07 July 2020 Governance

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Participants: Mike, Ben, Aaron, Wouter (part)



Aaron presents Sociocracy in practice, which they're using in the Agile Collective for about a year. Before they were using consent. Most coming from learning and participating in the CoTech network, big contribution from Outlandish.


- a.k.a "dynamic governance", efficient solutions that create harmony. all voices heard

- key features

   1. decisionmaking by consent

   2. circles

   3. Learn - Do - Measure (cf. agile principles)

Core principles:


- no one ignored / all voices heard

- how: rounds, voluntary membership of circles, double linking of circles (works when sufficient scale)


- how: authority of circles, clarity of aims, of domains


- decisionmaking structures organised to make the best use of collective time

- how: clear structure and roles in meetings, well-defined process for decisions


- actively sharing information


- all feedback is useful data. Learn how to give feedback usefully is crucial

- how: check outs, retros

Continous learning

- try, learn, improve

- how: consent process, feedback, review decisions


- consent is the absence of disagreement rather than consensus of agreement

- something that is good enough for now and safe enough to try

- setup

- understand

- explore

- decide


- working groups

- clear decision making process

   - policy decisions by consent

   - join (voluntary) and leave, also proposal by consent

- roles in circles

   - **leader** of circle, not about power, but about attention, kept in check by consensus process

   - **facilitator** run meetings

   - **secretary** takes notes, agenda

   - **delegate** report to parent circle

- focus on MVP, not try to solve everything


- essential circles (general)?

   - e.g. Drupal: starter kit for local council website

   - technical development + organize with councils

   - two circles:

       - technical group (the code)

       - product group (product roadmap, membership criteria)

- essential circles (for meet.coop)?

   - aaron recommends 3 circles

   - ben thinks

       - tech/service development

       - operations/finance

       - product/sales

- mike: we are a multi-stakeholder coop, we need to focus on circles to engage users

- aaron: foss contribution, pathway from user -> contributor -> maintainer

- ben: what is the front office

   - mike: customer support

   - ben: this is the part we don't have capacity to deal with and it becomes the reseller's job to deal with

   - mike: don't want to have to set up a coop and resell services