual and organizational capacities, and serve a transcendent purpose.
As a powerful decision making and governance system, Sociocracy holds the promise of creating a harmonious Common Good Community made up of diverse people and a broad spectrum of ideas about what constitutes the Common Good. It is both a way to conduct meetings and it is an organizational structure that can scale up to any size, including the whole nation. Learning Sociocracy requires training and experience.
We The People, Consenting to a Deeper Democracy, A Guide to Sociocratic Principles and Methods, How to Apply the Principles of Self-Governance to Our Workplaces, Governments, and Organizations, by John Buck and Sharon Villines
Other forms of governance to explore: