Synergy between Sociocracy and the VSM
The Viable Systems Model ( VSM) by Stafford Beer has been around for many years and Jon Walker produced an informative guide back in the early 70s, now supplemented by his joint publication "Complexity Approach To Sustainability, A: Theory And Application (Series On Complexity Science) " Sociocracy is better understood today, it is well presented and publicly available material with Sociocracy 3.0. Where are the nuances between the two models. Is cybernetics real or a myth, a relic of the past and only applicable to AI? Where is the evidence to support any one model over the other? Could there be emergence of a new paradigm as these two models interweave, or are they best left alone.
Philip Coulthard started a proposal Wed 20 Feb 2019
Open Meeting to Grow Understanding and Promote Synergy between the VSM and Sociocracy Closed Wed 20 Mar 2019
Thanks to all who took the time to vote and shared your reasons. I value all of the comments provided. A common thread in the responses has been the time commitment for a two day meeting. Stafford Beer was commonly asked what reference material he based the VSM upon and his answer was that it extended into two thousand volumes. I fail to see how justice can be done to such an important subject in less time.
Another common thread is a feeling of being comfortable with Sociocracy and I have to agree that much of what is taught is in the right direction. If people are to be forced to make a choice then we would loose many, in the search for synergy, as they slide down that slippery slope of self justification into one camp or the other.
Another common thread has been one of relevance of the VSM today. There seems to be a misunderstanding of the VSM as some sort of "systems analysis tool". The deeper I get into his work I realise this is not a "tool" , its a vocation.
Where from here:
Although we have agreement the turn out was weak compared to votes on other proposals. I see no justification to invest SolidFund resources in a meeting at this time. It is also noted that there are no disagreements or blocks which is encouraging but given the existential threat of Climate Change I am puzzled why the turn out is so low. Could it be as Bob reminds us that the subject is too " complicated ". Like the man searching for the ring at night under the lamp post, when asked by the bobby, where was it lost, 10 yards away in the bushes, then why look here asks the bobby, the man replied this is where the light is?
Some things are hard and seem beyond our imagination but necessary, otherwise we run the risk that the devil gets the best songs.
Rather than invest resources further at this time I would like to make a proposal . That we ask those using Sociocracy to tell us all now what their thought are. Lets do the rounds!
We could discuss the merits of the VSM and Sociocracy infinitum but there are hurdles which stand in our way. Dissonance, ego, anxiety, understanding and those with the most impact being too busy elsewhere. One way to make progress would be for this group to sponsor those people who have a major influence from both parties to attend. I propose a 2 day meeting in the UK with webinar support for those who cannot attend.
There is no personal gain in proposing this meeting, what is driving the urgency for me is Climate Change. We have according to those who know more than I, 10 years to turn this around. We have a narrow window to put in place the best organizational systems to meet that challenge, so don't support this proposal for me, do it for the kids.
|Agree - 4|
|Abstain - 8|
|Disagree - 0|
|Block - 0|
Wed 20 Feb 2019
Happy to support but if you want to apply for Soldfund to help fund that in it needs to be put in that sub-group with a proper discussion and budget etc
Would there be any value in a 1 or 2 hr session at the worker co-ops weekend in May?
Tue 19 Mar 2019
I think the more people who are familiar with both the better (hence agreeing), but am not really clear exactly what is being proposed(?)/ what I'm voting for! :P This is a great resource about VSM: https://www.esrad.org.uk/resources/vsmg_3/screen.php?page=home
Tue 19 Mar 2019
I am always up for increasing understanding, Philip, and I'm completely with you on climate change, and the need for better ways of organising. So I have no objection. But I think two days is too much for me personally (particularly as I am already going to a session on VSM in May). And I like the sound of John's suggestion of a much shorter session at the worker co-ops weekend.
Cath M in Leeds (Cornerstone Housing/Radical Routes/Platform6)
Tue 19 Mar 2019
Agree with @peteburden that two days is too long. I do like the idea of folks learning about both and I think a half-day training/discussion session would be generally useful. VSM and sociocracy are apples and oranges - one is a governance methodology, the other is a systems analysis tool. Both useful and, AFAIC, complementary - exploring synergy seems like a good plan. But just generally spreading both about seems like a better use of resources.