Updates On Our Governance Structure and Implementation

Cliff and I and our Mission Circle have decided we will use Sociocracy as our form of governance. The Mission Circle members will be meeting soon to commit to going forward with the agreements we have. I strongly believe that everyone is going want to join us. I will be releasing these names in two weeks. In the mean time, you can learn about what we are doing. We have a Mission Circle, which Cliff and I as co-founders, are part of. We also have a General Circle. Cliff and I are the only members at this time.

Definition of Mission Circle which is similar to Board of Directors:

The mission circle is a circle that can be compared with the board of directors. A mission circle does long-term planning and makes sure the organization stays true to its mission and aim. The mission circle does big picture thinking, while the General Circle focuses on operational day-to-day coordination. The MC includes outside experts, often from the legal domain, from a related organization and someone who knows the field well. For instance, a producer coop might have someone from the local food coop on their board, someone from a cooperative development fund, someone from a different worker-coop in the area and whatever makes sense in their context. A cohousing community might have someone from related non-profits in their area on their board, maybe someone from the national cohousing association, a community in the area, and a governance or permaculture expert etc. On the Mission Circle level, it is the organization’s opportunity for mutual influence between the outside world and the inside of the organization.

(adapted from a section about circles on this link starting p. 12 on the Sociocracy For All website)

General Circle (GC). The GC is the center of the flow of information for the operational level. (Note: that does not correlate with power. As a matter of fact, there can be GC that do not have authority to decide much at all because all authority lies in the department circles.) The General Circle consists of the leaders and delegates of all department circles. Every department circle has one leader and one delegate. With three department circles, this makes 6 people in the general circle.

The GC holds the department circles accountable and supports them as a peer support. Imagine you are the leader of a circle. You want to have someone with whom to reflect on your circle, next steps, how things are going etc. You will have the opportunity to talk about that in your General Circle. More than that, it is where the information gets shared. What are you working on? What does Department Circle 1 need to know about Department Circle 3? How can we support each other? Although the roles can blend into each other in reality, the idea is that the delegate reports from the department circle into the General Circle, while the leader – besides their other tasks of leading the circle—take the information from the GC into their department circles.

Excerpt from a pdf on Circles at SOFA website starting on p. 12 here.General C

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