Full Circle - General Circle. What's up, what's down?

In [Community], we have different opinions on how to think of the relationship between our Circles, our General Circle and our full community gathered in a Full Circle meeting. At such meetings, a Circle may share developments or ask for feedback.

In the General Circle, information from a Circle is carried ‘up’ to the General Circle by the Delegate and carried back to the Circle by the Leader. In a Full Circle meeting, who reports from the Circle seems to depend on how one views the Circles and General Circle in relation to the whole community.

Some of us feel the whole community is at the top of the relationship. In that view, information from a Circle should best be carried by the Circle’s Delegate. Others feel the whole community is at the bottom of the relationship, so information should be carried ‘down’ by the Circle’s Leader to the whole community.

I have scoured MVOS and cannot find any description of this relationship

Thank you for your attention to this and your assistance in helping us understand this better.

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This is a really complicated question :smiley:
So the issue is not so much in sociocracy or linking but more in the hybrid form of sociocracy.

  • In a classic sociocratic system, we have the MC, then GC and work circles. There is no all-member meeting, or if there is, then it’s not a decision-making group. “All members” are basically the grassroots people but unsorted and not in one group.
  • In sociocratic communities (and other orgs that for their own reasons have a Full Circle or all-member meeting that makes decisions), the Full Circle then adds an extra element. It’s both the grassroots level/unsorted AND it’s like a circle above the MC or GC. And that’s confusing. To take the edge off, in our consulting (at least @jerry.koch-gonzalez and myself), we try to reduce the power of the Full Circle to have FC be an advisory body (as opposed to a decision-making body).

To answer the reporting question, I don’t think it matters so much. My gut instinct is that the leader should do it because it’s not a formal link from circle to FC. But since FC isn’t really a thing anyway, it doesn’t really matter so much.

Thank you for posting this topic as it’s good to have a more experienced opinion to ours at Adams Creek. Most of our work circles have Leaders report at our Full Circle meetings, except for one, our Community Life Circle has the Delegate report. So we use both, but mostly Leaders! :+1:


We’ve had a situation arise between our Community Support Circle (CSC) and our Full Circle. Over a year ago our CSC presented to the FC our “Way of Community,” a set of behavioural guidelines we had worked on, for ratification. Recently the CSC announced an edit. Someone noted that since the document had been ratified by the FC, any edit should also be ratified by the FC. It was not a substantive edit, but what matters to me is the precedent we’re setting. One of the arguments for ratification by the FC was that the document affects the whole community. But this would be true of most policies. I see aspirational guidelines for behaviour as a policy (today – I didn’t when we were having this discussion) I’d like to know how people think about this.

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