Changes 2020-05-08

  • revised all illustrations for a more consistent style and increased readability
  • revised introduction: more explanation about patterns and core concepts
  • updated glossary: delegator, delegatee and pattern

Changes 2020-04-29

  • Introduction: Added Objection and Agreement to concepts
  • renamed pattern Objection to Test Arguments Qualify as Objections
  • renamed pattern Agreement to Record Agreements
  • Test Arguments Qualify as Objections: revised text and updated illustration
  • Record Agreements: revised text, added more details of agreements that might be recorded, updated illustration

Changes 2019-12-22

  • added new introduction text
  • added “social technology” to glossary
  • website now has separate pages for “Introduction” and “Concepts and Principles”
  • ePub now looks much better

Changes 2019-11-29

  • Principle of Transparency: revised description to clarify that valuable information needs to be recorded, and then shared with everyone in the organization
  • Principle of Empiricism: clarified that only those assumptions one relies on need to be tested

Changes 2019-06-27

  • Objection: further refined definition of objection, and updated the glossary term for objectionaccordingly
  • replaced “action” with activity in a few places where it made more sense
  • fixed a few typos

Changes 2019-05-03

  • refined glossary terms for agreement, organization and team, added glossary term for objective
  • Principle of Accountability: clarified individual accountability for work as well as for collaboration
  • Contract For Successful Collaboration: revised text
  • Describe Deliverables: added User Stories as an example for describing deliverables
  • Double-Linked Hierarchy: revised summary
  • Delegate Circle: refined summary
  • Objection: refined definition of objection and concern, added illustration for a process to qualify an objection
  • Proposal Forming: added missing process illustration
  • Role Selection: small amendment to illustration
  • Transparent Salary: explained what a salary formula is

Changes 2019-03-08

General Changes

  • expanded the introduction with more information about S3 and the history of sociocracy that was previously only available on the main S3 website
  • updated section about governance in the introduction
  • added captions to all illustrations
  • renamed pattern group “Enablers of Co-Creation” to “Enablers of Collaboration”
  • removed slide deck version and improved layout and formatting of pdf and ePub version
  • website version: added clickable pattern map for simpler navigation und glossary overlays to many patterns


  • added team to glossary (and replaced group with team throughout the practical guide where applicable)
  • updated definition for deliverable
  • removed driver statement from text and glossary
  • updated definitions for governance, operations, and self-organization


  • updated templates for domain description and role description
  • updated illustrations for Linking and Double-Linking

Changes to Patterns:

  • Agreement: description now mentions that any expectations should be recorded
  • Describe Deliverables: updated summary
  • Describe Organizational Drivers: more information on summarizing drivers
  • Resolve Objections: added summary and description

Changes 2018-08-17

General Changes

  • added and revised the brief summary for many of the patterns
  • removed bullet points in favor of full sentences in many patterns
  • lots of small improvements to grammar and language
  • included the URL to the web version of the practical guide


  • updated: account for (v.), concern, deliverable, governance, objection, operations, primary driver, principle, role, self-organization, semi-autonomy, subdriver, values
  • added: constituent, coordination, delegation, driver statement, evolve (v.), flow of value, helping team, open domain
  • removed: peer driver

Changes to Introduction

  • added the driver for creating Sociocracy 3.0
  • The Seven Principles:
    • The Principle of Empiricism: removed reference to “falsification”
    • The Principle of Consent is now explained more clearly as “Raise, seek-out and resolve objections to decisions and actions”
  • Governance, Semi-Autonomy and Self-Organization: we refined the definitions of Governance, Operations, and Self-Organization, removed any reference to “coordination”, and clarified the distinction between governance and operations
  • Drivers and Domains – we clarified how domains can be understood in relation to organizational drivers

Changes to Patterns:

