Sociocracy basic resources

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Sociocracy combines consent decision-making, a decentralized system of authority and intentional processes to improve our decisions and processes over time into a governance system that supports effective and efficient process while increasing connection, listening and co-creation among members.

Sociocracy is used in businesses, communities, nonprofits, cooperatives, grassroots groups and in education

Get a quick overview

Books from Sociocracy for All

Many Voices One Song. Shared Power with Sociocracy. By Ted Rau and Jerry Koch-Gonzalez

Many Voices One Song

The practical sociocracy handbook written by the co-founders of Sociocracy For All. 300 pages full of real-life support!

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Who Decides Who Decides?

How to start a group so everyone can have a voice!

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Let’s Decide Together

The definitive guidebook for practicing sociocracy with children. Children can decide with sociocracy too!

In sociocracy, we make decisions by consent. The goal is to make inclusive decisions fast.

Deciding by consent means no endless discussions and no coercion. A group simply approves a proposal when it's good enough.

With consent, decision-making gets easier and clear. Instead of arguing against each other, we're all on the same side.

A step-by-step consent process helps us make a decision together in an orderly way.

Talking one by one means more clarity, listening, participation, and sync.

Consent is the default decision-making method in sociocracy. In consent, a decision is made when no circle member has an objection. Every person will consent if they can accept the proposal, and object if the proposal has negative implications with respect to the circle’s shared aim.

A group moves to consent in the consent process: presenting the proposal and clarifying questions, quick reactions and a round of consent/objections.

Different from blocking a proposal in consensus decision-making, objections are welcomed. as valuable information and they can be integrated by modifying the proposal, its term or its measurements.

Circles and roles: who decides what?

We trust and empower committees that we call circles. A circle organizes the work and makes decisions together.

Every circle has clarity on their piece of the work and can get things done. Working together. Deciding together.

Two related circles are connected by two people as links. They enable flow of information and balance of power.

The General Circle in the middle makes sure all information comes together and all circles are aligned and clear.

We cluster regular tasks and decisions into roles. The circle sets the frame just enough for everyone to go do things.

Decisions are made in circles, a defined team of people working together towards their circle’s aim. Circle members make collective policy decisions in their domain and they define operational roles to empower individuals to take on responsibility and circle roles to self-manage their circle.

Circles are connected through parent circle/sub-circle relationships of nested domains, leading to a system where everything can be decided locally in the system, without centralizing power at the center. To make sure two circles are connected, we double-link them with two people as members in both circles.

Meetings with sociocracy

1. Opening round. At the beginning of the meeting, people share how they are doing.

Meetings are effective, inclusive, and satisfying! Clear roles and a robust meeting template help with that.

2. Respectful of time and topics. We set a clear agenda together and stay on topic.

3. Agenda items. We discuss each agenda item and make use of rounds so everyone gets to speak and people listen to each other.

4. Closing round. At the end of each meeting, we do a full round of feedback on the meeting so we can improve meetings over time.

We track current and future agenda topics to stay accountable for what we care about.

Sociocratic meetings are inclusive and efficient with a clear format:

  • Opening: check-in and ADMIN
  • Content of the meeting
    • Consent to agenda
    • Agenda items
    • Review
  • Check-out (meeting evaluation)

Facilitation is a focus of sociocracy. Rounds – the practice of speaking one by one – are commonly used in meetings to keep equivalence and focus. Rounds also make it easy to run virtual meetings in video calls.


Feedback is a wonderful way to improve together what we do.

If we make plans and review them together, we can learn from our experiences and improve what we do.

Trust goes both ways. People in roles are empowered to decide but also are expected to ask for advice and listen.

Instead of rigid plans for an unpredictable future, we experiment to feel our way forward by learning.

All sociocratic processes are built on the basic idea of continuous improvement. Feedback is a way to improve what we do, both by creating feedback-rich organizations, a commitment to interpersonal feedback and formal, peer-oriented performance reviews. Other practices are: meeting evaluations in meetings, reviews for all policy decisions and for role selections.

Leadership in sociocracy is peer-oriented and based on accountability to own commitments and to the circle. Many people also combine sociocracy with restorative justice or Nonviolent Communication to align their practice with their values and to improve their effectiveness and communication.

