Sociocracy Online Conference 2019

This event has passed!

Read more about the organizations that participated below, and then watch the recordings!

More information about the organizations


Ecolise logo

Europe
Network
Size: 1000+ members.


European network for community-led initiatives on climate change  and sustainability, is a coalition of national and international networks of community-led initiatives on sustainability and climate change, as well as organisations that support a community-led transition to a resilient Europe.

ECOLISE aims to celebrate, stimulate and increase the positive impact of community-led action on sustainability and climate change, by:
– Raising the profile and highlighting the potential of what is already happening across Europe and beyond
– Sharing and co-creating knowledge and catalysing effective co-operation among member networks and other stakeholders
– Influencing European and national policy development and delivery to empower, enable and build upon the benefits of community-led action.

The members of ECOLISE include international networks of community-based initiatives such as the Transition Network (representing over 1200 Transition initiatives), the Global Ecovillage Network (15,000 ecovillages), the Permaculture movement (3 million practitioners globally) and ICLEI, the association of local governments for sustainability; national and regional networks; and other specialist bodies engaged in European-level research, training and communications to support community-led action on climate change and sustainability.

By bringing these organisations together, ECOLISE seeks to establish a common, Europe-wide agenda and a platform for collective action.

website


Location: Oregon, USA
Organization: Worker-coop
Size: 32 members


Create memorable seasonal foods from fresh local ingredients. We seek out small producers and bring you their heirloom varieties of everything from apples to beans to tomatoes. 

Being a cooperative means that stewardship of the business is spread out among the workers. Everyone who works at the bakery participates in decision-making and has the opportunity to become an owner of the business.  We strive to enjoy our work and to attain a livable wage for all. Collectivism is an ancient way of working together, seen in such places as agrarian communities pooling resources at harvest time, fisherman owned canneries, worker-owned plywood mills, and even on pirate ships. ONE For ALL and ALL For ONE! 

To us, strong community means creating a kinship among ourselves, as workers, and with the community, we serve with our labor.  We provide a meeting place for people to get healthy food, or just chat over a hot cup of chai, and we create events throughout the year to bring people together. We see success of our goal when we see a variety of people of all ages from babies to our Elders enjoying each other’s company at the Blue Scorcher.   

website


Europace

Location: Berlin, Germany
Organization: For-profit
Size:  170+ members


Today, mortgage loan and consumer loan is more of a burden than a positive experience for the customer.
Processes are intransparent and difficult to comprehend. We believe that financing should be as easy as shopping at Amazon. People don’t care about financing, it is only a means to an end. People want the home or want to call the new kitchen their own. Our mission is to make financing understandable and accessible for everyone. We make products comparable and the process comprehensibly, so that customer can make the right decision: anytime and with trust and confidence.
We are called a FinTech these days and use agile software development practices since 2006. Roughly since 2015 we applied more and more practices to our organization. In 2018, we consolidated to the use of holacracy and sociocracy. Early 2019 we consolidated again and now use holacracy everywhere. We integrated some important values and practices from sociocracy into holacracy and think it is good enough for now and safe enough to try.
Michael and Leif can tell you why that happened and why they (as part of the sociocratic unit) want that chance.

website


Location: Barcelona, Spain
Organization: school co-op
Size: 75 members


We are a mix cooperative (composed of working members and consumer members).

We started working with sociocracy from the very beginning of the foundation of the cooperative. We all came from an assembly environment and moved gradually to sociocracy, as we became aware of the benefits of some of its principles (elections, decisions by consent). With an almost 3 years perspective we can state that the use of sociocracy (combined with facilitation) has contributed to a more efficient structure in our daily activities.

website


Location: Finland
Organization: for-profit
Size:  50


Codento is a change agent’s right hand helping with software development, IT Architectures and Agile Methodologies.
We offer Agile software development teams on a day rate and sustainable, business-valuable code owned by the customer.
Codento architecture consultants audit software products, analyze needs, draw optional roadmaps and determine the sustainability and risks of different options. Codento uses agile methodologies, including Scrum, Kanban and lean product development. We also consult and coach clients in using the methodologies.

website


Location: global
Organization: network
Size: 500-2000+

Imago Relationships Worldwide is a network of Imago Relationships professionals and supporters in 17 countries, with the founders and majority of members in North America.

