Sociocracy UK

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

Article by Nathaniel Whitestone, DecisionLab

Co-operative Principles

I am passionate about economic democracy — not so much in the sense of majority rule voting, but in the sense of the people involved in something controlling it together. Some people have argued that, for this purpose, organising as a sociocratic business is better than organising as a co-operative business. Sociocratic businesses allow their members to participate in decision-making regardless of the size of their contribution to the business’s capital; sociocratic businesses do not get torn apart by the Scylla of majority-rule politics or sucked down by the Charybdis of interminable and impotent meetings. However, many co-ops do not suffer from these problems either — and a co-op can remain a co-op while becoming a sociocratic business. The opposition between co-op and Sociocracy is a false one. Let me show you why.

I will assume that you already understand the basics of Sociocracy.  If you don’t, that’s okay — visit SociocracyUK to find out more.  Come back when you have the basics…

The International Principles of Co-operation are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.  While different co-ops and different co-operative federations have different standards for implementation, all share these Principles.  I will go through the Principles and compare each to sociocratic practice.

1st Co-operative Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership
"Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination."

In the case of a sociocratic business, “able to use” and “willing to accept responsibilities” implies a respect for the appropriate size of the business.....

Click here to read the full article http://decisionlab.org.uk/co-operative-principles/#more-1680

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