Making decisions together leads to the acceptance of diversity. There is space for all, for every part of each person and for all voices and feelings. Good governance encourages taking a wider perspective towards relations within groups, collectives and institutional practices. Decision making power is not meant to be in the hands of the governing elite but in the hands of everyone in the group.
Questions concerning governance include:
- Who should decide, in which situations, and for how long?
- Where is the power? Is there clarity which groups take which decisions?
- What methods of decision making are appropriate in different circumstances?
Answers to these questions depend on how often and for how long we want to meet to make common decisions. Every group needs to think about organizing and governing themselves in the most appropriate manner.
There are processes that fit somewhere in-between the seemingly efficient governance by a small elite or one leader, and the challenge of trying to reach consensus in every situation. Such processes usually consists of giving decision-making power to smaller working groups (or even individuals) that have the trust of the whole group to solve particular issues – and consequently many leaders are created for many different fields.
The delegation of power needs regulation, so that it can be withdrawn from those who abuse their power or show lack of competences to apply it for the best of the group. In any case, everyone involved needs to be considered, transparency is necessary, power and efficiency have to be distributed.
A stable structure ensures that each person knows how and where to participate, has the chance to bring in skills and knowledge, and learns to take decisions in a participatory way. Everybody doesn’t need to participate in every single decision. Thus members of the group learn to trust other individuals, the group, and the process.
Sociocracy, group circles, and deep democracy are a part of a rapidly growing movement of participatory decision making.
|Sociocracy as a Governance Model
Sociocracy spreads out responsibilities within the group, equivalently distributing power in different circles. Circles are connected with double links: One person represents the more general circle in the smaller, specific circle or working group, and one person represents the more specific circle (working-group) in the more general circle. In each circle decisions are made by Consent. (See decision-making). Different roles are chosen through “elections without candidates”, so that the roles are filled in by the most appropriate people at that moment for that purpose.