We are still in the process of adopting sociocracy which is part of a larger transition intended to create an organization that is aligned with the values of sociocracy and Imago relationships. We have created a circle structure that is still changing (and will continue to!), and have adopted a sociocratic meeting structure for our central circle. This session will focus on our recent transitional retreat. It was a four day experience facilitated in a combination of sociocracy and imago facilitation. The meeting, which we called a “summit” was both the culmination of 2 years of sociocratic formation and the launch of the renewed vision and financial structures. The session will review the overall structure of the summit, the specific techniques used and the value of using the two forms in combination when stakes are high, as they often are during transition.  At the time of the conference, we will be less than a month away from the formal legal and financial handoff from the former hierarchical, self-perpetuating board to the new sociocratic organization.

website


Location: Colombia
Organization: ecovillage
Size: 14 adults plus children


Aldeafeliz is an ecovillage, an association of people with the same vision.

We have been using sociocracy since 2014 and we love it, so we also have a group of study and teach it

website


Location: Spain
Organization: producer co-op
Size: 82 members


Somos una Asociación local de Personas Productoras y Consumidoras Agroecológicas cuyos objetivos están basados en el cuidado de la tierra y de las personas a través de la Agroecología y Consumo responsable.

Utilizamos íntegramente la Sociocracia como manera de organizarnos. Contamos con un Círculo General y 2 Círculos Operativos (Consumo y Sensibilización). Cada Círculo tiene sus 4 Operadores de Círculo y todas nuestras decisiones se toman por consentimiento.

website


Location: Denmark
Organization: IT department at a university
Size: 45 people


Using Sociocratic principles in a deeply hierarchical public organization.

IT department of 45 people, embedded in a typical hierarchical IT organization of 190 employees, delivering IT-services and software development to the Universities 6000 employees and 12000 students.
The past 18 months, we have been implementing TEAL and sociocratic principles and culture. We do this slowly, cooperatively and by using hierarchy to destroy hierarchy. We are working with creating and maintaining a critical mass of change-energy, dealing with deep and powerful hierarchic behavioral pulls and undercurrents that affect behaviour, dealing with stories and emotions, implementing (circle)structure and governance, and in general, trying to experiment our way with TEAL/Sociocracy in a large classic hierarchical (public) organization.

We will present our experiences, insights and thoughts from our 18 month (unique) journey. Expect stories that show how people were affected and what methods and mechanisms we used on our way. What worked for us and what didn’t. Maybe even a sneak-peek at what the future may look like for us.

website


Location: US-wide
Organization: Non-profit
Size: 40
people

The Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) is a community of faculty leaders in the life sciences from higher education institutions (community colleges, liberal arts colleges, regional comprehensive universities, and research universities) whose goal is to ensure a scientifically literate citizenry prepared to address 21st-century challenges.  To achieve this goal, PULSE helps academic departments develop programs that are inclusive and student-centered through the use of evidence-based teaching and learning practices. Such practices help to prepare scientists who reflect the diversity of American society and citizens who understand science as a way of knowing about the natural world.  PULSE focuses on departments because they are the primary loci for curricular and hiring decisions and faculty evaluations, mentoring and development, all of which profoundly affect the student experience and student success. Partnering with  PULSE, departments learn to work as cohesive teams to implement and continuously improve academic programs through self-reflective assessment.

The members of PULSE were initially selected through a collaboration of high-profile granting agencies (NIH, NSF, HHMI) with an interest in science education. PULSE was envisioned as a brainstorming group tasked with finding ways to promote the implementation of evidence-based teaching and learning strategies widely across higher education.  Initially, therefore, PULSE had no formal organizational structure or hierarchy. As the participants worked together and developed programs to accomplish the mission of improving life sciences education, members of the group realized that some form of governance was needed to enable the group to achieve its mission. Sociocracy’s philosophy of shared leadership, collaboration, transparency, equity, and continuous improvement resonated with PULSE members.  We implemented sociocracy in 2014 with minor modifications, and continue to use sociocratic principles and processes in all our operations and decision-making. We incorporated as an educational (501c3) non-profit in 2017.

website


Location: Spain
Organization: family business
Size: 10
people

La Kombucheria is a small family business in the Andalusian village Vejer de la Frontera (Cádiz) and was the first company and Spanish brand that was developing different flavors of BioKombucha beverages. From there, we were able to give rise to our organic store, featuring a wide range of organic products. 

