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C1) Sociocracy – A collaborative governance method for social work

Dr. Michaela Moser (FH St. Pölten): The use of sociocracy – Exploring the potential of a collaborative governance method for social work (Wednesday, 22nd, 10-12:30)
Sociocracy is a relatively new collaborative way of governance. It is based on circular conversation and organization, consent-based decision making and a specific way of dividing responsibilities to all members of a group/organization. Based on ideas of August Comte, Frank Ward and Kees Boeke and Beatrice Cadbury, it has been further developed by the Dutch entrepreneur Gerard Endenburg to serve as a new model of governance for private enterprises. In recent years sociocracy’s potential as a structure that fosters inclusion and strengthens real participations and cooperation in any kind of organization has been increasingly recognized by a number of organisations and implemented by e.g. social NGOs, cooperative housing projects and self-organisations of people experiencing poverty and exclusion. The workshop will give an introduction into the method and explore the use of sociocracy for social work. It will thereby particularly discuss its use with regards to strengthening the ability of self-organisation of people experiencing poverty and exclusion. It will explore the potential of sociocracy to counteract power imbalances within an organization or community and discuss its ability to foster the full participation of vulnerable individuals and minorities in diverse groups.