Sociocracy in Workplaces

“(We need) both, the effectiveness as a business and the inclusiveness and equivalence to be aligned with the social values and mission of the social enterprise.”
Gehan Macleod


Featured Resources for Non-Profits

Dynamic Governance for Non-Profit organizations

This article explains how the principles of Dynamic Governance (aka sociocracy) apply to nonprofit organizations, and serves as a supplement to the article “The Creative Forces of Self – Organization”. We appreciate your support in improving how we communicate about dynamic governance. 

By Jerry Koch-Gonzalez and John Buck 

(Read article)

3 tools from sociocracy to use right away (plus magic phrases!)

Many organizations are intrigued by the idea of self-governance using circle-based frameworks. However, it can be intimidating to implement those methods. (…) Is there an easier way?

(Read more)

Why Sociocracy?

Why sociocracy?

Purpose-drive organizations love sociocracy. Not only do they help getting things done and serving the purpose who are passionate about – they also help doing good inside the organization. And doing good inside radiates to the outside, making the world more beautiful for everyone. 

Most non-profits are governed like a hierarchy – which makes sense given that they have to be financially sound and effective. Yet, what if we told you that you can share power and be effective and efficient at the same time?

The best things about sociocracy: 

  • Clarity: small, trusted teams and people in clear roles make it easier to define each other’s responsibility and authority. And yet, those smaller teams have more headspace to actually listen to everyone’s input. It’s the perfect combination between strong, loving leadership and teamwork. 
  • Calm meetings: sociocracy uses the decision-making method of consent which is close to consensus but more efficient. The best thing about consent is that it is crystal clear: we know who decides, how we decide – even how we decide who decides! The transparency and clarity is liberating and a relief for everyone on the team. 
  • Connection: we often talk in rounds, which means everyone talks one by one. This way of working, once everyone is used to is, doesn’t take longer than “debate” style, yet it creates a stronger bond within teams and contributes to a better sense of togetherness. 

Is sociocracy hard to do?

How easy it is to implement sociocracy depends on the size and the culture of your non-profit. If things are done in hierarchical ways, people need to learn the nuts and bolts of sharing (and receiving!) power. If things are run very collaboratively now, creating clarity might be the biggest learning. 

Meeting facilitation, improved clarity and the relationship between board and staff and core volunteers are areas that we find sociocracy contributes the most to. 

Where do we start?

Read and watch the information on this site. If you are interested in suggesting at your workplace, make sure to read The Sociocracy Starter Kit first.

You will notice that it suggests involving other people in your exploration as early as possible. Having seen dozens of organizations in this situation, we really mean it!

Who Is Already Doing It?

This list is FAR from complete. You can add your non-profit by sending an email to Ted ([email protected]).

  • Mindfulness first (TX, USA)
  • Sociocracy For All (global)
  • Social Care Network (UK)
  • Great Lakes Rivers and Lakes Permaculture Institute (USA)
  • Başka Bir Okul Mümkün (Another School is Possible Association, BBOM in Turkish)

  • Living Well (elder care, Vermont, USA)
  • Jefferson House (NC, USA)
  • Horseback riding association (Poland)
  • El Roser (Spain)
  • Imago Relationships Worldwide
  • Galgael (Scotland)
  • ECOLISE network (Europe)
  • Learn to Change (Europe)

Learning and Implementation

Sociocracy Starter Kit

An article describing the phases of introducing sociocracy in an organization. 

Read more

Sociocracy Handbook

Written by the co-founders of Sociocracy For All. 300 pages.

More information and purchase options

Meeting posters

Having a visual makes every meeting easier to follow.
Use them in your meeting room, or laminate and bring along?

See posters (pdf)

Talk to a real human!

Individual coaching with implementation teams from communities. Benefit from the experience with dozens of communities in this process – we’ve been there before!

Learn more

Study group curriculum for groups

6 1.5-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.

Learn more

Organizational Structures of Non-Profits

More Resources on Sociocracy in Non-Profits

What I learned about sociocracy in crisis mode

What I learned about sociocracy in crisis mode

Are sociocratic organizations more responsive than top-down hierarchies? Read a case study of two sociocratic organizations – a community and an NGO workplace – and their responses to the covid crisis.

Pittsfield Listens!

Pittsfield Listens!

Pittsfield Listens  Pittsfield Listens is an organization in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, that works to build community, inform on civic issues, solve problems through community conversations, and to award individuals, groups and...

To decide or not to decide?

To decide or not to decide?

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?

Learn to change

A Europe-wide organization supporting democratic education in schools.

Common pitfalls for implementation of sociocracy

Common pitfalls for implementation of sociocracy

A change in governance or an organization can be compared to open-heart surgery. Just like heart surgery is invasive for a human organism, so is a change in governance. Recognizing that is key to understanding pitfalls in implementing sociocracy.

Casa latina

An association of (associations of) ecovillages in Latinamerica.

Overcoming hierarchy

Presentation and conversation with Gregg Kendrick, a consultant working with non-violent communication and sociocracy in workplaces.

Jefferson House

Jefferson house in Charlottesville, Virginia, it is a small boutique facility built around an historic home with a warm, family environment.

Integrale Tagesschule Winterthur

ITW is a non-profit private school and the main ingredients of the operating culture are Solution Focused Approach, Nonviolent Communication and Spiral Dynamics integral extended by elements of Teal practices.


The Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) is a community of faculty leaders in the life sciences from higher education institutions.

GRL Permaculture Institute

GRLPI is dedicated to promoting permaculture professional education, practice, and mutual aid through the states of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Imago relationships

Imago Relationships Worldwide is a network of Imago Relationships professionals and supporters in 17 countries, with the founders and majority of members in North America.