Online Training

GEN International to Learn Sociocracy

On October 20, GEN International will host a 12-week online training in Sociocracy, a governance and decision-making method. The purpose of the course is to train GEN Council members, Steering Group, staff, and Representatives from the five Regions in the basic structures and processes of Sociocracy and how to implement it, and for interested GEN members to become in-house Sociocracy trainers or coaches for their own GEN Regions and national ecovillage networks.

The instructor is Diana Leafe Christian, an experienced Sociocracy trainer for ecovillages and other intentional communities, and author of 'Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Intentional Communities'.

The course is open to other interested people for a fee of £35 - £65 GBP (Approx. $50-$100 USD or approximately 48-90 EUR), on a sliding scale.

Training Topics and Schedule Click to view

Weekly sessions will be 1300-1500 GMT, and run from October 20 through February, with three two-week breaks.

Session 1 2015-10-20 Sociocracy overview
Session 2 2015-10-27 Governance Structure I - Circles & Double Links
Session 3 2015-11-02 Governance Structure II - Circles & Double Links. Plan/Implement/Evaluate Feedback Loops I
Session 4 2015-11-10 Plan/Implement/Evaluate Feedback Loops II. Vision, Mission, Domain, and Aims
Session 5 2015-12-01 Consent Decision-Making I – Six Steps
Session 6 2015-12-08 Consent Decision-Making II – Reasoned Objections & “Arguments”
Session 7 2015-12-15 Selecting People for Roles (Elections) I – Six Steps
Session 8 2016-01-05 Selecting People for Roles (Elections) II – Details. Role-Improvement Feedback. Choosing Circle Members
Session 9 2016-01-12 Creating Proposals I – Six Steps
Session 10 2016-02-02 Creating Proposals II – Details. Policy Meetings & Operations Meetings
Session 11 2016-02-09 Facilitating Policy Meetings I. Implementing Sociocracy I
Session 12 2016-02-16 Facilitating Policy Meetings II. Implementing Sociocracy II
Session 13 2016-02-23 Extra session if needed, if we missed a session from technical difficulties

Sociocracy, which was developed in the Netherlands in the 1970s, has been used by businesses and nonprofits internationally, and more recently by intentional communities. Diana has learned by teaching Sociocracy that some intentional communities and member-led groups that use it, tend to experience more high-energy, effective meetings than when they used a consensus decision making process.

Experiences in Sociocracy

“We’ve made more decisions in the past two months than we have in the past two years!
—Davis Hawkowl, Pioneer Valley Cohousing, Amherst, Massachusetts.

“A visitor said she’d never seen a community meeting be so effective, efficient, and fun!”
—Hope Horton, Hart’s Mill Ecovillage, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“I would never have joined the community if we didn’t use Sociocracy! It’s our saving grace.”
—Kreel Hutchison, Baja BioSana Ecovillage, La Paz, Mexico.

“We have better follow-up to our decisions, and information flows better. Our meetings are faster and lighter and have a rhythm that feels satisfying. And at the end of our last meeting, we started dancing for joy!”   —Anamaria Aristizabal, Aldeafeliz Ecovillage, Colombia.

Pioneer Valley Cohousing in the US assessed their use of Sociocracy after 18 months. They conducted a survey to see if their members liked Sociocracy and wanted to keep it. Previously, the same relatively few Pioneer Valley members did almost all the administrative work. But after implementing Sociocracy far more members contributed labor and became involved in community governance. More people took on leadership roles, including newer members who hadn’t participated before. An overwhelming majority reported they were ”highly satisfied” with Sociocracy.

Baja BioSana in Mexico started out with an 18-month trial period; they like it and will keep it too.

Windsong Cohousing in Canada is now starting an 18-month trial period with Sociocracy.


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