We decided to use Sociocracy as a governance system for the Youth in Permaculture project because it is a very effective system that also keeps the group united and happy.
Sociocracy differs from other governance systems because of the presence of a clear group vision and the use of the consent decision making process.
Sociocracy provides a holistic governance system to organizations that is transparent, inclusive, and provides freedom and accountability. Sociocratic organization tend to be less hierarchical and work more on a web pattern giving everyone a voice in the organization.
Different governance systems have different decision-making processes.
In democracy (from Greek ‘demos’ = the people and ‘kratia’ = power) the people rule, they vote and the majority of them decides what to do. This is the system chosen in most countries in the world and there is always a happy majority and an unhappy minority.
Many alternative groups and associations choose consensus (a Quaker practice) as a fairer decision-making system. With consensus you make decisions everyone agrees with.
Those who form part of such a group know that this very rarely happens, and that conflict is always close. Very often conflicts destroy the groups.
The word sociocracy is derived from the Latin socius (companions, colleagues, or associates) and kratia (power).
A group of people create a group Vision and use it as the most important tool in consent decision-making.
Following a simple proposal forming process, proposals are created and if there is no rational, logical, valid reason as to why the proposal doesn’t allow the group to achieve its vision, the proposal is consented to and becomes a decision. Decisions always have a revision date. Due to this, the proposals don’t need to last forever. They don’t need to be perfect. They need to be good enough for now, safe enough to try.
In sociocracy you trust the process and the people involved in it because everybody is trying to make the group achieve its vision.
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