Sociocracy is a new, socially responsible system of governance that originated in The Netherlands. Originally envisioned in 1945 by Kees Boeke, a Dutch educator and pacifist, as a way to adapt Quaker egalitarian principles to secular organizations, sociocracy allows us to give and receive effective leadership while remaining peers. Gerard Endenburg, a pupil of Kees Boeke and a highly trained engineer, developed Boeke’s vision into a body of well-tested procedures and practical principles using his family’s electrical installation business as a living laboratory. The company, still highly successful after 50 years, no longer has a traditional owner. It is the first ever “free company.”
Today, a variety of organizations use sociocracy in The Netherlands, other European countries, Brazil, and the United States. They range from building and manufacturing companies, to health care organizations, to a public school system, and even a Buddhist monastery. It is part of the curriculum and practice of several Dutch universities and technical colleges.