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Sociocracy Academy

Sociocracy and other forms of decentralized governance have received an increased level of interest in recent years. Many people are questioning the ways of command-and-control and are seeking more collaborative and inclusive ways of working together.

A transition to decentralized collaboration requires new knowledge and skills but also a transformative mindset. As many of us step out of the old system, we’re still figuring out what the new one looks like. Leaders and people who implement sociocracy often feel isolated.

That’s where the Academy comes in. Learning, and allowing ourselves to be transformed work best together.

We invite you into our 6-month journey to dive deep into sociocracy.

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“This was the most immersive, intensive educational experience outside of school that has helped me grow.”

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Brandon

Team leader, Washington DC, USA

“I am finding that the academy certification process has well prepared me to jump in and train clients in sociocracy. The badge system is well thought through and everything that I’ve done through the year of the academy allows me to show up feeling confident, and the tools and materials that I need are at my fingertips. It was an intensive year, with lots of detail and time and attention required – but it was worth it. Thank you for all of the time, energy and creativity you and SoFA put into bringing the Academy to life!”

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Bernadette

Coach, Portugal

Sociocracy Academy program

The Sociocracy Academy is structured in two levels: 

  • Academy Level 1 is for people with a good basic understanding of sociocracy; 
  • Academy Level 2 is for experienced practitioners and facilitators who want to step up their game and want to teach sociocracy or use it in their consultancy.

Academy Level 1: sociocracy practice and facilitation

Academy Level 1 supports you to experience all fundamental sociocracy tools, so that you will be able to practice and facilitate in your group or organization with confidence.

Overview of the program

The program covers all the parts of sociocracy in a comprehensive way.

Topics include:

  • Clarity on vision, mission, aims
  • Designing circle structures, circle roles and operational roles
  • Co-developing proposals, consent decision and integrating objections
  • Selection process (simple and complex)
  • Sociocracy and equity and inclusion
  • Meeting format, minutes, backlogs
  • Social-emotional challenges and how to address them
  • Giving feedback, making requests, and performance reviews

You will have exclusive access to a knowledge library with short videos and articles on each topic. Our badge system will help you track your progress toward acquiring all necessary skills.

While in the program, all of our regular classes (like NVC, or facilitation practice classes) can be accessed for free in addition.

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Trainers

Experienced trainers lead classes with theory and experiential parts in each session. For 2024, trainers will include mainly Ted Rau and Jerry Koch-Gonzalez, but also Thomas Kemps, and other trainers from the SoFA team.

The best part about this training is the people! You will learn from and with people who are doing great work in the world and in their organizations – like you!

Ted Rau 1 - sociocracy academy - Sociocracy For All

Ted is an advocate, trainer and consultant for self-governance. His main focus is sociocracy. After his PhD in linguistics and work in Academia, he co-founded the membership organization Sociocracy For All in 2016 which has grown to 250 members with several international and topic-focused departments and action teams. Ted spends his days consulting with mission-driven organizations, teaching and deeply immersed in the work as a member within Sociocracy For All. Ted identifies as a transgender man; he has 5 children between 11 and 20. A German citizen, he has lived in Massachusetts since 2010. He is (co)-author of three books on self-governance, Many Voices One Song (2018), Who Decides Who Decides (2021), and Collective Power (2023) and working on a book on the interface between governance and wisdom. 

Jerry Koch-Gonzalez

Jerry coaches and consults for individual and organizational development in the areas of governance, decision-making, and communication skills. He is a CNVC-certified trainer in Nonviolent Communication and founder of New England NVC. He has taught sociocracy since 2006. He was certified as a consultant by The Sociocracy Group in 2013 and by the International Sociocracy Certification Board (ISCB) in 2019. Jerry co-founded Sociocracy For All in 2016 with Ted Rau.

Certification

In Academy Level 1, you can work on your Practitioner and Facilitator Certifications.

We care about real-life practice. To get certified by the end of the 6-month program, you need to have a place to practice your sociocracy skills, or join a learning pod within the program.

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Practitioner badges:

  • Vision, mission, aims
  • Circle structure
  • Leader and delegate
  • Facilitator and secretary
  • Operational roles
  • Consent decision making
  • Connection and listening
  • Interpersonal feedback

Facilitator badges: 

  • Meeting structure
  • Minutes and backlog
  • Proposal co-creation
  • Integrating objections
  • Policy review
  • Selections
  • Performance reviews
  • Equity and inclusion

Format and workload

Classes are two hours weekly on zoom.

You should plan 30 minutes a week for additional work and communication, and another 60-90 minutes of writing and completing assignments if you want to complete both Practitioner and Facilitator Certifications by the end of the Academy program. 

Who is Academy Level 1 for? Why should you join?

Most Academy students have studied sociocracy some and then realized that they would like to learn it “for real.” In the past, about 80% of students were organizations considering or already using (parts of) sociocracy.

Academy students are typically the “cheerleaders” for better governance in their organizations.

  • You should join if you are the “governance person” in your organization and want to support the internal resources in your organization.
  • You should join if you want to understand sociocracy more deeply.
  • You should join if you want to prepare to teach/implement sociocracy in organizations in Level 2.

