Dynamic Governance in Communities
“Creating cohousing involves a million decisions. Without a good way to make them, we’d have been stuck in the “eternal potluck” stage. Sociocracy is the foundation that allows us to get tons of work done, while also building trust and connection among our members. We have no regrets about deciding to adopt sociocracy.”
Who is Already Doing it?
This list is FAR from complete. Help us by telling us about your community – send an email to Jerry (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Columbia Ecovillage, Portland, OR
- Katywill Cohousing, Colrain, MA
- Rocky Corner, New Haven CT
- Woodard Cohousing, Olympia WA
- TREE community, Ithaca Ecovillage NY (webinar)
- Village Hearth Cohousing (NC, USA)
- Iowa City Cohousing
- Albuquerque cohousing
Why Dynamic Governance for communities?
Members of intentional communities (cohousing, ecovillages, cooperative housing) want to live and work in community. Sociocracy can help here. It is useful for your community if you want to:
- hear all the voices and be able to make considerate decisions that work
- be more connected in meetings and take the heat out of discussions
- enjoy living and working together with smooth governance
Is it hard to do?
Dynamic Governance (DG) is used in dozens of communities and ecovillages worldwide. Depending on how your culture is set now, there is definitely a learning curve. However, that learning is often experienced as liberating and clarifying.
We have noticed that DG is easiest to implement in a forming group. Yet, even communities that have used consensus for decades have been able to switch and enjoy smooth, action-oriented and connecting governance.
Where do we start?
Read and watch the information on this site. If you are interested in suggesting DG/sociocracy to your community, make sure to read The Sociocracy Starter Kit first. You will notice that it suggests to involve other people in your exploration as early as possible.
Study group curriculum
Is your community trying to get an overview of Dynamic Governance (sociocracy) and what it feels like?
Trying to experience it as a group together?
See our study group curriculum!
6x 1.5-hour sessions with exercises, readings, handouts.
Perfect for groups of 5-8 people.
Video-led – just turn on the video and learn!
By donation/coaching on a sliding scale.
Dozens of communities have used this curriculum to get an overview of sociocracy (Dynamic Governance).
Resources for learning and implementation
All SoFA resources for communities
Understanding the difference between operations and policy is key to making fast and good decisions. The idea in sociocracy is to empower operational decisions (so they can be made by anyone who is authorized) and to make policy decisions to guide and improve those operational decisions.
In this webinar, Jerry Koch-Gonzalez is walking the audience through a sample governance agreement (aka “constitution”) that is needed to safely implement sociocracy in an organization.
Treehouse Village Ecohousing is a project to build a cohousing community, the first in Atlantic Canada. It officially launched on Sept 29, 2018 with a first public meeting.
The circle structure of Pioneer Valley cohousing
SoFA colleague Chen explaining not only feelings, needs and strategies but also the harder part – overcoming the adversarial story and expanding willingness
3 decisions every young organization will make — with intention or without
The practical sociocracy handbook written by the co-founders of Sociocracy For All. 300 pages full of real-life support!
A community in Denmark
Woodard Lane CoHousing
A community in Massachusetts preparing to build
A cohousing community in Nova Scotia (in formation)
An association of (associations of) ecovillages in Latinamerica.
A Christian cohousing community in Texas.
Cohabitat Quebec (cohousing in Canada)
A cohousing community in North Carolina
A forming community in New Mexico (USA). Note the outside consultants/stakeholders connection.
TREE cohousing in Ithaca Ecovillage in NY in the USA tells about their governance system, how they implemented how they are running now.
Amy and Jana from Pioneer Valley cohousing are talking about the implementation process and how things are going in comparison to a consensus-run community.
Governance in intentional communities (cohousing and ecovillages) – what do they struggle with? How can sociocracy (aka Dynamic Governance) be of use?
Do we have to endure “disruptive” team members if we want to be inclusive? What crosses the line, and what helps us?