From the beginning, we carry a set of ethics, responsible philosophy and sustainable development focused on health and well-being. Our work always takes into account both the social and environmental impact. In these terms, we want to be as decent as possible.  We pull for a model of responsible and integrative economy, a model that respects the natural resources that our planet has to offer.

Within this context, we recently started (14 months ago) to incorporate sociocracy in our business organization model.

La Kombucheria nació como pequeña empresa familiar en el pueblo andaluz de Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz. Fue la primera empresa y marca española elaborando BioKombucha de diferentes sabores. Desde ahi luego nació nuestra Tienda ecológica con una amplia gama de productos ecológicos.

Desde el principio llevamos una visión de ética, filosofia responsable y sostenible con el foco en la salud y el bienestar. Nuestra actividad siempre toma en cuenta el impacto medioambiental y social. 

Apostamos en una modelo de economía integrativo y responsable, respetando los recursos que nos ofrece nuestro planeta.
En este contexto hace poco mas de un año hemos incorporado la sociocracia como modelo organizativo en nuestra empresa.

website


Nothing AG

Location: Switzerland
Organization:
for-profit
Size: 15


We are a digital design company (for-profit) based in Switzerland. Our overall purpose is simple: we want to create products which matter. With that, we mean that we want to create software that has a positive impact and use business and technology as tools that serve humanity. Generally, we approach issues head-on, trying to get to the root of our clients’ problems in order to solve the problems that actually matter – for our clients, but also in the broader context of society. For instance, one of our foci is web accessibility, that is to say, creating websites and apps that can, ideally, be used by anyone, regardless of their abilities.

We call ourselves a peer-to-peer organisation: Meeting each other as peers, as equals that can work together in an autonomous but participatory way, is at the root of our organisation. We are organised in circles and roles—pretty much like in sociocracy, with a few changes that have evolved naturally. Each peer in the organisation holds several roles; most of us hold roles in more than one circle (which, in our opinion, is quite natural, as human beings are multifaceted and usually have interest in and talent for quite diverse tasks and not just one particular job). Within these circles, we hold regular meetings to discuss the circle’s governance but also ongoing operational tasks and projects. Our role visualisation (https://nothing.peerdom.org/map/) is integral to our work together; it’s where we capture the up-to-date rights and responsibilities of our circles. Next to this, we also have other tools and practices that might not be “core” sociocracy but are aligned with/evolved from the general ideas behind such a way of working together. For instance, we all have a personal mission statement that describes our own, personal purpose within the organisation and acts like our own compass, helping us choose for instance which roles/tasks we take on and which ones not. Or we have a practice called “biweekly reflection”: Every other week, all peers can take time to think about their work, their position in the organisation, the overall direction of the organisation, or, essentially, any other topic (usually somewhat linked to our work, but that is not per se a requirement) and write a short text about it that is sent to everyone else in the organisation. This helps us create a general sense of alignment, and it provides a space for people to voice whatever matters to them. And, as said at the beginning, overall, our organisation is guided by the idea of meeting each other as peers and working together to do the best we can. It’s like a band in which everyone is a master of their instrument and contributes to the music.

website


Location: Argentina
Organization: for-profit
Size: 75 people


10Pines is an Argentine Software company that was founded with the Agile manifesto values in mind. It is an open, participative, self-organised without hierarchies nor bosses, and based on trust company. With more than 70 people working today, we have clients such as Starbucks, Turner, Claro, TeeSrping among others who trust us and our model.

We don’t apply sociocracy by the book, but we do took some practices and also share and encourage the same values: transparency, equity and efficiency. These are some of our practices and policies we apply at 10Pines: – an open books policy where every one in the company knows all numbers even his teammate salaries – use of consent and advice process for decision making – a fair profit sharing policy between all the members of the company – we don’t have bosses nor titles, just autonomous circles of work With all these practices, One of the indicators of success of our model is the employee turnover rate: about 5% in a market where the average is above 25% .

website


Location: United Kingdom
Organization: food cooperative (
worker owned)
Size: 68 people


Unicorn is a successful worker co-op grocery in Manchester, England. Established in 1996 by a small group of people committed to social change, we set out to create an alternative to supermarket shopping – to provide affordable, fresh and wholesome food to our local community, run by motivated worker-owners with a shared social and environmental agenda.

