Democratic Dialog & Deliberation

cross-posted from Laird's Commentary on Community and Consensus

As a professional facilitator for more than three decades, I've had ample opportunity to observe which skills make the most difference. As a facilitation trainer the past 15 years, I've collected plenty of data about which lessons have been the most challenging for students to digest.

Institutions & Structures: 
Movements & Struggles: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: 

cross-posted from Laird's Commentary on Community and Consensus

As a professional facilitator for more than three decades, I've had ample opportunity to observe which skills make the most difference. As a facilitation trainer the past 15 years, I've collected plenty of data about which lessons have been the most challenging for students to digest.

Practices, Tools & Strategies: 

cross-posted with permission from Medium

Starting and growing a young organization is a tender and complex process. In setting up a new organization, we have to make three decisions:

While many organizations use ambiguity to strategically build a "unified diversity" around an organization's mission, democratically managed organizations need to tread a narrow path between necessary ambiguity (which allows flexibility) and dysfunctional ambiguity (which causes disarray).
Institutions & Structures: 
Movements & Struggles: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: 

You like contributing and helping others, and you also want to improve how you work together. But finding the right words to give feedback is hard - especially when you see something that needs improvement. How can you think about feedback so it is easy to give and easy for people to hear? NVC (non-violent communication) and sociocracy are a powerful combination of frameworks that help us becoming resilient, self-healing organizations, improving how we work together and how we relate to each other as human beings.

Movements & Struggles: 
What is the proper relationship between operations and policy, why do you need policy? We don’t want to be overrun by our operations but we also don’t want collaboration to be slow and tedious. Tips from Sociocracy.

The principles of permaculture and sociocracy are well aligned, making these two natural partners. But for permaculture organizations that did not start out using sociocracy, what is it like for the community to learn and to adopt sociocracy as their governing approach? What are the challenges, the wins and some tips to help permaculturists who are new to sociocracy, to get started?

Hear from our guest speakers, Henny Freitas and Julian Howell, who share this vision and who have been in the trenches seeing what it’s like for permaculture organizations to adopt sociocracy.

Movements & Struggles: 

This piece involves a bit of an epiphany about myself. You know, like when you are surprised into seeing yourself a bit more as you really are. Some background is necessary to lead into how this unfolded.

Since Trump’s election I have become a democracy-freak. Writing a book about it in fact.  And that is taking me on a new journey within myself and across our political spectrum. Here is the opening of my draft Introduction:

Humans and our organizations are inextricably linked with local, regional, and global ecological systems. Sociocracy is whole systems design for how we organize ourselves and make decisions. Permaculture is whole systems design for re-integrating humans with the ecologies we depend on for our existence - for example water, food, fuel, shelter. Together they provide powerful design approaches that support resilient, adaptable, connected systems.

Movements & Struggles: 

cross-posted from Communities Magazine

The life which is unexamined is not worth living.

~Plato

Regions: 
Institutions & Structures: 

Do your meetings get side-tracked and off-topic? Does your group have a difficult time following through on decisions? Jennifer Rau of Sociocracy For All (SoFA) offers some tips for getting the most out of meetings and avoiding common pitfalls.

 

 

Movements & Struggles: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: 

When I was a wee freshman in college, I would come back home for winter break to confidently inform my family of all of the tragic woes in the world and what was needed to fix them. My dad would always back-handedly reply, “That’s what’s wrong with you liberals. You think you’re always right.” I was offended, first by the categorizing of my ideals as being liberal, and second because what I was saying was right. There is a right and a wrong to the world and I was on the right side of it.

Regions: 

Every business creates documents such as emails, memos, policies, and governing handbooks.  These organizational documents are not impartial or neutral. Even everyday writing like handbooks and emails can have social effects that ripple throughout an organization.

Movements & Struggles: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: 

If we're all equal, then why can't we agree?

Voting is an improvement over autocracy - it distributes more power. Voting presents the image of equality: one person, one vote. Consensus decision making, the usual alternative to voting, also presents an image of equality - the 100% supermajority vote. And yet both of these decision making methods leave many of us deeply dissatisfied. Is there a more effective way to make equality-based decisions?
 

Movements & Struggles: 

This is a recording of the webinar from Oct 2016 about how to deal with objections.  See our website for the decision-making sheet and other resources.

 

Institutions & Structures: 
Visions & Models: 
Movements & Struggles: 

Culture Eats Structure 3                                                                         

 

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