ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
Decentralization is a term that is currently en vogue. It is often mentioned in conjunction with block-chain technology and cryptocurrencies. We nevertheless want to focus our attention on the social implications of decentralization processes. What happens to a group or community that moves from a hierachical to a more decentralized working model?
This event is for everyone trying to work in such a way: members of artistic collectives, co-ops, startups, NGOs, companies, museums, activist networks and so on. We have worked with Pixelache for many years to adapt a decentralized model. We came up with some of our own solutions that worked out, but struggled with some basic issues. We have realized that we are not alone with this struggles, and that those challenges are rather common to any group trying to work without a traditional command-and-control structure.
As often, the crucial questions proved increasingly complex as we tried to answer them: How can we be inclusive without spending all the time in meetings? How can we deal with power imbalances? What kind of practical tools (both social and digital) and strategies do these processes require? How can we undo our programming and develop an open, collaborative culture? How do we encourage participation, engagement, and shared responsibility? And if nobody is in charge, where does accountability come from?
This event is about sharing a variety of practices on how to deal with issues of decentralizing and democraticing our ways to organize. We do not intend this to be a one-off event. We want this to start a conversation that will continue in person and online.
The Social Tools 2018 Team
Agnieszka, Ilpo, Oliver and Owen
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28
On the first day we will start with a fast paced session featuring 8 speakers. They will attempt in short presentations to highlight the most important issues of decentralized organizing. This symposium will provide a good overview on current practices and will build
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 29
The second day will provide in-depth knowledge combined with hands-on experiences during two parallel workshops . The first workshop will be hosted by Nat and Rich from Enspiral/Loomio/The Hum. During the last years they have gained profound insights into the challenges of decentralized working and they have found ingenius ways to tackle them. The second workshop will focus on Cultural Democracy., hosted by Nick Mahony and Sophie Hope.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 30
On the third day we will have another in-depth workshop that will provide insights into a revolutionary method that has evolved over the last 100 years, the sociocratic circle method. Sven will introduce the latest iteration of the sociocratic method, known under the label Sociocracy 3.0. It is the first Open Source variant of the method.
Patterns of Decentralized Organizing
The Art of Making Decisions Together
Building on the 1986 Culture & Democracy manifesto, and the 2017 Red Pepper manifesto, Nick Mahony and Sophie Hope, authors, artists, and activists, will encourage participants to express their own personal experiences, their hopes, and the frustrations they have felt in trying to create spaces for autonomous cultural activity. Beginning with the participants’ own creative lives we will look to what our circumstances have in common and begin the process of creating the tools and techniques we will need to achieve autonomous communities.
There are different ways we have learned to make decisions in groups. A novel way is on the rise that embraces empowerment and non-violent communication. It exists in different flavours but in its heart it is Consent Decision Making. One of the most promising and complete set of patterns is Sociocracy 3.0 Guided by S3 and enriched with principles and practices from other frameworks like Holacracy, Dragon Dreamin, O2 and more Sven will guide participants to a new understanding of working and deciding together.