I've realised that I have a specialist research interest in the relationship between Sustainability and Sociocracy. I have a feeling that utilising Sociocratic good practice supports a 'greener' organisation, and I've long had an interest in the connection between the cutting edge of ISO14001 performance (Environmental Management Systems international standards) and 'bottom up' participatory methodology.
As part of my professional development I want to explore these themes more. Your thoughts are welcome.
Thanks Francois - for me it is also about the tight feedback loops and external connection that are built into collaborative governance.
My sense is that a company becomes aligned with - guided by - the ethos of staff members, via the circle & consent processes.
Also, when in close relationship with the outside world, for example via top circle members representing stakeholders, peers, experts, it becomes more natural to steer in a direction which those voices find agreeable. Moreover, with measurement built in at each step, it is difficult to notice when key indicators show up an 'integrity gap' or stakeholders start to object, or damage is done.
typo, I think: 'difficult to notice" = easier to notice!
Nice idea. I think in an environment where sociocratic organisations are rare, the attractiveness of a company culture that operates sociocratically will attract a certain type of person. I.e. people who have different values in their lives, and a different perspective on the world. Those who seek to challenge, who are frustrated by just going along with the world the way it is. As such, I think sociocratic organisations are more likely to become environmentally friendly, because the people attracted to work there, attracted by the culture, are likely to value environmental issues, more than people purely motivated by financial reward/competition/consumption etc.
If all organisations were run sociocratically then there'd be less of a 'type' of person working for them. But as organisations become sociocratic you could also say there's a likelihood that the people working in them start to have different values, even if they didn't before - the communal mindset will change as people educate each other about what is valuable in life.
One practical example of this is that one of my colleagues is particularly passionate about environmental issues so has created a policy/checklist that is supposed to be followed to decide whether we take a train or plane on a journey. Whether it's always followed or not is another matter, but it certainly raised the issue in everyone's consciousness.
Another related thing, about ethics but not environment, is that we are able to raise an ethical concern about any of our clients, and either request a company vote that we reject their custom, or just individually request not to work on their projects. This has been implemented a number of times successfully.
I'm an advocate of organisations endorsing The Earth Charter, as a practical way of demonstrating and implementing values, including how we respect all life forms.
Interestingly, the process by which it was developed over several years after the 1992 UN Rio Earth Summit, building consent from a diverse array of voices, beliefs and ideologies, from indigenous peoples, all major and some minor faiths, business, governments from majority and 'developed' countries and more, is a wonderful example that should be fascinating to anyone interested in sociocracy, democracy, justice, sustainability, consensus, politics, and educational resources.
I also feel that it supports the ethics and historical development of sociocracy by pacifists, Quakers, environmentalists and advocates of equal rights. Kees Boeke, in particular was expelled from the UK and later nearly executed for his opposition to war and development of society free from tyranny.
The company I co-founded, S.E.E.D. Co-op, home of DecisionLab, is a signatory to the Earth Charter, and I recommend everyone, individuals as well as organisations follow suit. It might take just a few minutes, or provoke a deeper, wonderful and crucial debate.