Educating the Village – embedding sociocracy in a cohousing community

The first decision that Treehouse Village Ecohousing ever made was to practice sociocracy. Fast forward about three years, its members now consider this to be also one of its best decisions. But having everyone practicing sociocracy as our method of governance has not been without its challenges. Ensuring everyone in our community is up to speed with sociocracy in our ever-changing and fast-moving organisation has been a huge task.

We are tied to an aggressive timescale, eager to develop our homes before our young families grow and we can feel the real benefit of our vision. Yet we can’t grow and fully achieve our aims unless everyone can feel a part of our sociocratic structure and systems. Our members want to know how they can truly belong to the community, and how they can best make a useful contribution. In short, they need to learn sociocracy, and to learn it fast.

This webinar reflects on what has tested us as a community in teaching sociocracy to our members, and the solutions we have found to all the challenges we have encountered on our journey to date. We hope that other sociocratic communities, or those considering using sociocracy, will be able to find value by reflecting on our experiences.

There will be opportunities in this webinar for participants to discuss and reflect on key ideas, and to start to develop their own practical strategies for the teaching of sociocracy. We think teaching and learning sociocracy isn’t particularly easy, but we hope to inspire you to feel that it is safe enough to try.

Resources

Further SoFA Reading

Self-Organization – a leap into the unknown

Self-Organization – a leap into the unknown

There are organizations, and in them people, who will never see the value in involving employees in shared governance. There are those who, although they feel the growing discomfort of working ‘in the old way’, remain full of fears and doubts about the incomprehensible concept of self-organization. Self-organization is a set of meta-processes: how to decide together, how to divide the areas of responsibility and decision-making, how to jointly create and develop ourselves and the organization thanks to ubiquitous feedback. With preparation and the right skills, techniques, and tools, transitioning to self-organization can be an empowering experience.

Hager Homestead Case Study

Hager Homestead Case Study

Hager Homestead is a community in Littleton, Massachusetts (United States) working to form the first 55+ cohousing community in New England. They anticipate construction to begin in 2021, with move-in planned for 2022. Their Vision and Values statement says,“We are a community of active older adults committed to living sustainably on the earth, creating a beautiful place to live, and nourishing the body and soul. We embrace diversity as vital to a flourishing community. We value lifelong learning and personal growth. We care about and support one another, balancing independence and mutual concern. We strive to be compassionate and respectful in our relationships. We look for opportunities to celebrate, engage with the world, and have fun!”

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