People are bringing permaculture and Sociocracy together in their organizations, courses, events, communities, and more. In what kinds of projects have you been engaging?
Here is a start for our conversation:
I’ve been fortunate to work with a teaching team where we added two days to the permaculture design course to introduce our students to Sociocracy and then support their use of it throughout the course.
I was able to introduce and support Sociocracy as the form of governance in a regional permaculture institute.
Our family participated in a homeschooling cooperative which studied and implemented permaculture designs and also took up sociocracy.
Here’s some I can think of:
I am on the board of the Firefly Gathering - a permaculture oriented earthskills gathering in the Southeastern United States which is working towards implementing sociocracy. Since it’s historically been a once annual gathering, applications of sociocracy are a bit interesting as compared to ongoing models, and COVID was a big challenge that paused pretty much everything, but the organization is very sociocratically aligned and has already started using some elements in meetings.
Another organization, though their website doesn’t seem to mention sociocracy I know some of the organizers and thus know that Co-Operate WNC is a social permaculture mutual aid organization that is either using or working to implement sociocracy.
Earthaven, despite not being sociocratically organized (rather, they use modified consensus) has certainly been influenced by Sociocracy with its circle & domain based “orobo” model. Not surprising there’s some influence since Diana Leaf Christian is there! Earthaven is an off the (electric) grid permaculture based residential community that is a “living laboratory for a sustainable human future” and home to Culture’s Edge and the School for Integrated Living (SOIL).
Otherwise, I’m curious to hear of more! What projects are folks in the Permaculture CoP working on?
@shala.massey You mentioned one the other day - could you share about it?
Thanks for tagging me here @rhonda.baird & @cj.oreilly! It’s exciting to hear how you’re seeing permaculture and sociocracy come together in your spaces and I’m happy to share what’s moving in my world.
I am thrilled to be supporting the training/implementation process for my friend and soil sibling :), Benito Olamendi (@curando.la.tierra on IG), a permaculturist, environmental and social justice activist, and youth garden educator (that’s probably not the technical term lol) in Orange County, CA (US). He just launched his new design firm and made the decision to run the business sociocratically. He recently completed an advanced PDC course where he had a copy of Who Decides Who Decides (reading in preparation for our meetings), and he said there was a lot of interest in sociocracy, and that one of the people there was already working with/linked up with SoFA! Super cool.
In October 2020 I facilitated at a PDC course where one of the guest instructors, Erik Hjermstad (@stackingfunctions on IG) who is a member of a sociocratically governed worker-owned farm community in Southern California called Sweet Spot Farm , taught the group about sociocracy. This is actually how I learned about and got into sociocracy and eventually ended up in SoFA! We’re in talks to collaborate on a couple of 2-day in-person intro to sociocracy workshops this fall in California. I’m soooo excited about this also to reconnect with the SoCal regenerative ag community (some of whom were a part of the ELC study group I initiated last winter) that was connected at the PDC and is looking for more info and exploration in sociocracy.
So many beautiful things happening at the cross section of social and environmental justice!
Also beginning to work on shifting my design and education business toward a co-operative that is governed by sociocracy. I think it would help not only build community, but support permaculture offerings in the community after I leave (someday).
Incorporating Sociocracy in to all of my permaculture design courses. With my university students, I am doing a check-in and check-out round, rounds for discussion, as well as incorporating the ADMIN format. It’s a little awkward with duration and minutes because the time is set and there are no minutes. Still, they are getting exposure to the concepts and tools, which will set them up for more learning when we get to the social permaculture section and also when they begin working in team designs. There are 12-15 students in the class: small, but manageable.
Have you done anything similar? What else?