Do-ocracy

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Do-ocracy is a decentralized, anarchist way of deciding and managing how things get changed, and is the main way that things get done at Noisebridge.

It can be summed up as follows:

Do-ocracy: If you want something done, do it, but remember to be excellent to each other when doing so.

Do it posters
Doers decide posters

Do-ocracy applies to almost everything at Noisebridge, with only a few consensus exceptions (often described as very big deep changes to Noisebridge as an organization). If you think it'd be cool to build something out of some parts in the Parts Repository, the tables should be re-arranged, or a new workshop should be built, you should do it! But remember to be excellent.

How to do Do-ocracy[edit | edit source]

There are no formal rules to Do-ocracy, but here are some tips for smooth functioning Do-ocracy. Don't feel obliged to do any of them.

Be accountable[edit | edit source]

If you make a change that isn't terribly easy to undo, such as moving a projector, or which has impacts that can't be undone, such as putting a video on the projector that's potentially triggering of epilepsy, it's good to be accountable to those impacted by the change. Make sure that people know who made the change, so that they can clarify what's going on and how they're impacted. Write notes, post in Slack or on the mailing list, make announcements in person. Let people know you're responsible for your change.

Don't be afraid to do what you need to do[edit | edit source]

Sometimes you'll make a change Do-ocratically. Realize that you have to crack eggs to make an omelet and that most of the time it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Use little-c consensus[edit | edit source]

If you're concerned that a change may be a little too impactful to just do, and you want to make sure it's ok to do, speak to the people who are likely to be impacted. Be willing to find outcomes that everyone can live with.

If you dissent with a doacratic motion, start a conversation, blocking without engagement to find compromise is not excellent.

Don't use an either/or approach[edit | edit source]

If the particular thing you want to do is not supported by small-c consensus, either before or after the fact, explore other options. Try to achieve everyone's end goals, while being flexible with how you get there. It's often not the case that your only options are Do What You Want To Do vs. Do What They Want To Do look for a compromise. Usually you can find some other, third path to things which everyone can live with.

Be compassionate[edit | edit source]

Because it really sucks to have one's project trashed, or a workshop turned inside out by a project, or the like, you may find that you've Do-ocratically done something that makes someone irritated. While it's not Excellent for them to be aggressive or hostile, you should expect that they may be upset. Be patient and compassionate.

Don't be a dick[edit | edit source]

Even though it is extremely inconvenient to come back to a shop where everything is not where you left it, don't be a dick to the person who did it. Aggression and hostility should be expected; as a positive disruptor. Think first before you (re)act to the situation before you.

Do-er's Decide, Non-Do-er's Stand Aside[edit | edit source]

If you're not willing or able to put in the time or effort to hack, don't stand in the way of the people who are are. If you have opinions, be willing to hack. Offering advice is fine, but it's usually good to ask if it's wanted, and if not, don't give it.

Fictionalized Examples[edit | edit source]

The Short Version[edit | edit source]

  1. Fizz asks around if anyone would feel negative about the bike shed being pink. No one does.
  2. Fizz paints the bike shed pink.

The Being Excellent To Each Other Version[edit | edit source]

  1. Fizz paints the bike shed pink.
  2. Buzz becomes unhappy about the fact that the bike shed she helped build is now pink.
  3. Buzz politely engages Fizz in discussion about why they thought this was ok. Fizz realized that other people they share the space with have feelings too.
  4. Buzz and Fizz decide to repaint the bike shed blue.

Related ideas about do-ocracy[edit | edit source]


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Manual (c) | Visitors | Participation | Excellence | Do-ocracy | Consensus | Standards | Outreach | Operations | Cleaning | (Edit)