COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE AND DECISION MAKING

Giving everyone a voice

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GOVERNANCE

In any group of more than one there needs to be structure around how decisions are made and agreements upheld.


Self-governance or personal sovereignty is hard enough to uphold, and complexity increases with numbers. However, better decisions are made when there is multiple inputs, however the ease of making decisions decreases with numbers. It has been found that the happiest medium is 5-9 people.


The concept of heirarchy is the antithesis of community. Getting the balance between holding a clear collective vision and individual freedom is a duality that is explored in living with a number of people. People coming in need to be clear it can be like marrying many people there is a lot of positives and a lot of opportunity for growth. People need to be on a path of personal growth.

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DECISIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE

It is currently proposed that Kalikapai legally will be held by a Trust and a Company. The Kalikapai Association (Everyone with a Lease to Occupy) will elect Directors of a company of which an Education Trust will be the Shareholder. Different areas of interest will be run by Teams bringing back decision making proposals to the Association.


The Directors and association members will agree to put the Vision and community first and:


1. Uphold the values and agreements agreed by all.


Values of community governance might usefully include:

  • Equity

  • Transparency

  • Ethicacy

  • Responsibility

  • Accountability

  • Efficiency

  • Inclusiveness

  • Consent decision making

  • Non-violent communication


2. Set the Strategic Vision and Direction


3. Promote and ensure that agreements that have been collectively made for the good of all are upheld.


4. Oversee the management of:


  • Finance/accounts

  • Land usage

  • Infrastructure

  • Business entities

  • Social life/events



Many communities use some sort of concensus decision making, more recently the weaknesses of that have been exposed to be: open to loudest mouth wins, founder syndrome, very slow and ineffective at achieving outcomes that serve the whole.

New decision making tools that have been used with better outcomes include Sociocracy and Holacracy. They both make use of circles and consent rather than consensus. With the difference being that with consent everyone does not have to agree but rather a proposal cannot be blocked without a good argument against it and a proposal is always seeking to be improved.


It leads to a climate of yes let's! Let's figure out how best that can work for everyone.


These tools include the concept of linking circles managing each area according to peoples interests and skillset and all circles feeding one above and one below. Although this sounds heirarchial the idea is that where people put there energy depends on how much they wish to contribute and what they can show that they bring to the table. There are methodologies for election of positions which allows that higher intelligence or spirit plays a role.


Social Permaculture embraces the same ideas that the individual systems are best when they interlink and benefit the whole.


The underlying ideas that can serve a community include:

Embrace Diversity
Embrace the diversity within social communities. Everyone has unique experiences and ideas that should be a part of the discussion of how communities are organized and run. Individuals coming from different social and ethnic backgrounds, of different races, genders and beliefs – the meeting of this diverse range of inputs is a site of potential creativity. Celebrating and embracing diversity is a much better way to come up with creative solutions and to liberate human potential.
Respond Creatively to Change
Change is something to be embraced rather than feared. If we see change as a possibility rather than a problem, we can respond to it with imagination and purpose.
Devolve Control
Each component functions in a self-sustaining way, without recourse to some kind of central, controlling force. With local governance, individuals feel much more a part of their communities, and feel as though they have some influence on the things that directly affect them.
Cooperation
Everyone in a community has something to offer it. They have different skills and aptitudes, ideas and interests. These are all resources that can be utilized to benefit the community as a whole.
Take it Slow
Small changes allow the whole web to adapt to the change before the next is made. Taking things slowly also allows for discussion and debate.
Uses Edges
The meeting and interaction of different cultures, genders, age groups and belief systems can be a fertile zone of ideas, solutions and inspiration.
Self Regulate
Communities need to be observant of how thing change and embrace it, rather than try to corral events into a strict rubric or set of rules. Systems give feedback, we must be open to receiving feedback and see how we can use it to improve.



Good resources for these tools include:


Sociocracy:


Book - We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracyby John Buck and Sharon Villines


Holacracy:


Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World Hardcover – June 2, 2015


by Brian J. Robertson 



There are many YouTube videos on these subjects with examples of it in action.

 

LEGAL STRUCTURE

To be finalised by lawyer:

  1. To have a share in the land the person or couple will loan the Kalikapai Trust $100,000 and become members of the Trust.

  2. The Trust will have 100% shares in a company that buys the land.

  3. The members of the Trust will have the right to grant themselves a Licence to occupy for 20 years for a peppercorn rent with right of renewal for themselves or their children in perpetutity.

  4. The members of the Trust will elect 5 Directors who will work to maintain the purpose of the Trust and Company.

  5. Decisions for living on the property will be made by everyone using a Sociocratic structure and decision making process. With everyone being part of a team where their skills and interest lie.

  6. Teams will change over time as we move from being a development project to a space for communal living. Initially . Planning and Building Southern Ridge / Planning and Building Northern Ridge. / Managing the land and property– permaculture plan/tree planting

  7. If you choose to leave the project you can follow the proce dure in the “licence to occupy”. Your site will need to be sold to someone who may need to be vetted as agreed by the members, the new person will need to repay you your loan plus interest and they will become a member and then you can sell your capital improvements at what you can.

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