Ted, formerly known as Jennifer Rau, is a linguist, videographer and singer-songwriter. Ted got exposed to sociocracy when moving into a sociocratically run cohousing community. Seeing how effective decision-making was there, and enjoying the flow in sociocratic meetings, he realized that: “I am leaving the meeting even more refreshed and energized than I came.” Ted realized sociocracy, particularly in the combination with NVC, was big and potentially world-changing and started paying attention to the suffering that ineffective meetings and collaboration bring almost everywhere people collaborate – which is everywhere where people are. People and their universal need to connect and move things are at the center of attention. The training in syntax and semantics taught Ted to find patterns that work well for the human mind, work empirically and break things down so they can be understood. Being a parent had taught him to be extremely pragmatic; at the end of the day, dinner must be on the table no matter whether the new vision statement is done.
Ted and Jerry are co-authors of the new sociocracy handbook Many Voices, One Song.
- SoFA Roles: content circle leader, google admin, leader of General Circle, conference manager, external coordinator
Imagine a world where people enjoy working equitably together to meet personal and planetary needs. Jerry’s work is in service of that vision. Jerry helps companies and organizations implement sociocracy to create adaptive and effective organizations where all members’ voices matter. He is a consultant and certified trainer in both Dynamic Governance/Sociocracy and Compassionate Communication (NVC), with a focus on governance, decision making, communication skills, and conflict resolution.
He has been a Board member of the Institute for Community Economics, United for a Fair Economy and Class Action, and a trainer with Movement for a New Society, the National Coalition Building Institute, DiversityWorks, Cambridge Youth Peace & Justice Corps, Lesley College Center for Peaceable Schools, Boston College Center for Social Justice, the Association for Resident Controlled Housing, and Spirit in Action.
Jerry is currently a member of The Sociocracy Consulting Group (itself a limited liability company run on sociocratic principles). Jerry is a founding and current resident of Pioneer Valley Cohousing, a 21-year old community in Amherst MA that has been successfully using sociocracy (aka Dynamic Governance) for the last 3.5 years.
Jerry and Ted are co-authors of the new sociocracy handbook Many Voices, One Song.
- SoFA Roles: community circle leader, accounting role, delegate to Mission circle, staff
Vincent Van der Lubbe (TopCircle leader/board chair)
Vincent is a management consultant focusing on continuous improvement and respect for people, based in Europe, with 15 years working experience in and with small to large organisations. He realized that most existing problems in organisations are caused by the system of thinking. Becoming aware of these assumptions and mental models, understanding and changing them to create more sustainable impact became his mission. Vincent reads about 2 books a week, because he’d rather do one day’s of good work by learning from people who have done it before than twenty years of bad. He enjoys keeping up to date on emerging practices and making approaches like Sociocracy/Holacracy, Lean and agile, Kanban, NVC, Clean Language, UX, Digital Analytics and systems thinking useful for clients. Recently he has started translating books on agile into german to help spread sustainable working practices.
Pierre Houben (TopCircle/board)
Pierre is a transition trainer and facilitator that one day started asking why we have to use majority and minority to decide. He got in touch with sociocracy, falling in love quite immediately.
Living in Italy, where sociocracy was not well known yet, he surfed the web in search of informations, training, coaching, books, videos. When he came across Sociocracy For All, he was excited right away. He was the first to sign for the SoFA newsletter once it was out and became an early collaborator and member of SoFA. He is amazed to see the dream of SoFA growing and growing; he feel it is just the right place to be.
Thanks to all the training he could access trough internet and with SoFA support, he started to give Intro workshops on Sociocracy and to support who want to implement it. In his dreams there is a network of Italian Sociocracy expert, trainers, facilitators, in connection with the wider international network, that use Sociocracy in synergy with other tools to support the change “we the people” want to bring in the world.
John McNamara (TopCircle/board)
John has a life-long career working to improve the workplace. This began member of an independent student labor union, the now defunct Memorial Union Labor Organization on the UW-Madison Campus, and continued for 26 years at the taxicab cooperative, Union Cab of Madison as a director and manager. While at Union Cab, he worked with other members to flatten hierarchy and help create space for more members’ voices in the decision-making process. He also came to recognize that traditional meeting practices create useless and unnecessary antagonistic relationships.
