The Values Behind Sociocracy

Liz Bassett Community

What is sociocracy?

Sociocracy is a set of powerful collaboration tools that allow large and small numbers of people to make decisions and work together effectively.  We use these tools at Narara Ecovillage, and I think it’s fair to say that sociocracy has been key to the strength, resilience and energy of our village.

I recommend this article from Sociocracy for All, because it succinctly explains many of the elements that make sociocracy work at both the organisational and human level. Here are some snippets:

The ABCDE of culture change by Ted Rau

I am one of the lucky people who learned sociocracy the way a person learns their first language — finding myself immersed in practice. I did not learn it by instruction; I learned it … when I joined a self-managed organization that had been doing sociocracy for a while.  … 

I remember the first time I noticed meetings there were different. It was one of those moments when you say something and then notice it is true when I heard myself say: “I am leaving the meeting more refreshed than I came, more inspired and feeling more connected to everyone in this group.”

The tools … looked simple and easy to do, but they made for big effects. I became interested in what values were embodied by those tools. You might call it the “hidden curriculum” of sociocracy.

A is for Authenticity

Authenticity gives us the ability to be seen and known as who we are, a universal need we all share.

B is for Balance

Balance happens when we see value in competing or opposing views and then find creative solutions that make the best of those differences … Sociocracy supports the both-and mindset in a subtle but powerful way.

C is for Connection

Connection is the basis for care, for collaboration and it is the social glue for everything we do.

D is for Discovery

As an organization and as individuals, the open, “growth mindset” is how we learn and improve …The humbling idea of “ok, let’s see what happens” is a useful trait in a world as complex as ours.

E is for Equivalence

Every authentic voice is equally valuable. And … every person has a piece to the puzzle that we’re all trying to put together.

The full article takes about ten minutes to read.  SoFa also offers free introductory videos and guidance for anybody interested in learning about sociocracy. Narara Ecovillage will also continue to offer in-person training, such as the Sociocracy in Action workshop listed above.

  • Sociocracy for All is a US-based global group including several people from Narara Ecovillage.