SoMBu and sharing news among SoFA members

A month ago, Pame posted that we are looking for someone to take on the role of SoMBu broadcaster. Andrew Grant had been performing that role for several years, and earlier this week he announced to SoFA Support Services (S3) Circle that he has resigned from the role. We had a lovely round of offering him appreciation for his work in that role during our meeting.

In response to Andrew’s announcement, the members of S3 Circle decided that we would explore alternative strategies for sharing news with each other. CJ has been noting for a long time that SoMBu is a fairly centralized instrument, but our values within SoFA include striving for decentralized collaboration and information sharing. One way we might move in that direction involves having department circle leaders or delegates compose their own department reports that could then be shared with all members (instead of currently having me do it based on reports given to General Circle). We also might lean more heavily on sharing those reports and other updates here on the Forum.

Would you be willing to respond to this post with comments on any of the following topics?

  1. Gratitude for Andrew and celebration of his roles in broadcasting SoMBU and onboarding so many SoFA members
  2. What sorts of news do you want to receive about SoFA, how often you do want to receive it, and how do you want to engage with that news?
  3. If you are a department leader or delegate, what reactions do you have to the idea of writing a report in such a way that it could be included directly in SoMBu? Also, how do you feel about the idea of writing an editorial or an introduction for an issue of SoMBu once in a while?
  4. Ideas for how we might share news with each other here on the Forum (either as an alternative or in addition to SoMBu)
  5. Any other reactions you may have about SoMBu or how we share SoFA news with each other

Andrew Grant was the first SoFA member I discussed with. In fact, he was the person I had the SoFA membership interview with.

I am in SoFA because of his kind and constructive attitude and behavior as well. Discussing with him, I felt heard and understood.

He was the right person for me to discuss with and he offered me a kind welcome in SoFA.

Over time he also shared with me a few interesting tips about sociocracy. I felt promted to translate the Glossary in Romanian because he also worked at the Glossary in the first stages of SoFA.

To make it short, Andrew is one of those people in whose company I feel good.

Thank you Andrew for being an example for me and for all your contribution in SoFA and in my journey in sociocracy.

Please be aware of my appreciation and gratitude.

Best regards from one of your friends!



Hello @john.l.clark

I appreciate this post for many reasons. One of these reasons is the fact that you ask for feedback from everybody. This was one the things I initially appreciated about sociocracy, the intention to collect the collective intelligence and bring it on the organization’s discussion table.

I will think about the topics you asked for feedback. Till then I would like to add another one and I will introduce it asking a question: “Are people afraid of unsolicited feedback or unsolicited ideas?” Well, some people may be afraid to expose themselves to ideas that come from outside of their mind or are in contradiction with their actual opinions, even if no names are involved.

What about a discussion forum section named “Collective Brainstorming”, “SoFA Collective Brainstorming”, “SoFA Continuously Brainstorming” or just “Unsolicited Ideas for SoFA Progress” where people could share some ideas not related to their domains. This is a sample of an unsolicited idea, right? “Beyond right and wrong lies creativity” (MVOS 4.2.1)

Finally, sharing ideas does not mean participating in the decision making process. I guess we really don’t know where good ideas could come from. What we do know is where decisions should be made, I mean the domains and the circles these domains pertain.

I have a pleasant contribution experience about the new site design. Some of the ideas I shared was included in the new design although I was completely outside the web design domain. In that case, the web circle asked for feedback on the forum. Finally they made a wonderful redesign and I want to congratulate them. Good work!

Best regards!

Very interested in these possibilities, John!
I’d like to hear more about the aim of the newsletter, sharing “important information for members.” What, to SoMBu, counts as important information?
Should I stem the urge to send in a bunch of pictures of my cats? :slight_smile:


I’m particularly interested in redirecting that question towards you and other SoFA members: what news do we want to see? What updates are important enough to share regularly with you and other SoFA members?

We can consider the current SoMBu model, and explore what value we derive from it. Currently, issues of SoMBu include an introductory statement (typically, but not necessarily, from SoFA’s operational leader); an announcement of new members and upcoming member events; a list of department circle reports (which currently I draft from reports that linking members provide at General Circle meetings); possibly some recent SoFA-published articles or announcements; a highlight from the Forum; and a list of training opportunities. How do you react to these elements? Do we want to learn about these in other ways? Is there information missing from this model?

As far as pictures of your cats, maybe we want a “fun”, “off-topic”, and/or “memes” category here on the Forum. I would hesitate to broadcast them to all members, though. :wink:


Content Department has started a Working Out Loud subforum, which I think might be an example of a way that other departments could also think about sharing more information about their work on the forums.

I do feel like we lose a little bit without sombu. It was one email that had news from all over sofa. The forums do generate weekly reports, but they’re less comprehensive than sombu was. That being said, I think the forums are a lot better than nothing, and if there’s not a replacement sombu broadcaster, then it sounds like there’s not the option of continuing sombu.

It does seem like the forums still present a barrier to entry for many folks, and I’m not sure what we could do to help further mitigate that.

Andrew also conducted my membership interview and encouraged me to join the Academy program. I have fond memories collaborating together on the Cooperatives Conference and in Breaking Cycles.

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