Over the last ten or so years, John has worked with the larger co-op movement as a founding member, director, and president of the US Federation of Worker Co-ops, a founding member and governor of the Democracy at Work Network, and graduate student research assistant as a graduate student in co-op management at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax where he earned a Masters in Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions and is a Ph.D. Candidate in management. His research work included the development of the Co-op Index Report, a tool to measure a co-operatives expression of cooperative values and principles. Currently John works full-time as a cooperative developer for the Northwest Cooperative Development Center in Olympia, WA engaging with a diverse group of co-operatives as well as leading NWCDC’s Co-operative Academy. John teaches on cooperative management in Presidio Graduate School’s Seattle campus in the spring and The Evergreen State College in the summer. John first learned of Sociocracy at NWCDC which has partnered with Jerry Koch-Gonzalez for conference workshops. John embraced Sociocracy as a governance model that engages the cooperative identity especially the ethical values of openness and honesty. He joined the first cohort of the Sociocracy Leadership Training program and now includes units on Sociocracy in his courses and the academy. He encourages all clients to at least consider the model for their co-operatives as well and hopes to see it grow throughout the Pacific Northwest.
John Buck (TopCircle/board)
A Certified Sociocratic Organizational Consultant, John heads operations in TSCG’s Washington, DC region.
John has led dozens of Dynamic Governance implementation projects for a variety of organizations, resulting in greater efficiency and increased employee engagement. He believes that such basic values as equality, liberty, and transparency can make our work places dramatically more sustainable, elegant, and profitable.
He excels in customizing Dynamic Governance principles to each organization’s particular concerns, work schedules, and professional areas. His clients span the globe and include plastics manufacturers, colleges and universities, long-term care facilities, co-housing groups, and software companies.
John was the first person outside of The Netherlands to receive consultant certification from the Sociocratisch Centrum (now The Sociocracy Group) in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He has translated numerous documents from the original Dutch and is coauthor (with Sharon Villines) of We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy.
Some of our working members
Kristiane Ravn Frost (SoFA member, implementation circle)
Kristiane’s dream is healthy and happy people in a healthy society. She’s taught and counselled individuals and groups in food and lifestyle according to the macrobiotic principles since 1982. Based on them and a spirituel experience she developed tools for change of mindset in 2001, now taught as self-coaching tools or as a training program for coaches, who want to offer deep transformational coaching. In 2003 this expanded to a team and project development program, which enable team players to work and create as one mind. During the five years her business was ISO 9001-2008 certified, the average customer satisfaction was never below 97%.
In April and March 2017, she participated in the SOLT training program. She immersed herself totally, created a practical guide for using sociocracy to create a sociocratic network/organization of ecovillages, businesses, non-profits, consumer-groups etc in a new or existing neighborhood, and engaged herself in creating an online sociocratic platform together with people from ”Alternativet”, a green party, presently with 10 people in the Danish Parliament. The platform will be ready for test runs by sociocratic groups in the end of June and is planned to be open source, maintained by the party, and available for all grassroots.
Karen Peitzmeier (Coop Development Circle)
Karen Peitzmeier joined the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows team in June of 2005 as Internal Coordinator and the Illinois Cooperative Development Center in 2016. She has an MA in Leisure Studies from Oklahoma State University and a BS in Recreation and Park Administration from Western Illinois University.
As the Internal Coordinator, her responsibilities include recruitment of prospective Fellows, placement of on campus and local graduate assistantships, training development and coordination. Karen also assists with internship supervision and community recruitment.
Karen joined the Illinois Cooperative Development Center as a Cooperative Development Specialist in 2016. She specializes in developing leadership skills within groups and assists with board formation, membership organization and facilitating group dynamics.
Karen served as the Program Coordinator for Horn Field Campus of WIU for nine years and has training in wilderness and environmental education, therapeutic recreation and small group dynamics. She has served as an environmental education consultant to the Partners of America Illinois-Sao Paulo Brazil chapter. She has a passion for rock climbing, kayaking and delights in visiting new and interesting places.
