Does sociocracy bring something new in terms of governance?

Yes, sociocracy brings several new and innovative elements to the field of governance when compared to traditional hierarchical or even more common democratic governance models.

Here are some of the key aspects that make sociocracy unique:

  1. Consent-Based Decision-Making:

In sociocracy, decisions are made through a consent-based process. This means that proposals are accepted unless there are reasoned objections. This is different from majority voting where a proposal can be accepted even if a significant portion of the group disagrees. Consent-based decision-making aims to find solutions that are acceptable to everyone while still allowing for timely decisions.

  1. Circle Structure:

Sociocracy organizes communities and organizations into circles or teams, each with a specific domain or purpose. These circles are semi-autonomous and have decision-making authority within their domain. This structure promotes decentralization and allows for more agile decision-making within subgroups.

  1. Double-Linking:

Circles in sociocracy are connected through double-linking, where two members from one circle also participate in the decision-making of the next broader circle. One link represents the voice of the “parent” circle in the “child” circle and the other link represents the voice of the “child” circle in the “parent” circle. The “parent circle” is the next broader circle/domain of the “child” circle. The two links have full membership and decision making rights in the “parent” and “child” circle. Double-linking ensures communication and alignment between circles while still maintaining their autonomy. Also, double linking asure a balance of “power” between the “parent” circle and the “child” circle fostering “power with” instead of “power over”.

  1. Feedback Loops:

Sociocracy emphasizes the importance of feedback loops, where regular feedback, evaluation and reviews are integrated into the decision-making process. This helps organizations continuously improve their processes and adapt to changing circumstances. In sociocracy the Lead-Do-Measure process pattern creates a model of continuous adaptation and progress of the sociocratic community / organization.

  1. Dynamic Governance:

Sociocracy is often referred to as “dynamic governance” because it is designed to be adaptable and responsive to changing conditions. It encourages ongoing assessment and adjustment of policies and practices.

  1. Egalitarian Distribution of Authority:

Sociocracy aims to distribute authority more evenly among members (through circles and domains of authority), avoiding the pattern of “pyramidal hierarchy” where power is concentrated at the top. This can lead to increased empowerment and engagement of individuals within the organization.

  1. Facilitation and Structured Meetings:

Sociocracy places importance on effective facilitation and structured meeting formats to ensure that decision-making processes are efficient and inclusive.

  1. Holistic Approach:

Sociocracy takes a holistic approach to governance, considering both the social and operational aspects of an organization. It recognizes the interplay between people and processes in achieving the organization’s goals.

  1. Adaptive and Learning-Oriented:

Sociocracy encourages organizations to be adaptive and continuously learn from their experiences. It embraces change and recognizes that what works today may need adjustment in the future.

While many of these elements may have theoretical underpinnings in other governance models, sociocracy integrates them into a coherent system designed to address the challenges of decision-making and governance in a more flexible, equitable and efficient way.

Sociocracy offers a framework that can be particularly beneficial for organizations seeking to improve collaboration, adaptability and the quality of decision-making processes.

If you want to share your personal reflections on this topic, please feel free to do so in a comment below. Thank you.

Best wishes!


  1. Start here:

  2. Sociocracy – basic concepts and principles:

  3. Why Sociocracy For All (SoFA)?

  4. Social Justice Statement of Sociocracy For All:

  5. Sociocracy For All in the news

  6. Sociocracy basic resources

  7. SoFA Membership - Why join Sociocracy For All?

  8. Sociocracy Training

  9. More sociocracy resources: articles and videos

  10. SoFA events

  11. Many Voices One Song – A sociocracy manual

  12. Who Decides Who Decides? - How to start a group so everyone can have a voice!

  13. Let’s decide together - The definitive guidebook for practicing decision-making with children

  14. Meeting Evaluation Cards - This is the Meeting Evaluation Cards product by Sociocracy For All

  15. Case studies

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