Sociocracy on the DBC

Sociocracy on the DBC

Sociocracy Principles

  • organisational effectiveness, i.e. realising the organisation’s aim and purpose effectively and efficiently;
  • the equivalence/equality between organisational members, honouring everyone’s voice. No-one is silenced, no-one is ignored, no-one is oppressed, no-one holds power over another. In sociocracy there is safe, protected time for everyone to speak and to have their voice respected and their views considered.

3 key features of Sociocracy

Decision-making by consent

  • Circles make policy decisions, elect people to carry roles, and decide on agenda items on meetings using consent decision making.
  • There is consent to a proposal when no member of the circle has an objection. By definition, objecting requires that a circle member has reason to assume that circle cannot achieve its aim adequately if the circle approves the proposal. In other words, any circle member can flag an issue in a proposal and make sure the circle improves the proposal before passing it.
  • Following the principle of equivalence, decision making makes use of Rounds, the practice of talking one-by-one in meetings until everyone has spoken once in that round. The intention is to hear all voices. At the same time, rounds contribute to more mutual listening and understanding.

Organization Structure in Circles

  • Small groups called circles are the basis of everything.
  • Circles have a defined aim (= a description of what the circle is doing) and full authority in a domain (= what the circle has authority over).

Continuous improvement

Patterns and Guides

Sociocracy For All Facilitation Sheet

Consent Decision Making Flow Chart

Define Drivers and Respond - Sociocracy 3.0 tool

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Some questions and clarifications.

We are an organization that continuously has day visitors or new short term drop in people that come to the meetings, especially during high season. “Everyone has a voice” can become disruptive to the integrity of the meetings due to limited interactions with the projects by many of the attendees. Can we clarify for everyone that “all circle members with roles” will have a chance to speak? Or some threshold of commitment (3 months?) to be here co-creating with us?

On the other hand, we have very few committed people filling roles at this time. Especially in the rainy season we often have not enough people to feel like we can make decisions. Can we clarify how many people or what roles we need to have present to make decisions? What is the process for moving decisions forward if there is low turnout?


Thank you Tim for voicing your concerns and participating in the conversation.

To clarify, my intention with this starting version of this post: Sociocracy on the DBC, is about gathering broad guides on how to use Sociocracy. I do want to keep improving it to make it more clear how they are actually used by our collective as we refine on how Sociocracy is used, and also enabled through governance agreements.

This should be complemented with governance agreements like very specifically around what is DBC membership, and who gets to vote on the different decision making spaces. This is of most importance so I want to help with drafting this policy and pass it through our governance. So the difference is that an agreement would be on the Proposals category and have proper status when it is approved through our collective governance.

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