Harris thinks you can learn as much about a person from their failures as their successes. Particularly so when their successes are very rare. In the past 20 years, Harris has demonstrably failed in the most convincing manner to create a better world as he originally set out to do when he first blu-tacked a poster of Che Guevara in his student room. He has been consistently disappointed by formal education but at least he took his own back by dropping out of a PhD scholarship just at the point when he was meant to be finishing. His lack of academic ambition recommended him to deeply insecure professors who dreaded being surpassed by their brilliant students and he found himself working as a university researcher. Before that he had found some ephemeral satisfaction in public service but soon the financial crisis came and thankfully the bad public service was duly sacrificed to the altar of saving the nice banks. Harris studied psychology and sociology and consequently he cannot be relied on to do anything practical around the house other than cook vegetarian meals. He would have preferred to have studied about being a good person, enjoying life and respecting and caring for others. He realised that this kind of education you have to get for yourself in institutions that actually have values beyond the number of zeros in their cash reserves. Which is how he found sociocracy. Harris thinks he is loved by his partner and friends but suspects they only stay close because he does the cooking. Please get in touch on Medium and Twitter: @Harri_Kaloudis – but not if you are looking for someone to do the cooking
Eric Tolson (Coop Development Circle, Platform Coops Community of Practice)
Eric currently resides and revolts in his home metropolis of Mexico City, Mexico. He became exposed to cooperativism while studying highschool in Minnesota, United States. He has ever since dedicated his life to building a resilient Solidarity Economy that will transcend the current period of crisis. He is a graduate of the very first SoLT cycle, where he first encountered Sociocracy. Eric sees Sociocracy as a handy tool in the development and strengthening of coops, but also as an important paradigm shift: a way to relate to one’s peers in an anti-oppressive fashion. He likes to think that the success of our species relies primarily on teamwork, and that his role in our society is to facilitate and spread efficient teamwork. With an inclination towards the humorous and a strong commitment to liberation, Eric currently forms part of the Cooperative Circle in SoFA, spreads Sociocracy in Mexico through ELC, and helps to weave the Mexican Solidarity Economy at https://vientos.coop
Simon Copsey (Content circle)
His developing experience in Systems Thinking and Sociocracy help him carefully question assumptions, grasp underlying patterns and better understand broader sets of views in order to help organisations reach stronger, sustainable solutions.
I am a Permaculture Designer and Diploma holder, and I try to enter Sociocracy from a holistic and organic world view. I use Sociocracy as a teaching method to create group culture, distribute power to peoples own aims, and at the same enabling people taking responsibility for their whole learning processes – within co-learning and individually. Besides teaching, I live with my family at our farm and homestead, where we try to grow the food we need and generate the land and resources that the future needs. I also have the role of Principal at Holma Folkhögskola in the south of Sweden. The school is built on the Permaculture Ethics and Principles, and it is run sociocratically by all 20+ fantastic co-workers, and it continually caters to around 100-150 students in adult education. I consider both Sociocracy and Permaculture to be ongoing design frameworks within living systems, and the synergies between the two could be integrated everywhere we find human beings.
Spanish Philologist, Filmmaking and Master in International Humanitarian Action NOHA (Network On Humanitarian Action). I’ve been always involved in works related to communication, education and group facilitation. I’ve worked for different Organizations related to Earth, Women and the Peasant Movement. I’m member o “El Semillero” (Agroecology Organization) and “Mujeres del Volcán de Agua”. Both of them use Sociocracy. Currently, I’m committed to the implementation of Sociocracy in groups and organizations as a useful tool for empowering groups and people.
Since 2010, I have been part of a sociocratic organization, Cohabitat Québec, the first cohousing community in eastern Canada. We moved in in June 2013. At Cohabitat Québec, I learned compassionate communication and sociocracy. With my future neighbors, we coordinated the design and construction of this project alongside professionals (architects, contractors, engineers). My experience with sociocracy was so positive that I decided to start a consulting practice in collaborative coaching. I hope to spread sociocracy and other self-management practices more widely. I firmly believe that humans can reinvent the way they collaborate in order to build a better and more inclusive world. My background is in psychological science that I teach at the college level. I speak French and English.
