Sociocracy 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.”
Intentional communities that use sociocracy
- Pioneer Valley Cohousing, Amherst MA, USA (circle structure, case study)
- Cohabitat Québec, Québec, Canada
- Windsong Cohousing, BC Canada
- Belfast Cohousing, Belfast ME
- Cambridge Cohousing, Cambridge MA
- Treehouse Village Ecohousing (circle structure)
- Westwood cohousing (NC)
- Adam’s Creek
- Columbia Ecovillage, Portland, OR
- Seattle Cohousing, WA USA
- Bull City Commons, NC
- 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
- … more than 80 communities use sociocracy, according to the advanced search for “sociocracy” in the Fellowship for Intentional Communities list.
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.
Community of practice
Find your people!
Advocates for Sociocracy in Community is our community of practice for Intentional Communities. We meet on Zoom once a month to support each other in using Sociocracy in our co-housing, ecovillages or other intentional communities. We discuss themes such as how to implement Sociocracy, conflict resolution, policy vs operations, managing objections, and much more.
This community of practice is for you if:
- You’re already trained and using Sociocracy
- You are part of a forming or established co-housing, ecovillage or other intentional community, and
- You want to share your experience, get support from other community members and SoFA trainers and staff, or just meet fellow community and sociocracy enthusiasts.
This community of practice will allow you to find companionship and build relationships with other sociocratic communities, like Port Townsend Ecovillage (OR), Pioneer Valley Community (MA), Bridport Cohousing (UK), Eden Community (TX), and Cohousing Hamilton (ON-CA).
We meet every second Monday of the month, for 1h30, at 3:15 pm UTC (see local time here). It’s a drop in group, and we’d be delighted to meet you and learn about your community in our next session.
Steps to join
Those sessions are a free offer for our SOFA members.
- RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you’re not already a member:
- 10 minutes before the session, check your email and click the Zoom Link.
If the time doesn’t work for you, please let us know, we could start another cohort if there is enough interest.
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!
4 x 2-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
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. They will happen either way, either consciously with a good and inclusive system, or unconsciously with old biases kicking in. Which would you rather do?
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?
A presentation and interview with Gregory Rouillard on his take on sociocracy.
Why use Dynamic Governance in intentional communities? First-hand reports about the advantages.
Narara Ecovillage is a sustainable community based near Sydney, Australia which is managed by the Narara Ecovillage cooperative.
Aldeafeliz is an ecovillage, an association of people with the same vision. We have been using sociocracy since 2014 and we love it, so we also have a group of study and teach it