We have been exploring the implementation of sociocracy for around 18 months, and have introduced a number of elements of it while working towards a proposal for full implementation (coming to our membership for decision in May). We have five sociocratic circles at present, within our current team-based structure.

website


Location: Belgium
Organization: for-profit
Size: 200+ people


MEDIAGENIX has chosen to implement their version of sociocracy (more precise S3) based principles and patterns.  This started February last year. The reasons for doing so are multiple. 

Due to rapid growth in a fast-changing media sector, the organization wants to keep their roots of familiarity and working closely together as a team, this all to enable them to respond to the changing customers needs asap.

A “logical” answer to this growth in the number of employees would be a more traditional approach of putting of introducing extra layers in the hierarchy.  Instead, they chose to give more autonomy to the people actually involved. This does not only lead to better decisions, it also makes that the employees are more involved in what happens within the company. Distributing power over more people makes the organization more scalable, enabling the future expected growth. Many changes have been implemented currently, not just instituting a circular structure with clear distinctions on governance and operational work. Also a lot of work brought the focus more to the people area, linked with role-based working. This has made them introduce new roles being taken up by various people; each person having multiple roles and not cramped in one function with one person. People self-selecting the roles they want to take up etc. 

website


Location: USA
Organization: non-profit
Size: 130 people


GRLPI is dedicated to promoting permaculture professional education, practice, and mutual aid through the states of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Our aim is to inspire and support permaculture practitioners through events, educational materials, and policy and advocacy.

In January 2018, our group officially adopted Dynamic Governance (aka sociocracy) and began training members of the mission circle. In 2018 we also formed circles and began training volunteers in this method.

website


Location: Switzerland
Organization: non-profit school
Size: 23 people


ITW is a non-profit private school and the main ingredients of the operating culture are Solution Focused Approach (Steve deShazer/Insoo Kim Berg), Nonviolent Communication (Marshall Rosenberg) and Spiral Dynamics integral (Don Beck/Christopher Cowan) extended by elements of Teal practices in last couple of years.

While training NVC and SDi with all teachers and students, it seemed a natural and helpful step to adopt the framework of S 3.0 to add clarity and orientation in our Flex-Flow transition organization. Today, major parts of the school organization are based on sociocracy including all students.

website


Location: USA
Organization: non-profit
Size:  80 members


Charlottesville, Virginia, it is a small boutique facility built around an historic home with a warm, family environment.

In an effort to create a more inclusive staff environment, the CEO decided to create a sociocratic Policy Circle about 18 months ago to make decisions on organization-wide policies. Though the organization as a whole functions in a more traditional structure, the Policy Circle operates within the full sociocratic process. It is an example of how sociocracy can be introduced into a workplace organization. This particular session will feature the CEO of Martha Jefferson House, Adam Feldbauer, and will be facilitated by Gregg Kendrick, the sociocratic consultant that supported the project.

website


Location: Australia
Organization: ecovillage
Size: 170 people


Narara Ecovillage is a sustainable community based near Sydney, Australia which is managed by the Narara Ecovillage cooperative. We are building a thriving diverse community of all ages, in an ecovillage which is funded by current and future residents and includes entrepreneurial business activities. 

The first Sociocracy training was in 2008 and the circle structure has been evolving since then. There are 170 men, women and children making up the cooperative which operates as a 4 tier circle structure which includes – a Board of Directors; Steering Circle; Land, Community, Business and Infrastructure teams and smaller, more specific circles. You will hear a range of voices talking about the journey of implementing sociocracy including what has been learned, what has be challenging and what has been achieved. 

website


Location: Australia
Organization: school
Size: 60 people


We are a new democratic school opened in Townsville in 2019 after a twelve-month development process. We are the first school of its kind for North Queensland. We use a sociocratic school circle model from the ground up, from the development of the school through to initial implementation.

We have developed a school circle model which allows students, staff, parents and community members to have a voice in all aspects of the running of Enkindle Village School.

website