Democratic Dialog & Deliberation

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.

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cross-posted from Communities Magazine

The life which is unexamined is not worth living.

~Plato

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?
 

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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.

 

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Culture Eats Structure 3                                                                         

 

What makes a sociocratic circle meeting special? First of all, it is the effectiveness. It is how we run meetings, about who is in the room (only those who are directly working on the content), about how we improve and grow together as a team.

This video is a recording of a webinar on facilitation tools and techniques in sociocracy.

CULTURE EATS STRUCTURE 1                                                                                                                      

A few days ago I submitted a long essay to The Next System contest that proposes a different kind of movement building strategy, one that emphasizes culture building. It is a three-part essay that is a fairly substantial expression of my basic thinking about our movements for deep democratic change. Below is an overview of the whole piece.

[Editor's note: the following short article was first published in 2001, in GEO Newsletter #44: Democracy within Co-opsCollective Copies now has 33 years in operation and is still going strong.]

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EMPOWERMENT and LOVE 7.

The depth and intensity of anyone’s commitment to any relationship is dependent on many factors. I have recently become very clear on two of them for myself.

Gloria Lowe and Vanessa Marr of the Detroit non-profit We Want Green, Too talk about the work they are doing with veterans and returning citizens to both rebuild and reimagine the city of Detroit.

 

Direct download

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cross-posted from Shareable

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Music Hosting - Listen Audio Files -

Introspection Exorcises Racism: Taking the Cocoa Powder Out of the American Brownie

by Pamela Boyce Simms

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(Becoming the Change 6)

 

I need you all to see and hear me so I can see and hear me better than I could ever do on my own. I need you all to see and hear me in all the different ways you all see and hear.

This is so important for me to become aware of defeating habits, deeply embedded within me, that I am unaware of.

This is so important for me to get beyond my intense attachments to my personal identity, which is forever old as I am always seeing it through my rear-view mirror.

This video was recorded during the fall of 2015 at a grantee gathering held by the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC) in Greensboro NC.

The theme of the gathering was Big Ideas That Guide Our Work. This video is Ed Whitfield, Co-Founder and Co-Managing Director of F4DC, introducing the gathering and talking on "The Power of Ideas and the Idea of Power."

 

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