Sociocracy at the Conference
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 6 Jun 2015 07:35:21 -0700 (PDT)
First thank you to the many people who have thanked me for my posts on 
Cohousing-L privately and in person at the conference. I do spend more time on 
them than I probably should but I’m a writer so I write. And I use writing to 
figure out problems, opportunities, ideas, etc. So thank you again.

There were many people interested in Sociocracy at the conference. I was 
surprised how many people showed up for the sociocracy gathering Friday late 
afternoon and for the general governance discussion who were not in communities 
that had even had workshops on sociocracy or were practicing. They came because 
they were interested in knowing more. There was standing room only in the 
sociocracy sessions (as well as the other sessions).

I was late on Friday because I thought the session started at 5:00. In my 
absence, Lyndall Parris, bless her heart, started a round but discovered almost 
no one knew anything about sociocracy so they couldn’t share information. What 
to do? Fortunately, Jerry Koch Gonzales was there, had the diagrams from his 
sociocratic community, and stepped in with a 1.5 hour introduction. Jerry is an 
enthusiastic sociocratic and NVC trainer and was going full force when I 
arrived, even after his all day intensive done with Diana Leafe Christian. 
(Diana was sacked out on the floor using a backpack for a pillow; Jerry, still 
full of energy.)

In the discussion of governance on Saturday, we had a room with chairs around 
the edges so many people couldn’t get in. I asked those who were comfortable on 
the floor to sit there to free up chairs. I asked the side of the circle by the 
door to move their chairs forward but people couldn’t get in and left.

I started with a round and discovered that people had little or nothing to say 
about governance generally. They were there to learn more about sociocracy 
and/or to clarify what they had heard or were having problems with in their 
understanding and implementation of sociocracy. I answered questions, expanding 
my responses to provide theory and context. Jerry had his organizational charts 
from the workshop and gave an explanation. AND at the end, he took those who 
wanted to continue out to a back hallway leading to unused ballrooms and did a 
demonstration of the circle structure. (I was exhausted by that time so I 
didn’t see what they did.)

I would love to hear about Jerry and Diana’s workshop as well as the responses 
to Jerry’s hallway demonstration.

Sharon Villines
Sociocracy: A Deeper Democracy

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