Sociocracy for All AI Bot

Hey all,

I wanted to share an AI bot I put together that is meant to give support based on Sociocracy for All knowledge. It does require Chat GPT Plus ($20 a month):

How does it work?

I only tested it a little, to help me get feedback on a meeting coming up. I pasted this prompt in and uploaded our meeting notes as a PDF:

Could you give me feedback on the next meeting agenda of the governance circle? The Governance Circle doc contains the outline for it in the “1/19/2024” section.

I am its leader (Saul) and just put it together. I will get feedback from the other circle members soon. It is in two days.

I have also attached two other documents containing notes from the steering committee, our parent circle, and the group structure conversation I had with Rebecca.

The group is a coalition created from different shared equity housing groups in our area, western MA, and started with a more traditional board model of governance with sub-committees. Everyone is on board with moving to sociocracy to make things more efficient and distribute power, but not many people have experience using it rigorously.

So the governance circle was created to help with that project.

We also got a grant recently and a lot of the time in the steering committee has been spent doing that grant instead of setting up sociocratic meetings.

It responded:

Your upcoming Governance Circle meeting on 1/19/2024 seems well-structured, Saul. Here’s some feedback based on your outlined agenda and the principles of effective sociocratic meetings:

  1. Intro and Check-in (5 minutes): Starting with a check-in is a great way to ensure that all members are present and ready to engage. You might consider briefly sharing how each member is coming into the meeting, which can foster a sense of connection and awareness of each other’s states of mind.

  2. Steering Committee Report (5 minutes): This segment, where Rebecca reports from the steering committee, is crucial for keeping the circle informed about broader organizational matters. Ensure that this report is concise yet comprehensive enough to cover key points that are relevant to the circle’s work.

  3. Infrastructure and Communication (10 minutes): Your proposal for using a Google document for meeting notes, backlog items, and role assignments is practical and will likely streamline communication. Similarly, the creation of a Google group for members to share information and propose agenda items is a good practice. Just ensure that the six-month review is noted in the future agendas for follow-up.

  4. Circle Structure (10 minutes): The reports and proposals in this section are significant for the circle’s understanding of its role within the larger organization and for the effective distribution of authority and work. It’s important that the conversation here is focused and that each proposal is clearly understood by all members. Given the complexity of these topics, you might need to allocate more time for this part or be prepared to continue the discussion in subsequent meetings.

  5. General Feedback:

    • Time Management: Be mindful of the allocated time for each agenda item. If discussions take longer than planned, it’s okay to adjust the agenda with the group’s consent.
    • Engagement: Encourage active participation from all members, ensuring that everyone has a chance to contribute, especially in the exploration of proposals.
    • Clarity in Proposals: Given the transition from a traditional board model to sociocracy, it’s important to have clarity in proposals, particularly around role definitions and circle structures.
    • Documentation: Ensure that decisions and action items are clearly documented for future reference.

Overall, the agenda seems to cover essential areas for the Governance Circle, considering your group’s transition to sociocracy. The meeting is structured to promote clarity, participation, and effective decision-making, which are key in sociocratic practice.

Seems like good advice overall! I will update the agenda to be more explicit on how everyone will have a voice in the meeting and maybe move the last agenda item to the next meeting so it can have more time.

Can anyone use it?

I currently have it set so that only people with the link can access it, not anyone who searches for it, since I didn’t want to share it more widely without feedback.

How did you make it?

I used the chatgpt bot helper to create it, by answering some questions which created these instructions and conversation starters:

I also uploaded some sociocracy for all books/resources I found in the google drive.

Why did you make it?

I wanted some feedback on a meeting and found there was a Sociocracy 3.0 bot already available. I asked it for advice, but wanted to see if I could get some a bit more tailored to what I am familiar with, by training it on Sociocracy for All resources.

One of the biggest barriers to using sociocracy is learning it, so I was also curious if this could be a model for helping new groups/people get feedback on their implementation of it.

Looking for Feedback

If anyone has any feedback on the bot, please comment with it! Either about the ethics of creating/using it in the first place or concrete feedback I can give to it. I can tell it anything you say and it will update its prompts to try to better address those concerns. So I could say something like “Please be more specific in your suggestions and cite the resources where you can learn more about them”.

If anyone who is responsible for creating the content or has governance over its use would prefer I take it down, feel free to message me privately or comment here. I am very grateful for all these resources and the last thing I would want to do would be to use them in a way that you all don’t feel good about!

Also, I wasn’t sure what category to post this in. Feel free to move it you wish.


This is exciting! It seems like a good idea to me.
Only sad thing is the need to pay for something that is not within SOFA…

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Dear @saulshanabrook !
This is awesome, thank you for sharing. @thomas.kemps and I have played with that too.
I started to train a bot with more detailed coaching materials as well.

I wonder if you were motivated figure out how to make it embeddable on a Wordpress site so we could offer it and it’s not for pay. I started to look but got a little overwhelmed, and of course, things change every day there.

If it’s freely accessible, I could add a few of my materials for training it - but it would need to be in SoFA domain to do it so the IP doesn’t just walk away.

So I guess I’m curious, how much are you interested in this being available to everyone?

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That’s cool! How were you training the bot? Was it also with ChatGPT’s GPT creator or another tool?

I would of course love it if this could be generally accessible to the SoFa community (or more broadly) and was accessible from this site since it is using IP that is not all licensed permissively.

However, at the moment I am not sure about an easy way to do that and since the space is moving so quickly, I would be hesitant personally to invest much time into it. Mostly I wanted to try this as a proof of concept and for my personal use.

Here are a few things I looked into briefly when considering how this could be made available here:

  1. I made this using the chat GPT custom GPT UI creator which is not available over their API, possibly because they want to encourage people to buy the premium membership, like I did, to use them.
  2. They have a similar thing called “assistants” which is available over their API but there is no provided UI to train or use it and it seems slightly more limited.
  3. Discourse itself has an AI bot feature which could be enabled to grant (a subset or all) users access. It also has it’s own UI for making “Personas”, which could in turn leverage chat GPT or your own self-hosted LLM.

If I were to try an MVP way of making something like this accessible to SoFA folks I might try the discourse AI bot (I am not sure how you are hosting this, if it’s hosted by discourse itself it maybe is already available), because it can be set up to query information from the forum automatically when responding to users prompts, which seems like a nice feature! Also, it could be either used with a hosted platform or a local one, keeping more of the data in-house if you desire.

I didn’t look into the WordPress integration, but I am sure someone has made some sort of plugin as well.