Sociocracy UK

How-to, community & developing Collaborative Governance in the UK

What Is Sociocracy? Personal responses as a community resource. Please add yours below

Sociocracy = socios + cracy or [people who have a social relationship] + rule. Democracy = demos _cracy or [the general mass of people who may or may not know each other] +rule. In Spanish, socios = partners. Democracy has the value of "equality'" = treat everyone the same. You see that at the ballot box. Literally, the essence of you is abstracted to a ballot that is identical to everyone else's ballot. Sociocracy has the value of "equivalence" = honor individual differences give everyone the same respect. Literally, the essence of you participates directly into every consent decision; everyone has the same right to make an argued and paramount objection to a proposed decision.  

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** Further resources to help you find out more about Sociocracy can be found here: **


For me, Sociocracy is the future as I would like it to be. It nurtures an organisation whose emergent behaviour becomes like a living and learning organism. It unlocks creative responsibility, ownership, a sense of purpose, while lessening the burden on the 'leader', manager or boss, and 'crowd-sourcing' wisdom for more effective decisions, while promoting respect, diversity and inclusion. It addresses the problems of 'cultural inertia' and 'buy-in' among employees, by asking them to co-create their common vision, strategy, procedures. It is demonstrated to be effective.

Sociocracy is a whole-system engineering discipline for human communities, reliably combining self-managing teams, community ownership, open book management, agile projects, iterative organisational learning, and participatory decision-making into a functional whole.  Also known as Dynamic Self-Governance (in the USA) and Collaborative Governance (in the UK), Sociocracy offers a proven and clearly defined organisational change process for adoption that has been tested in numerous organisations of every type.  Sociocracy is used by organisations ranging from single work teams to primary schools to universities to co-housing communities to multi-division manufacturing businesses to government departments.  Sociocracy rests on four simple principles, is described in an open source set of engineering specifications, is supported by a global community of certified practitioners, and is used by organisations on several continents.  Sociocracy is deeply compatible with the co-operative movement, permaculture systems design, agile and lean business disciplines, Transition Towns and Non-Violent Communication. Sociocracy offers not only a global practitioner community, but a specific set of engineering specifications maintained by that community through a global standards organisation.
Sociocracy, a form of organisational governance, is to me an efficient and effective structure and process designed and tested to guarantee inclusivity in the decisions and direction of an organisation or community by consulting all its members, and thereby enriching its decisions (thinking them through), taking the multi-perspectivity and diversity of sometimes seemingly contradictory views into consideration in a complementary, consensual and collaborative way. As such sociocracy represents a form of leadership which is particularly adept at solving highly complex problems in an efficient and non-confrontational way, and is one of the few ways organisations will be able to tackle the increasingly intricate and interrelated challenges of our world, tapping into collective wisdom, in a holistic, dynamic and sustainable way. Sociocracy represents a way forward for organisations of the future which is 'democratic', innovative and inspirational, and enables equality, equivalance, inclusiveness, engagement, co-creativity, sustainability and ultimately humanism in the governance of organisations.

Sue Bell's reply, moved to here:

What is sociocracy?

“We are one, our cause is one, and we must help each other if we are to succeed.”

~ Fredrick Douglas

Next Step Together

Primer on Sociocracy

Sociocracy (sometimes called "dynamic self-governance") originated in the Netherlands, has spread into the European business community, and is beginning to take hold with some groups in the United States. It's an organizational structure that has evolved from the fundamental values of democracy—equality under the law for all, and fair representation—combined with the consensus decision-making methods practiced by the Quakers. Its development was informed by recent learnings in the fields of cybernetics, chaos theory, and the organic growth and development of all life forms.

"Sociocracy was developed specifically to address human needs. It resembles and is specifically designed to mimic living organisms and is not based on a mechanical model. In a mechanical model a mechanic runs a machine. This is analogous to managers running their employees. Living organisms run themselves. Not only does sociocracy address human needs, but it allows for the most responsive organization and uses a minimum

Tags: governance, sociocracy


From DecisionLab

Sociocracy is…

1) the way we run our company, and how we help other people to run theirs.

2) a proven way of designing, governing, managing & operating organizations, with several decades of well-studied usage in various organizations.

3) a cybernetically sound, fractal structure that ensures that every member of the organization has a powerful voice in decisions that affect them while also retaining the effectiveness of a top-down management hierarchy.

4) an effective way to combine and implement a whole list of practices that often are implemented partially, poorly, and one-by-one: open book management, self-managing teams, organizational learning disciplines, quality circles, consensus decision-making, organizational democracy, profit-sharing, employee ownership…

5) defined by four principles: the Principle of Consent, the Principle of Circles, the Principle of Double-Linking, and the Principle of Consensual Elections.

6) the 21st Century future for co-operative business, triple-bottom line business, and social enterprise.

Its nice to know that companies can be run on sociocratic principles, however if we could link the consumers and the people from whom raw materiels are taken like where the mines are then there will be greater double linking and more connection and the corporations or businesses will not stand at loggerheads with the people...its will be like a oneness of the world and then the sociocratic process will be pretty complete. 

Sociocracy is

  • Decentralised
  • Empowering
  • Resilient
  • Effective
  • Efficient
  • Adaptive
Martin This is brilliant. It captures the core.  There is only one better way to find out about it and that is to live it and experience it. Thanks so much Sue

Thanks Sue. I put it up a little while back, but I've recently updated it slightly. It's still an early version, and it came from me trying to condense the essence when describing it to people, while running workshops. I have since found it to be a useful teaching aid. It is also available under 'resources' on this site (I'm about to update it).


I am the founder of an intentional community, the intention being to enhance peace and awareness, that people become leader of their own lives. The community is based on 3 pillars: nonviolent communication, council (also known as "talking stick") and sociocracy. 

The practice of sociocracy has profoundly affected my attitude in making decisions. In the past, I was very happy when my proposal would be accepted immediately without much discussion. When that were to happen to me today, I woud be disappointed and feel uncertain because I know that my proposal is not properly scrutinized. 

"sociocracy: collective government or government by society as a whole."

"Sociocracy presumes equality of individuals and is based on governance by consent."




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Please leave us your suggestions as a comment to this open discussion.  Your ideas would be greatly appreciated. 



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