Sociocracy – Mimicking Living Systems, Connecting Individual Intelligence

December 25, 2014

Looking to the essence of Sociocracy we discover familiar ground. Foundational elements, identifiable in living systems that permeate and flavour its various processes.

 

 

An investigation into the roots of similar modalities provide maps and mechanisms for navigating complex systems and harnessing potential - Permaculture, Psychology of Selves, Agile Software Development practices – reveal that at the core, the wisdom of natural systems resides.

 

Erin Young is a sociocracy advocate and educator based in Brisbane, Australia.  She recently wrote a post on the topic of “Metaphoric Descriptions of Sociocracy” where she explores the similarities between Mycelium and the sociocratic method:

On the topic of metaphorical language to help describe and share the sociocratic system - I come from a nature systems understanding and this is what I use to assist me in describing sociocracy in workshops. In a nutshell, there is striking resemblance to the *nature intelligence* of mycelium – a vast underground nodal fungal network spanning the globe from which mushrooms sprout as the fruit.

 

It is illustrated in a similar way to the interconnections of the internet, social networks, and neural pathways.


Like sociocracy, mycelium use sensory systems of feedback loops to read and moderate the local and broader environment - presumably for the mission of balanced ecological functioning.

 

Mycelium is an effective organism, with a doing nature at it's core (it's the teeth of the soil, decomposing wood and other carbon laden materials to be recycled amongst other critical features). It has the ability to sense toxins in one area and transport them to another place, effectively diluting the toxin.

 

It also has the ability to move nutrients to areas deficient in these needs. We see similar moderating happen in sociocracy through the semi-autonomy of individual circles while assisted by the greater whole of interconnectedness of general circle connections. I can't comment on any hierarchical aspects of mycelial intelligence but this may come through the different forms of mushrooms with different functions spawning form the base mycelial mat.

I take this simplified description to encompass the greater collective wisdom of nature intelligence exhibited through mycelium in achieving the mission of moderating ecological functioning while presumably having distinct circles of focus with specific aims for the different functions of the fungal network.

The brain, the body, and other features of ecological systems could probably be described in similar ways that demonstrate the integrative aspect of nature intelligence. It is my belief that humans display similar forms of this nature intelligence through the "artificial intelligence" of the sociocratic methodology. 

 

Erin - Brisbane, AU

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