March 2016 Participants trying to learn the mantras of sociocracy at a retreat. Throughout January, facilitators Shammi Nanda, John Buck and Prem Pavitra travelled across India on a ‘Sociocracy Yatra’ sharing governance methods that makes collaboration, self-organisation, and distributed authority practical and effective. Through one-to-five-day workshops in Nasik, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Delhi and Bangalore, they introduced Sociocracy to people from communities and organisations. The purpose was to impart meaningful ways of making collaborative decisions in the larger interest of society. The spirit governing such initiative is of co-creation, co-responsibility and collective ownership. At Swaraj University in Udaipur there was a five-day immersion which began with asking “Why Sociocracy?” John Buck, a certified Sociocratic Organisational Consultant who heads the US Sociocracy Group operations, observed, “ Most often democracy is little more than dictatorship by majority. On the other hand, Sociocracy offers a structure that is designed to ensure every voice is included in creating responsive, effective, adaptive and transparent organisations.” The workshop began with a brief overview of the concept, followed by activities where self-organising groups had the opportunity to experience its efficiency firsthand. After co-creating ‘proposals’ came the challenge of nominating people for roles, and determining domains and aims of the group. Participants were pleasantly surprised by the selection process, which doesn’t necessarily operate by the principle of majority rules. Enthusiastic participants soon began playfully chanting Sociocracy catch phrases like, “Good enough for now, safe enough to try!” as they came to trust them with aligning and channelling the collective wisdom of the group for the most intelligent outcomes. Pavitra, a consultant in Sociocracy and co-facilitator with John Buck, shared many helpful ideas to resolve objections. She also offered cues to naturally resolve power structures and blind spots that can creep into any organisation, through the feedback mechanisms of Sociocracy. Experiments are on for applying Sociocracy ideas in businesses and collaborative partnerships, and also within family situations andrelationships, for making better decisions. www.sociocracy.info
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