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More concepts

Selection process

Each circle is self managed and picks by consent who will contribute how. For example, facilitator, secretary, leader, and delegate roles.

People are selected for a certain term. That way, we can spread leadership while maintaining clarity.

The circle picks those roles in an open and affirmative process, the selection process.

A sociocratic circle chooses together who will fill an operational or circle role. The most common process to choose that person is the selection process with nominations, change round and consent.

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More concepts

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See it done

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Writing proposals together

Proposals are created together collaboratively. That way all good thinking comes together from the start.

Policy proposals are always approved by a circle, but they can even be written together using the process of picture forming and proposal shaping.

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More concepts

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See it done


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How hard or easy it is to implement sociocracy in your organization highly depends on your size, culture, current set-up and commitment.

One distinction you need to know. While training talks about sociocracy, an implementation changes the power structure of the organization.

  • Training is about knowledge of how sociocracy works in general, potentially with practice on examples.
  • Implementation is the application of sociocracy to a specific organization

Do you need a consultant to implement sociocracy? It depends!

  • SoFA supports “self-implementations” without external help, for example through organizational membership with groups of peer support and discounts on training.
  • But we also offer coaching and consulting for any desired level of hand-holding through the process. The help of a consultant is only useful when you already know that you want to implement and all decision-makiners are on board – see the typical steps to get there!

More sociocracy resources: articles and videos

Conversation in a hospital - Sociocracy For All

Benefits of feedback processes and employee voice in sociocracy

Hope WilderJul 13, 2023

Table of Contents[Open][Close]Why is feedback important?How sociocracy supports feedback at multiple levelsReaction rounds and exploration roundsMeeting evaluationsRole improvement feedbackCircular hierarchyHow we might expect the use of sociocracy to connect to…

research on self management - sociocracy for all

What can sociocracy learn about best practices from research on self-management?

Hope WilderJun 12, 2023

Table of Contents[Open][Close]At the team levelSelf-managed teams need goal alignment among membersSelf-managed teams need to be in harmony around their involvement levelAt the individual levelSelf-managing leaders need specific qualitiesSelf-managed team…

A pair of people talking - Sociocracy For All

How sociocracy promotes vulnerability, trust, and psychological safety

Hope WilderJun 12, 2023

Table of Contents[Open][Close]But how are you really doing?The benefits of psychological safetyWhy can’t we skip the check-in? Vulnerability and trustWhat is shared leadership, and how does it create psychological safety?Benefits…

People behind an ambulance in the USA - Example for sociocracy for all

Sociocracy is democratic and self-managing: What are the benefits?

Hope WilderJun 12, 2023

Table of Contents[Open][Close]Why are authoritarian workplaces the norm, when they are detrimental?Defining democratic workplaces and self-managementResearched benefits of democratic workplacesMeaningful feedback for organizationsJob stability during crisesFostering trust and making work…

Soap bubbles as a metaphor for the similarities and differences between sociocracy and Holacracy. - Sociocracy For All

Sociocracy vs Holacracy: What are the similarities and differences between them?

Ted RauMay 22, 2023

Sociocracy and Holacracy are more similar than they are different. Both are decentralized self-governance systems that have received more attention in recent years. It seems to be almost universally true…

How to Survive Group Projects

How to Survive Group Projects

Dem SteveApr 5, 2023

Do you dislike group projects?A camel is a horse designed by committeeOh no! Group project!Good newsGet horses when you want horsesSurviving and thriving starts with the aimThe simple power of…

The 5 Minute First Aid Kit from Dem Steve for meetings in sociocracy - Sociocracy For All

The 5 Minute First Aid Kit for a meeting

Dem SteveMar 27, 2023

Recently, while facilitating, a sudden event interrupted the meeting (weird story for another time). I was rattled, and wished for a guide to help in the moment, something like a first…

Facilitating a meeting - Sociocracy For All

Six Tips to Facilitate a Meeting Like a Pro

Hope WilderMar 22, 2023

Tip 1: Clarify meeting rolesTip 2: Start with a clearly defined agendaTip 3: Stick to the meeting time and topicsTip 4: Make it clear whose turn it is to speakTip…