10:30 - 11:00
Patterns for Decentralised Governance

Short thesis

There's a lot of excitement about decentralising technology, often flavoured with a naïve wish that tech can solve the difficult problems of working with humans. Frankly, decentralised tech is pretty fragile without decentralised governance. In this talk I'll share some lessons from the last 6 years of working in Enspiral, a network of self-organising companies.


I've been working in decentralised organisations since Occupy in 2011, co-founding Loomio (a worker co-op building software for collective decision-making) and Enspiral (a network of self-organising purpose-driven companies).

This year, my partner and I are touring the world, meeting with all kinds of groups who are trying to work without hierarchical management structures: co-ops, startups, NGOs, companies, activist networks, etc.

Wherever we go, we see that all of these groups face common challenges when they try to work without a traditional command-and-control structure. Whether they're anarchist activists or corporate consultants, self-organising groups struggle for the same reasons. How can we be inclusive without spending all our time in meetings? How do we deal with power imbalances? How do undo our programming and develop an open, collaborative culture?

From these experiences we're gathered these patterns for decentralised governance: practical responses that groups can take to the common challenges of working without hierarchy. 

Slides for the talk are here.

We're hosting a workshop on this topic tomorrow morning: register here.