Honestly, we are very proud of the kinds of people we attract to our trainings. They are heart-mind-hands people who are passionate about better organizations and a more equal society, understand that better systems are a critical leverage point, and have the courage to learn through first-hand experience. If that’s you, too, we’d love for you to join us!

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Tuition

  • $1,500-3,500 for consultants/business
  • $1,500 self-payers
  • $500-1500 scholarship

Sociocracy For All’s mission is to make sociocracy affordable to anyone. To us, this means that everyone pays what they can, depending on their individual situation. Everyone will need to stretch a little to make it work, just as the Academy staff is striving to put on amazing learning opportunities. The final decision on your individual tuition will be made in a consent decision with our enrollment coordinator in a video call.

Pick a cohort

The summer/autumn Academy has one cohort, running from Sept 5 2024 – Feb 27 2025. It will follow the USA daylight savings. No class on Nov 28, Dec 26, Jan 2.

The winter/spring Academy has two cohorts, Mondays or Wednesdays at two different times to accommodate all time zones. Classes will run Feb-July 2025.

Thursday cohort

Academy level 1 will meet starting on Thursday Sept 5 at 14:00 UTC in the (Northern Hemisphere) summer months, and 15.00 UTC in winter, following USA daylight savings.

Wednesday cohort

Cohort B will meet Wednesdays starting Feb 14 at 18:00 UTC in the (Northern Hemisphere) winter months, and 17:00 UTC in summer, following USA daylight savings. The last session is on July 17.

Application Process (Level 1)

In a 30-minute video call, we will determine whether you have enough experience and you can ask your questions and decide whether this program works for you. We will also determine your tuition based on your situation.

A decision is made by consent from you and us. 

Sociocracy Academy Level 1 Deadline

Deadline to apply: Aug 20, 2024

Academy Level 2: sociocracy training and implementation

Academy Level 2 is our training of trainers for those who seek to continue their learning journey and be able to train others and lead sociocracy implementations, either in your own organization, or as a professional.

Overview of the program

The program covers training and implementation of sociocracy, and advanced topics of sociocracy.

  • What are good exercises and training designs for sociocracy training?
  • Implementation of sociocracy – what are the steps?
  • What are the preconditions for implementation?
  • Who decides governance?
  • What is the legal interface?
  • How does one write a governance agreement (constitution)?
  • Case studies and guest speakers
  • Common misconceptions and issues.

While in the program, all of our regular classes (like NVC, or facilitation practice classes) can be accessed for free in addition.

Academy 1 - sociocracy academy - Sociocracy For All

Certification

For those who have already achieved Facilitator Level, we offer classes that support candidates in achieving Trainer and Consultant Certifications (see certification levels). Additionally, you can choose mentoring sessions with a consultant.

You will have exclusive access to a knowledge library with short videos and articles on each topic. Our badge system will help you track your progress toward acquiring all necessary skills.

As a trainer certified by SoFA, you will be able to certify practitioners and facilitators through the SoFA system, an attractive offer to client organizations and students.

trainer plaque sofa small 1 - sociocracy academy - Sociocracy For All
trainer plaque sofa small 1 - sociocracy academy - Sociocracy For All

Format and workload

Classes are two hours every two weeks.

You will be expected to offer trainings and work with organizations in addition to that as well as doing some reading and writing and engage with peers.

The workload will fluctuate and you will be able to adjust it – but this training only makes sense if you have room in your life to pursue training and implementation experience – ideally, this training accompanies in your training and consulting practice that you are already doing.

Who is Academy Level 2 for? Should I join?

You should join if you are implementing sociocracy in an organization (which can be your own) and want to understand better how to do it.

You should join if you work with organizations already (or you want to in the near future). You should join if you have facilitation and practical experience with sociocracy and want to offer (more) training with higher quality.

Note: we strictly follow the principle that only those who know how to use sociocracy first-hand should teach and implement it as consultants. Consultants who want to offer sociocracy in their portfolio are asked first to become proficient and embody the values of shared power before teaching others. For that reason, Level 2 Academy requires facilitator certification or an equivalent level.

Academy 2 - sociocracy academy - Sociocracy For All

Tuition

  • $1,200-3,000 for consultants/business
  • $1,200 self-payers
  • $400-1200 scholarship

Sociocracy For All’s mission is to make sociocracy affordable to anyone. To us, this means that everyone pays what they can, depending on their individual situation. Everyone will need to stretch a little to make it work, just as the Academy staff is striving to put on amazing learning opportunities. The final decision on your individual tuition will be made in a consent decision with our enrollment coordinator in a video call.

When are the sessions?

Every two weeks starting Sept 10th through Jan 28. No class on Dec 31. Sessions will follow the US daylight savings.

Application Process (Level 2)

Level 2 Academy requires facilitator certification or an equivalent level.

In a 30-minute video call, we will determine whether you have enough experience and you can ask your questions and decide whether this program works for you. We will also determine your tuition based on your situation.

A decision is made by consent from you and us. 

