Sociocracy for Communities, Part Two

Selecting People for Roles, Role-Improvement Feedback, Consenting to Circle Members, Sociocracy’s Circle Structure

5-Week Online Workshop
October 6, 13, 20, 27, and November 3
Sundays, 1 – 3:30 pm Eastern Time

“People are happier and more satisfied and getting more done.”
— Laurie Nelson, Cherry Hill Cohousing, Amherst, MA

As noted in our class Sociocracy, Part One (June 30-July 28, 2024), Sociocracy is an especially successful self-governance and decision-making method that instructor Diana Leafe Christian, community consultant and author of Creating a Life Together, now highly recommends instead of consensus. Because of its mutually beneficial, mutually reinforcing parts that provide checks and balances against “power over” behaviors, Sociocracy can reduce conflict in communities and offer four powerful benefits:

  • Better meetings
  • Getting more done
  • Being better organized
  • Creating more harmony and connection in the group

“Our meetings are faster and lighter and have a rhythm that feels satisfying.”
— Anamaria Aristizabal, Aldeafeliz Ecovillage, Colombia Part Two of this lively, enjoyable class covers:

  1. Selecting People for Roles, a fair, clear, participatory way to choose people for community roles and roles in committees and teams.
  2. Role-Improvement Feedback, a harmonious, good-will way to help people in roles fulfill their responsibilities and tasks even more effectively.
  3. Consenting to Circle members, a process for committee and team members to consider and decide on new members who’d like to join their committee or team. (And as a last report, after one or more sessions of Role-Improvement Feedback, a process to ask people who may be disrupting the work of a committee or team to leave that committee or team.)
  4. Sociocracy’s Circle Structure, how committees and teams, called “circles” in Sociocracy, are organized and linked together for shared information and transparency.

“Information flows better, and we have better follow-up to our decisions.”
— Anamaria Aristizabal, Aldeafeliz Ecovillage, Colombia

The class is for people who no longer want to endure long, painfully ineffective, or even conflict-ridden meetings, and yearn for effective, enjoyable, good-will meetings instead. Participants will receive videos and handouts to watch and read ahead of time and practice these first two Sociocracy meeting processes in each class.

Requirements to participate: Participation in Sociocracy, Part One or the equivalent.

“I loved this course. Who knew community governance could be so fun.”
— Jeff Conklin, Riversong Cohousing, Eugene, OR, Dec. 2021 course

Diana has taught Sociocracy to ecovillages, cohousing communities, and other kinds of intentional communities and member-led groups in person and online, in the US, Canada, France, Sweden, England, Russia, Mexico, Columbia, and Brazil, since 2012.

“I would never have joined our community if we didn’t use Sociocracy. It’s our saving grace.”
— Kreel Hutchison, Baja BioSana Ecovillage, La Paz, Mexico

Part One of this class, held in July, 2024, offered the first three significant parts of Sociocracy: Proposal-Forming, Consent Decision-Making, Creating Enjoyable Meetings.

Workshop participants learning Sociocracy in Diana’s Huehoecoyotl Ecovillage workshop, Mexico, 2015.

Workshop participants learning Sociocracy in Diana’s Huehoecoyotl Ecovillage workshop, Mexico, 2015.

“I highly recommend Diana’s Sociocracy course for effective, transparent, non-hierarchical governance and decision-making. Our group now makes better decisions, has a higher level of engagement, and enjoy meetings that are both productive AND fun!”

Denise Henrikson

ecoTHRIVE Housing, Seattle. Feb-April, 2021 course

Diana Leafe Christian teaching Sociocracy
Instructor Diana Leafe Christian introducing Sociocracy at the Jewish Communities Conference, Virginia, 2015.
Workshop participants learning Sociocracy in Diana’s Huehoecoyotl Ecovillage workshop, Mexico, 2015.
Russian ecovillagers practicing Sociocracy, Ethnomir Workshop, Russia, 2016.

Program

Session 1, October 6: Brief review of Proposal Forming and Consent Decision-Making from Sociocracy, Part One. Selecting People for Roles.

Session 2, October 13: More practice in Selecting People for Roles, what works well in Selecting People for Roles (and what could go wrong and how to prevent it), introduction to Role-Improvement Feedback.

Session 3, October 20:More practice in Role-Improvement Feedback, introduction to Consenting to Circle Members.

Session 4, October 27: Asking a Circle Member to Leave (part two of the Consenting to Circle Members process), only employed as a last resort if, after one or more Role-Improvement Feedback sessions, a circle member consistently disrupts the work of the circle.

Session 5, November 3: Sociocracy’s Circle Structure, including the Domain (area of responsibility) and Aims (ongoing continuous objectives) of each circle, and how circles are linked together for shared information and transparency.

Each session includes slide show presentations, discussion, and Q&A based on short videos and handouts to watch and read before the session.

“I loved Diana’s Sociocracy course. She’s super-clear, organized, has incredibly thorough preparation, and she’s so down-to-earth, fun, engaging, and easy to connect with.”

Phoenix Robbins

Aptos Beloved Community, Aptos, CA. May-July, 2021 course

Workshop Recordings

The sessions will be recorded. Please note that if you choose to ask a question or make a comment on camera during the call, you will be included in the recording. You are welcome to use a pseudonym and/or keep your video off if you have privacy concerns.

This recording is shared with all registered participants within 48 hours of the session and may also be used in future online learning programs.

You may not share the workshop recordings with other people.

Suggested Caption:  Russian ecovillagers  in Diana’s Sociocracy<br />
Workshop, Ethnomir, Russia, 2016.
Workshop participant describing Sociocracy meeting processes, Glokala, Sweden workshop, 2016.

Schedule

Sundays, October 6, 13, 20, 27 and November 3. 1:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern time. Five 2.5-hour sessions.

Tuition

$175.00 – $250.00 sliding scale

Register

Click to register.

Group Registration

We offer a 20% discount for groups of five or more. At least five group members must register at the same time. Once the original group is registered, additional group members can register with a coupon for a 20% discount.

Click to register five or more group members.

If you have questions about registering your group, please contact us.

Sliding Scale Tuition

Because some people have more financial means than others, we have created a sliding scale fee system to accommodate a range of economic realities. The high-end of the scale reflects the value we believe the program holds, and the low-end offers a more accessible entry point.

By choosing a higher price point, you are helping make the program more accessible to others for whom the low-end may be cost-prohibitive. Please consider your needs and resources to determine what might be a stretch, but not a strain.

“Your recent Sociocracy training was outstanding!”

William Walsh

Envision Community, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Scholarships

We offer partial scholarships (50% of the middle of the sliding scale) to black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) with financial needs who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend. We understand that BIPOC experience more financial and institutional barriers to participation, and this is one way we are able to create more access. If you identify as BIPOC with financial needs and would like to receive a scholarship, please contact us.

About the Instructor

Photo of intentional communities expert Diana Leafe Christian

Diana Leafe Christian

Faculty

Diana is author of the books Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities, about forming successful communities and ecovillages, and Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community, and the Communities magazine article series "Working Effectively with Especially Challenging Behaviors."  She speaks at conferences, offers consultations, and leads webinars and workshops internationally on starting successful new intentional communities, how existing communities can resolve conflicts and become more healthy and thriving, and sociocracy, a self-governance and decision-making method she finds especially effective for communities.

Earthaven Ecovillage is an affiliate of Bookshop.org. Our educational nonprofit, Culture’s Edge, will earn a commission if you click through this link to our bookstore or any of the book links on this page and make a purchase.