Re: Double linking
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2018 13:58:46 -0800 (PST)
> On Dec 7, 2018, at 1:01 PM, Cheron Dudley <cherondudley [at]> wrote:
> Our governance system of Sociocracy calls for “double-linking”.
> We are a group of 28 households...42 people...and I’d like to know if other
> sociocratic groups find double-linking to be necessary. Do you find it a
> help or a burden

The purpose of double linking is to form a feedback loop between two circles in 
such a way that each circle has to pay attention to the other. They have to pay 
attention to feedback.

My question about double links in cohousing is whether feedback isn’t built 
into the daily lives of the group. But of course this depends on the daily 
conversation in a particular community. With meals, email, and bumping into 
each other, there is lots of opportunity for feedback. And the level of comfort 
is usually such that people will raise issues and freely protest if they aren’t 
listened to. If that is not true, formal double links may be beneficial.

The other issue with double links in cohousing is that there are so many teams 
and working groups that everyone would be in meetings all the time. Double 
links with the major teams and the board or coordinating circle might be 
important if your board makes any decisions. But board meetings do give an 
opportunity for team leaders to share information. So at that level they are 
likely to be helpful. 

Some groups are trying to eliminate full group meetings. Without full group 
meetings, I think double links would be important. But when I think of our 
committee composition, there are so many overlaps  and so few policy decisions 
that a formal double link wouldn’t add anything.

Takoma Village is not sociocratic in the sense that we haven’t formally adopted 
it, but we use the same definitions for consent and all decisions are made by 
consent. We have a hierarchy of decision-making so with lack of consent, 
decisions rise to the full group meetings when they can’t be resolved in teams. 

We don’t use the election process. People choose responsibilities according to 
their own interests. This would be seen as unwise in sociocracy because the 
“volunteer” may not be the best person for the job. What happens is that that 
person does what they believe should be done, and usually they either drop out 
when things don’t work out, or another working group forms to take up the 
slack. We do have members who are capable and responsible in the areas of 
fiscal responsibility, legal issues, etc. 

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

In Spanish:  ISBN: 978-0-9792827-4-4 (eBook)
In Portuguese:  ISBN: 978-0-9792827-5-1 (eBook)
In Korean (under contract)

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