Vegan Utopia Ecovillage is the project where I am applying these principles and patterns. I would like to share how I am applying Sociocracy 3.0 in a way that is yielding phenomenal results. For the first time in the 43 years I have been wanting to build community, I feel hopeful that we have a group of people who are committed to working towards this goal. S3 has been instrumental in achieving this goal.
I wrote this review so that the folks at Sociocracy 3.0 could feel encouraged and having something to share about how S3 is being applied in various areas. You can learn more about Sociocracy 3.0 here.
First, the history:
I had heard of Sociocracy for years, but for some reason was not drawn to study it. When I heard of Sociocracy 3.0 when I was living in the Bay Area 3 years ago, I was immediately drawn to the website. I loved the attention to detail and the fact that James and had been willing to think so deeply about the question, “what is mission in Sociocracy”
Time went on. I didn’t have a group where I could practice the skills, and I yearned for more video training so I could understand better how to put into practice the patterns and understand the principles
When I found Sociocracy for All about 6 months ago, I was convinced that I was going to need to just give up on S3 because I needed more resources. But after hungrily devouring almost all the SoFA videos, plus attending some classes, I was left feeling a sense that something was not quite right with plain old sociocracy.
So I discovered that there were more videos on Youtube with James and Bernhard speaking, I focused my attention on S3 once again. I realized that James background in being a therapist helped bring a perspective that was missing in SoFA specifically, and Sociocracy in general. Healing our inner child and bringing reconciliation amongst all the different energies that are clamoring for attention within us is essential so that we can work with others effectively.
I also appreciate how S3 welcomes creativity and innovation, encouraging the best parts of Agile, Holocracy, Teal, and other ways of working together, to be used. In fact, they want people like me to share with them what is working and what unique ways we have discovered so they can add these insights to their list of patterns and practices.
Here are some ways we are using S3 patterns:
Consent decision making, using the words “good enough for now, safe enough to try” has been fantastic in helping us to move forward and learn as we go. Giving trial periods so the commitment isn’t too big, and as one person in our circle said, “I’ll try anything once.”
For example, we agreed to try out having 1 hour of our bi-weekly meeting be a “friendship circle” where we focus only on building our relationships in an atmosphere of safety and unconditional love. The second hour will be devoted to our business meeting.
We decided to try it once and then evaluate it. Of course, that is a key part of S3–evaluating everything we try and constantly improving.
Developing proposals got a lot easier after I listened to a video about this topic. Addressing each objection as they came up made it easier to keep refining the proposal–instead of, as in traditional Sociocracy–gathering up all the objections and then dealing with them.
Because we are moving so quickly in our development now that I am using S3 patterns, which actually give me permission to be super creative while always paying attention to making sure that everyone’s needs are getting met–I don’t have a lot of time to look at the patterns. But I continue to listen to videos as I find them, and I learn something new every time!
I feel very grateful to James, Bernhard, and Lilliana for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to helping to transform this world into a place where everyone has their needs met in an atmosphere of loving kindness.