History of Sociocracy 3.0

What’s in a word

socio – from Latin socius – companion, friend

-cracy from Ancient Greek κράτος (krátos, “power, rule”)

(different to the rule of the demos, i.e. the general mass of people with voting privileges)

A Brief History of Sociocracy From 1851 to Today

  • 1851 – Auguste Comte
    • scientific method applied to society
    • sociocracy is “the social order of the future” – not yet achievable but inevitable
  • 1881 – Lester Frank Ward
    • redefined the term Sociocracy to describe the rule of the people with relationships with each other
  • 1926 -1954 – Kees Boeke
    • established the first sociocracy in his residential school (based on Quaker consensus principles)
    • book “Sociocracy: Democracy as it might be” (1945)
  • 1970’s – Gerard Endenburg
    • student in Kees Boeke’s school
    • integrated principles from Engineering and Cybernetics
    • in his company Endenburg Electrotechniek he evolved “The Sociocratic Circle-Organization Method” (later becoming “The Sociocratic Method“)
    • 1978 – Sociocratisch Centrum Utrecht: created to promote “The Sociocratic Method
    • 1994 – new law in the Netherlands: Sociocratic organizations are no longer required to have a worker’s council
    • 2000 – emergence of a now wide-spread grassroots movement
    • 2007 – We the People: John Buck / Sharon Villines make Sociocracy accessible to the English-speaking world
    • 2014 – the Sociocracy 3.0 Movement is born

The Sociocracy 3.0 Movement

The Sociocracy 3.0 Movement seeks to make Sociocracy 3.0 available and applicable to as many organizations as possible and provides resources under a Creative Commons Free Culture License for people who want to learn, apply and tell others about Sociocracy 3.0.

The movement is stewarded by a distributed network of pioneering consultants, coaches and learning facilitators from a variety of fields, who share a deep appreciation for the transformational potential of Sociocracy 3.0 to help organizations and their members thrive, and dedicate some of their time to experimenting with, and more or less directly contributing towards the development and evolution of Sociocracy 3.0

Read next Why ‘Sociocracy 3.0’? (or back to What is Sociocracy 3.0)


©2017 by Bernhard Bockelbrink and James Priest. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0