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Glossary

Find an explanation of the most important terms and principles.

Co-Creation

Co-creation means: creating together. The saying “1+1 is more than 2” describes co-creation very well. In a co-creative collaboration, there are no fixed ideas about how something should be. It's about coming up with questions, points of views and ideas together that you can't come up with on your own. The wisdom and creativity of the many opens up new perspectives. In order for a group to get into this state of co-creation, 3 things are important:

  1. Be a good host for yourself and take good care of yourself. That means, for example, if you step out of the group because you need a break, this is important and helpful for the whole process.

  2. Be a good guest and participate actively. This means that you let the host guide you and contribute constructively.

  3. Be a good host for others. There is always a need for someone to take on the role of host, e.g. to ensure a good atmosphere in the room and the well-being of the "guests". Or even facilitates the group through a process.

 

If a group succeeds in living these 3 aspects not rigidly, but in good alternation, something new emerges. In creating together, no one is just a participant or a leader.

Collaboration

Collaboration is the process in which people interact to achieve a common overall result. Important for collaboration are the willingness of all participants to want to enter into a joint process and the attitude that this kind of collaboration can be effective and efficient.

Collaboration between different disciplines eg. in interdisciplinary teaching, expands the space of possibilities immensely. Where collaboration is practiced instead of competition, innovative solutions emerge that one alone could never achieve.

 

Historically, the term collaboration has had a negative connotation, describing cooperation between enemies. How does this fit with the modern meaning of collaboration? We all know our enemies, whether we are fighting with ourselves on the inside or whether they are people we don't like to collaborate with. It is the ultimate discipline to want to achieve a common goal with inner parts or people who are not our best friends. Here, outside our comfort zone, is the revolutionary potential to develop, learn, and be amazed.

Collaborative decision-making

  • Collaborative decision-making is a process that involves all individuals in a group or team to actively participate and provide input towards a common goal. 

  • The aim is to reach a collective decision through open communication, mutual respect, and shared responsibility. This approach encourages diverse perspectives and ideas, leading to better decision-making outcomes that are more inclusive and effective. 

  • Collaborative decision-making is often used in complex situations where multiple stakeholders are involved, and where there is a need for buy-in and commitment from all parties. Overall, it is a powerful tool for building trust, fostering teamwork, and achieving shared objectives.

Consent Decision Process

Consent means “Good enough for now. Safe enough to try. The proposal brings us closer to our common goal.” 

A consent decision…

  • is a type of decision-making process where all participants involved in the decision-making have no objections to a proposal. It is a collaborative approach that ensures that everyone's opinions and concerns are taken into account before a decision is made. 

  • is often used in organizations and groups where there is a need for collective decision-making. It is a way to ensure that the decision made is agreeable to all parties involved. 

  • can lead to more effective and efficient decision-making processes as co-responsibility arises from co-determination.

  • are only valid for a certain time - good enough for this time. Consensus decision processes tend to take a long time. In addition, in a fast changing world perfect solutions hardly exist - at least not for long. 

  • is based on a continuous feedback process “Lead - Do - Measure”. After each doing phase the group evaluates the outcome, if the operation can be improved in order to achieve the common goal faster and in a more effective manner.

Consent vs. majority voting - simple example

 

Sociocratic decisions are not made by majority vote, but by the "no objection principle" (also "consent principle"). This means that all participants are heard equally and included in the decisions. In contrast to democratic ones, nobody can be overruled in sociocratic elections. With this example, you can easily explain the difference between consent and majority voting to your students:

"In a school, the walls in the classrooms need to be repainted. The student council is asked what color to use for this. You can choose between the colors red or yellow. For example, in a majority vote, 10 children vote for red and 3 children vote for yellow. And so the walls would then be painted red.

If this decision-making process were to take place with consent, the first thing would be to define what the goal of the decision is. For example, that the new color supports learning. A child could argue against yellow that the color red has the property of activating, but can also be associated with anger and aggression. The color yellow, on the other hand, has the property of promoting concentration. With this well-founded argument, the proposal would choose yellow. This makes sense for everyone, even if they personally like the color red."

Students now know that having a common goal helps them make good decisions and find out what they have consent and objection to.

Participatory leadership

 

Participatory leadership is a style of leadership that emphasizes collaboration and inclusivity. It involves actively engaging all members of a group or organization in the decision-making process, rather than relying solely on the leader's decisions. It's important to understand that the leader has also an equal voice in the consent decision-making process and needs to state his or her objections! 

This approach values the input and perspectives of all individuals, and seeks to create a sense of ownership and investment in the group's goals and outcomes. Participatory leadership can lead to increased creativity, innovation, and commitment among team members, as well as improved communication and problem-solving skills.

Rounds

 

  • A round is a structured communication process in which each person has an opportunity to speak in turn. It is a technique used in group discussions or meetings to ensure that everyone has an equal chance to express their thoughts and ideas. The round typically starts with one person speaking and then moves around the group in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. This process continues until everyone has had a chance to speak or until the allotted time for the round has ended. Rounds are often used in settings where collaboration and inclusivity are valued.

  • Rounds are the basis of sociocracy and are very rich in their effect. A good facilitation is needed to create new positive experiences of communication and participation.

  • It relaxes the mind if everyone knows when it's his / her / their turn, because we don't need to have the courage to call out into the whole group or have the whole group in focus if someone is saying something. 

  • Don´t expect that everyone is participating right away in the circle process. It takes time for a group to build up the psychological safety for everyone to speak up in the circle.

Sociocracy

 

Sociocracy can be best translated by “ruling together”. This method helps to distribute power. In Sociocracy diversity is seen as a great chance to solve complex problems together. The developer of the sociocratic circle method, Gerard Endenburg, was a student at a residential school community in the Netherlands during the second world war.

 

In this school students and teachers were all equally involved in decision-making. Gerard Endenburg studied Engineering afterwards.  He used his engineering knowledge and longing for peace to develop the consent method. This is the basic principle of sociocracy. It's a more efficient decision-making-method than consensus decision making and basic democracy, but also as inclusive as them.

Youth leadership

 

  • Youth leadership refers to the process of empowering young people to develop and enhance their leadership skills and abilities. It involves providing opportunities for young people to participate in decision-making and take on leadership roles in various contexts, such as schools, communities, and organizations. 

  • Youth leadership aims to cultivate a sense of responsibility, confidence, and self-awareness in young people, while also promoting positive social change. It is a crucial aspect of youth development, as it prepares young people to become effective leaders and active citizens in their communities. Ultimately, youth leadership is about empowering young people to make a positive impact on the world around them.

  • Teaching young people skills and methods that support a new way to collaborate so that their ability of leadership is strengthened.

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