  • Agree on Values: improved description
  • Align Flow: improved description and illustration
  • Adapt Patterns To Context: improved description
  • Agreement: improved description, updated template
  • Clarify Intended Outcome (renamed from Intended Outcome): improved description
  • Consent Decision Making: improved description, updated illustration
  • Continuous Improvement Of Work Process: improved description
  • Coordination Meeting: clarified agenda items, updated illustration
  • Delegate Circle: improved description
  • Delegate Influence: improved description
  • Describe Deliverables: improved description
  • Describe Organizational Drivers: made explicit that a driver statement is typically only 1-2 sentences, revised section about explaining the need, moved the section about reviewing driver statements from Respond to Organizational Drivers to this pattern, and added a new illustration that explains how to describe organizational drivers
  • Double Linking: aligned description to Link
  • Double-Linked Hierarchy: explained in more detail what a double-linked hierarchy is, and how it is created
  • Evaluate and Evolve Agreements: rearranged the text so it’s clear there is a long and a short format
  • Evaluation Criteria: suggested clarifying a threshold for success, and we explained about evolving evaluation criteria with agreements
  • Facilitate Meetings: improved description
  • Fractal Organization: extended and improved description
  • Governance Backlog: improved description
  • Governance Meeting: improved description, clarified agenda items
  • Invite Change: description now focuses on how to invite change
  • Linking: aligned description to Double Linking
  • Logbook: clarified that there is no difference between logbooks for groups and logbooks for roles
  • Navigate Via Tension: improved description, added a new illustration to clarify the distinction between Navigate Via Tension, Describe Organizational Drivers and Respond to Organizational Drivers
  • Objection: clarified the difference between objection and concern, clarified what qualifies as an objection, and how to qualify objections in a group context
  • Open Domain: improved description and updated illustration
  • Open Systems: improved description
  • Open Space for Change: renamed from Open S3 Adoption, improved description
  • Peach Organization: clarified relationship between periphery and center
  • Proposal Forming: revised text and illustration to make process of choosing tuners more clear, updated template for proposal to align with template for agreement
  • Representative: improved description
  • Resolve Objections: updated both illustrations
  • Respond to Organizational Drivers: improved description, simplified qualification of organizational drivers
  • Role: improved description
  • Role Selection: improved description, added description of each step
  • Rounds: improved description
  • Transparent Salary: added more details about fairness, and on how to develop a salary formula

Renamed Patterns:

  • Evaluate Agreements to Evaluate and Evolve Agreements
  • Intended Outcome to Clarify Intended Outcome
  • Open S3 Adoption to Open Space for Change

Added Patterns:

  • Check In
  • Co-create Proposals
  • Prepare for Meetings
  • Timebox Activities


  • renamed pattern Describe Drivers to Describe Organizational Drivers
  • Describe Organizational Drivers: explained four aspects of a driver: current situation, effect of the situation on the organization, need of the organization in relation to this situation, and impact of attending to need
  • added need to glossary


Here’s detailed explanations of the changes we made in October and November 2017.

  • small corrections
  • aligned glossary entries for Circle and Role to pattern text
  • Development Plan: clarification of responsibilities
  • Role: clarified evolution of strategy


  • various small clarifications and corrections
  • Circle: clarified relationship between circle and domain
  • Role: clarified description
  • Rounds: updated description
  • moved Open Domain, Helping Team and Open Systems to category “Building Organizations”
  • added several terms to the glossary


  • added Liliana David to authors
  • dropped the term “framework” (replaced with “practical guide”)
  • updated order of patterns
  • added an index of all the patterns
  • added a glossary
  • added acknowledgements
  • various small clarifications and corrections to text and illustrations
  • Introduction:
  • added “what’s in it for me?”
  • added definitions for governance, self-organization, semi-autonomy, operations to introduction
  • clarified domains and their relationship to drivers
  • fleshed out core concepts
  • made all principles actionable
  • Artful Participation: refined description
  • Agreement: clarified that the concept of agreements is applicable to people in roles
  • Clarify Domains: refined description
  • Circle: updated definition, refined description
  • Driver: updated definition
  • Development Plan: refined template and description
  • Develop Strategy: clarified definition of strategy, refined description
  • Double-Linked Hierarchy: new illustration
  • Evaluate Agreements: aligned questions to peer review
  • Governance Backlog: updated definition
  • Logbook: added details about governance to personal logbook
  • Objections: clarified qualifying objections
  • Peer Review: refined description
  • Respond to Organizational Driver: integrated information about qualifying drivers
  • Role: clarified role keeper may maintain a governance backlog, introduced the term “role keeper” for a person in a role
  • Proposal Forming: added criteria for selecting tuners, added step for prioritizing considerations, small clarifications
  • Resolve Objections: updated illustration to better reflect the process

Renamed Patterns:

  • Backbone Organization to Service Organization
  • Effectiveness Review to Peer Review
  • Strategy to Develop Strategy
  • Domain Description to Clarify Domains
  • Describing Deliverables to Describe Deliverables


  • Describe Drivers
  • Open Domain
  • Delegate Influence


  • Coordination Circle
  • Nested Domains
  • Qualify Driver

Read next: Acknowledgements

© 2017 by B. Bockelbrink, J. Priest and L. David Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0