Learn to change is a Non Governmental Organization that brings together a community of teachers and educators working to support educational transformation for the benefit of building sustainable democratic societies, while developing learners as whole persons (head, heart, hands).
Learn to change got its start from a teacher-training program created for the Council of Europe of which Pascale Mompoint-Gaillard was the pedagogical adviser. The program trained teachers and academics in an educational approach inspired by the eighteenth-century Swiss teacher Pestalozzi: that an education required working “with the head, with the heart and with the hands.” However, when the program started to become too autonomous it was discontinued, leading to the creation of the NGO Learn to Change in 2015. After their first year Learn to Change had four working groups, charged with carrying out the tasks of the organization. One year later, a review found that only the groups which had tasks related to the daily functioning of the association were really active, and that important projects were stalled. Very few things really moved forward.
Transitioning to Sociocracy
The group first tried to improve their situation by creating more time for relationship building and accountability. Unfortunately, the changes did not solve the problems the organization was having, and a small group of individuals was still conducting the majority of the NGO’s work. In 2016 Pascale attended several sociocracy training sessions, and suggested that Learn to Change use the consent based decision making method . It was quickly adopted in meetings, and shortly afterwards Pascale and two others formed the “launch circle”, which drafted a formal proposal to adopt sociocracy. The proposal was accepted, and the various groups of the organization were transformed into circles. The organization also decided to implement feedback and analysis after meetings, and switched to using the Ning software application for communication, as well as google documents.
Since using sociocracy, Learn to Change has seen improvements across the organization. These include:
- More Clear Decision-making, resulting in more precise, more effective decisions that are better adapted to the given context and are more flexible.
- a more visible commitment to effective action.
- an additional tool to support democracy in an organization which is specifically sensitive to it.
- the dismantling of interpersonal conflicts: expressed concerns are clearly not personal, but about the relevant proposal.
- more clarity in relationships and new, “do it together” dynamics.
- A fully inclusive process and engagement of everyone in the work.
individual commitments are reinforced and acknowledged.
They acknowledge need for improvements in some areas as well including:
- More general training, and specific training for facilitators, to emphasize spontaneity and fun in meetings;
Setting up measures of progress.
- Adapting the process to other specific needs of the organization.
- A thorough evaluation of the sociocratic method, leading to potential changes to the NGO’s bylaws.
Read the full case study to learn more about Learn to Change’s structure, how they have used Sociocracy, and lessons they learned along the way!