Lucas Herbert Jones
Matthew McNatt (Coop Bylaws Helping Circle)
Matthew McNatt is a learning and development specialist with a passion for movement-based education, dynamic governance, and mindful decision-making. A Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and founding member of the Eugene Alliance for Somatic Education (EASE), Matthew has extensive experience equipping people of all ages to direct their attention, coordinate their movements, and develop their intelligence. He is blessed to routinely “make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy elegant.”
Matthew’s experience with sociocracy includes his time at EASE (a sociocratically governed worker cooperative) and at the HANDLE Institute (an international nonprofit, where while President of the Board, Matthew was instrumental in the HANDLE Institute’s adoption of sociocracy).
Matthew’s professional background includes founding and directing an educational organization for 14 years in the Illinois Valley, where he invented software to give students feedback about their attention; developed fonts to improve reading speed; and created the 8 Questions, a transformational heuristic that improves decision-making and group cohesion by clarifying commitments; preserving awareness of needs; and establishing a common, reorienting practice.
Matthew enjoys passing time in nature with his wife and three young children. His current projects include writing practical philosophy, children’s books, and coaching material related to the 8 Questions, as well as nurturing a robust network of worker-owned, sociocratically governed companies in Lane County, Oregon. Matthew envisions a world in which more workers know: My presence is a delight, my contributions are valued, and our work is making a difference.
Professionally, I work as a Coach and Consultant accompanying organizations to a more constructive organizational culture which is based on trust, transparency and distributed authority (team-centered leadership). Therefore I use Sociocracy and sociocratic elements.
I am German, living in Zürich, Switzerland since 2008 and am in a relationship, in which we’re having one little baby.
Travelling, doing yoga or meditation and being together with people (especially family, partner, friends) always gives me a lot of joy. Drop me a line to get in touch. 😉
I am an educator, researcher, and doctoral candidate at Lund University in Sweden where I also do community outreach with Scandinavia’s ‘folk high school’ and cooperative communities engaged in sociocracy, co-housing, transition, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, ecovillage life, climate change action, environmental justice and commoning. This includes co-production with members of the commoning and transition movements seeking low carbon, socially just and environmentally sustainable futures.
Maria A Angeli
Michael Linton (Permaculture Circle)
Louis-Alexandre (SoFA member)
My interest in sociocracy is tied to my dream to co-create a world that works well. It is also tied to my living situation. We are currently living in Calgary in the inner city in a collaborative household with a community atmosphere. We love to work and play with people who wants to develop ideas and initiatives related to bring more of want we want to see in the world through discussions and small scale initiativse. We have also tie with like-minded people living in collaborative household who are organizing sociocratically.
In our vision we see a world that have more fully integrated the realization of how much beauty there is in every one and how much more of what we really want may come through taping on the energy that derive from acting from this knowledge. We foresee many cities showcasing a heartfelt gift economies with people focussed on giving, serving and sharing with others rather than on competition and seeking dominance over others.
Sven Latzel (SoFA member)
Right now I’m an independent IT consultant, who is developing himself towards organizational consulting based on Sociocracy (incl. S3), social permaculture, Dragon Dreaming and every other tool I think can help people to work together in a beneficial way. My vision is to drive a change towards a spiral of abundance 🙂
Sociocracy For All Vision, Mission, Aims
A world where people are organized in a sociocratic way (= no one is ignored) to meet needs.
To make resources for learning and implementing sociocracy accessible to all.
- Creating accessible, educational and inspirational materials about sociocracy (primarily CC–SA-BY license)
- Organizing live introductory learning about sociocracy such as online webinars and in-person presentations
- Creating and delivering comprehensive training on sociocracy such as multi-day workshops and the Sociocracy Leadership Training (SoLT)
- Helping implement sociocracy in organizations
- Creating and enhancing connections among the people who are practicing and sharing sociocracy