Sociocracy Academy Level 2 Deadline

Deadline to apply: Aug 31, 2024

Academy Level 1 and Level 2 comparison

Academy Level 1

Academy Level 2

Learning objective/aim

Practicing and facilitating all sociocratic methods.

Learning how to deliver sociocracy training and lead an implementation.

Upcoming cohorts

  1. Sept 2024-Feb 2025
  2. Feb 2025-July 2025

Deadline to apply for Sept 2024 cohort:
Aug 20 2024

  1. Sept 10, 2024-Jan 28, 2025
  2. Feb 2025-July 2025

Deadline to apply for Sept cohort:
Aug 31 2024

Classes

2 hours weekly

2 hours every two weeks

(optional) mentoring sessions with a Certified Consultant

Content

  • Vision, Mission, Aims and domains 
  • Circle structure
  • Roles
  • Meetings
  • Feedback
  • Consent decision making
  • Selections
  • Performance reviews
  • Design and run a sociocracy training
  • Plan and lead an implementation
  • Information flows
  • Power analysis
  • Assessing an organization

Certification

Practitioner 

Facilitator

Trainer 

Consultant

Requirements

  • Basic knowledge of sociocracy (take the assessment quiz and score above 17 – if you score below, we will support you in more training before Academy starts)
  • willingness to experiment as a co-player
  • If you want to get certified, you need a group outside the Academy where you can practice (or willingness to form an extra Learning Circle with other students). 
  • Enrollment is by mutual consent after an interview
  • Be a SoFA Certified Facilitator (or equivalent).
  • Enrollment is by mutual consent after an interview

Cost (for the whole program)

  • $1,500-3,500 for consultants/business
  • $1,500 self-payers
  • $500-1500 scholarship

Refund policy

Any time: defer to next year, either rejoining at the beginning or the second semester of the next cohort. – $100 admin fee

Dropping out by March 31: 50% refund.

After that, no more refunds, only deferrals. 

  • $1,200-3,000 for consultants/business
  • $1,200 self-payers
  • $400-1200 scholarship

partial work trades are possible for budgeted operational roles

optional additional coaching sessions (extra $)

Certification and Badges – A Learning Path

Badges are an acknowledgment of real-world skills and a learning map that you can use them for self-motivation and monitoring your learning.

You receive a badge after you have acquired, practiced and demonstrated a skill. This could be, for example, to facilitate a selection process in different contexts (with multiple roles, online, in person, etc). The badge is defined by a description of the skill and the measurement of the skill acquired (depending on the skill, this can be self-evaluation forms, evaluation forms from the people attending, e.g. participants in your selection process, or evaluation by an observer).

Please refer to our certification page for an overview of our certification framework overall.

Sociocracy Academy badges - sociocracy academy - Sociocracy For All

More Questions about Sociocracy Academy

If you can’t find your question answered, please contact [email protected].

I want to implement sociocracy in my organization. How will this help me?

In our most preferred model of introducing sociocracy in an organization, a few key people in the organization are trained deeply and are able to support and maintain the implementation in the organization. They are experts and trainers at the same time. You will know to run sociocratically. You will learn how to interact with the people who struggle with concepts of self-management, you will learn to spot typical issues in implementations and you will be able to support  facilitators in your organization. For your support, you will also have your mentor who will help you think through your role in the transition and next steps towards a successful implementation, plus the peer support to hear other people’s perspective. Self-management can’t be introduced by an outside consultant — but having companionship and access to support along the way makes it much easier.

This approach also pays off financially.

Paying a trainer to train all your staff in a 3-day workshop typically costs about $2,500 plus travel, and ongoing coaching to implement and course-correct easily costs another $2,500 per year. With a “homegrown” expert that is trained well and connected in the Academy, you can have ongoing support by someone who knows your organization well for about the same amount.

I want to become a (better) sociocracy trainer. How does this help me?

Whether you are giving workshops yet or not, the Academy provides plenty of opportunity to grow. You can deepen your conceptual understanding of sociocracy in workshows, exchange training designs with your peers, talk through your personal growth as a trainer with your coach.

The mentors available in the Academy have taught sociocracy for years and can help you become an effective trainer.

If teaching is your focus and you are already a skilled facilitator, you can get confirmation of your skills by documenting your expertise with badges, while getting useful feedback on the way and building a solid and credible portfolio to advertise your training.

What are online classes about?

Example topics for online classes

  1. Advanced facilitation, with practice
  2. Integrating objections
  3. Power Analysis
  4. Implementing sociocracy in business/communities/cooperatives
  5. Sociocracy in schools – what’s there to learn?
  6. Reflective listening and NVC for meeting facilitation
  7. Performance reviews
  8. How to define operational roles (role descriptions)
  9. Meeting agendas for progress in your circle
  10. Leadership and self-management
  11. Generating proposals

Where will I document my learnings?

The core piece of work is reflected in the journal of every participant.

The journal lives in the cloud and is maintained by the participant (in English, Spanish or German). Mentor and peers from the pod will read and comment in some sections of the journal. It includes:

  • 20 short essays on foundational knowledge of sociocracy
  • Documentations of the badges earned
  • Ideas and reflections/documentation of conversations with the mentor

You can see a sample document.

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