Re: Question about Committee Membership and Sociocracy
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2018 09:14:11 -0700 (PDT)
> On Apr 25, 2018, at 10:20 AM, Marc Gauthier <coachmarc108 [at]> 
> wrote:
> If that is the case, it would make a lot of sense to have the entire
> organization become familiar with the process, especially if the group has
> been using another (somewhat similar) process so far.
> I saw an Ad billboard recently that read "the system can't work if we don't
> understand the system”.

I would add that “understanding" is based on the theory, before you can apply 
the principles for implementing the system. Memorizing rules isn’t 
understanding the system. The rules are there as one way of producing a result. 
You many have another way.

How many people need to understand what, also depends on the organization. 
Ideally everyone understands the system but how many people understand 
democracy? And however badly, we haven’t reverted to a monarchy (current 
administration aside). If you have 1000 people in your organization, you can’t 
educate all of them at once without the company going bankrupt.

But in cohousing, everyone is an owner, and everyone has ongoing financial 
responsibility, and everyone is responsible for day-to-day management of what 
is probably a multi-million dollar residential housing complex, as well as a 
community of people who are socially inter-dependent. And the number of adults 
is likely to be below 75-80. Every one needs to be involved in training at some 
level. Some people are more interested in governance than others but everyone 
needs to understand what the system is supposed to produce and why.

I highly recommend "Sociocracy for One” as compulsory reading, not just because 
I’ve been writing and revising it for over a decade. I keep working on it 
because it presents the how-to of sociocracy with no reference to circles or 
rules or even adoption of consent as the decision-making method. It explains 
how to be sociocratic without applying the Sociocratic Circle Organization 

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
Coauthor with John Buck of
"We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy” 2nd Edition
Print: ISBN: 978-0979282737
Digital: ISBN 978-0979282720

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